David Peoples / APAll week long, Greg Vara will be at the Champions Tour 3M Championship, bringing content from TPC Twin Cities. You can follow Greg on Twitter right here.
The grind of the PGA TOUR journeyman is well documented. Most fans of the sport can tell you the significance of the top-125 and what it means to secure your "card" for the next season. As any player outside the to-125 can attest, it's not where you want to be. A trip to Q-School in December is your only saving grace at that point.
Unbeknownst to many golf fans, a similar system is in place on the Champions Tour. Just like the other tours, the over-50 crowd needs to perform well, or else.
David Peoples is all too aware of how the system works. He spent the better part of a week last November trying to improve his status on the Champions Tour for the 2012 season, to no avail. His 21st-place finish at Q-School left him on the outside looking in for many events this season and entering this week, he'd only teed it up nine times out of a possible 16 events. As the 1st alternate this week, his inclusion in the 3M Championship field was made possible only by the withdrawal of Russ Cochran earlier in the week.
Such is the life of a journeyman golfer. One day you are winning on the PGA TOUR as Peoples did in 1991 and 1992, and the next you are scrapping and clawing just for a spot in the field of a Champions Tour event.
That could all change with one more solid round on Sunday though. Peoples put himself in a great spot to win this week after he carded a remarkable 62 on Saturday, a number that he couldn't quite believe himself. Prior to the start of his press conference, Peoples quipped, "I'm still asleep here, probably going to wake up soon" and later he referred to the way he played as a "dream round".
Entering the final round, Peoples holds a three-stroke advantage over his nearest competitor Eduardo Romero and the significance of tomorrow's round is not lost on him. Asked what a win would mean on Sunday Peoples responded, "I'm not fully exempt out here… a win would be incredible, that's what all of us out here want to do".
There's one difference though between Peoples and most of the players on the Champions Tour. While everyone wants to win, Peoples needs to, just to continue playing.