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Bubble watch for players trying to keep Tour card

PGA Tour
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MOBILE, AL - NOVEMBER 10: Ben Barry of Tuscaloosa carries a stuffed Pink Panther on his shoulders as he follows Paula Creamer through her third round play in The Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on November 10, 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. Creamer is nicknamed the Pink Panther. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)  - 

It’s bubble time on the PGA Tour and that means players in and around the top 125 in earnings are busy estimating what it will take to remain inside golf’s sliding scale of success.

During The McGladrey Classic many players figured it would take around $700,000 to stay inside the top 125 which would be a slight bump over the $668,000 it took to keep a card last year.

Scott Hamilton, however, decided to find a formula that forged through all the estimations.

“I kept hearing $700,000, seven-something, but I looked at it before the Open and how it changed every week,” said Hamilton, a Cartersville, Ga.-based teaching pro who works with Boo Weekley, Jason Bohn and Tim Herron.

Before the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open the magic number was $587,837 and increased by $11,157 following the $4.5 million stop. The increase was $13,367 after the $5 million Open and $7,600 after the $4 million McGladrey Classic.

“It seems the number has been moving between $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the purse,” Hamilton said. “What I was trying to do was calm the nerves of Boo (Weekley). He kept saying he didn’t have enough money (currently No. 121 with $683,259), but I really thought he did and sat down and looked at it.”

If Hamilton’s formula holds for next week’s $4.7 million finale at Walt Disney World the magic number to keep a Tour card will be $632,461.