While many PGA Tour players sweated the bubble last week at the Wyndham Championship, this week the high-stakes pressure shifts to the Web.com Tour's Winco Foods Portland Open.
The stop at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club marks the final regular-season event on the developmental circuit, and the 25 players on the season-long money list when the final putt drops will secure PGA Tour cards for the 2015-16 season. The race near the bubble, though, remains tight.
With $158,762 in season earnings, Harold Varner III holds a tenuous grip on the 25th spot on the money list. He leads Kevin Tway, currently at No. 26, by only $9,589 heading into this week's event. For perspective, the 20th-place finisher in Portland will receive $10,400.
Last year Kyle Reifers played his way into the top 25 in Portland, knocking out Sebastian Cappelen in the process to secure his card. Reifers went on to have a successful season this year on the PGA Tour, highlighted by a playoff loss at the Barracuda Championship, and is in the field this week at The Barclays.
The 23rd spot in the current standings offers the curious case of Patrick Rodgers. The former Stanford standout won earlier this year on the Web.com Tour to race up the money list, but he has played primarily on the PGA Tour this summer and has already clinched his card for next year via non-member FedEx Cup points. Because he is not yet a full member, he is ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs, but because he already has a card for next year, he is also ineligible for the upcoming Web.com Finals - basically requiring the 23-year-old to take the next six weeks off.
Another bubble looms further down the standings, as only the top 75 players on the money list will earn spots in the four-event Finals. Former PGA Tour winner Tommy Gainey enters this week at No. 71, while Drew Scott holds the coveted 75th spot - $4,649 ahead of Bradley Schnell.
Last year Whee Kim played his way inside the top 75 at this event, then went on to earn his card at the Web.com Finals and has already secured his status on the main circuit for next season.
The Finals will feature Nos. 1-75 from the Web.com Tour and Nos. 126-200 from the FedEx Cup standings, less those players already exempt on the PGA Tour for next season. The top 25 from the Web.com money list will look to improve their priority ranking, while the other players will compete for 25 additional cards based on cumulative earnings across the four events.