By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
There is a lot of focus on getting into the top 125 on the money list during the Fall Series, but different players play this time of year for different reasons. The leaderboard at the Frys.com Open is certainly a reflection on that.
John Mallinger, for example, entered the week 98th on the money list coming into this week, so his card is safe for next season. Instead, he has a different number on his mind.
“I set a goal before the Fall Series to try to get in the top 70 so I can get into invitationals next year,” said Mallinger, who shot a bogey-free 66 Thursday to sit one shot off the lead.
Then there’s 48-year-old Jeff Maggert. He came into the week right on the bubble at No. 125 on the money list.
Maggert still has a couple of years before he’s eligible for the Champions Tour, so he needs to play well this month to do so. Thursday’s 67 was a good start.
“I would love to play out here two or three years and maybe bounce back and fourth between the senior tour and this tour,” Maggert said. “I got to take care of business out here first. I feel like I’m playing well enough to do something out here the last few weeks. We’ll see what happens.”
Of course there’s always q-school, which is how Maggert got his cad for this season.
“I don’t mind going to the TOUR school,” he said. “That has been my top money winning tournament for the Fall Series.”
Charles Howell III also likes this time of year, and he also tends to play well. Two years ago, for example, Howell had three straight top 20 finishes, including a couple of top 10s, to finish his Fall Series.
Thursday, Howell opened with a 66.
“Everybody has something to play for,” Howell said. “I think a win for everybody would make the year, but we’ll take what we get.”
“I don’t know what the thing is that flips the switch either. It’s part of what makes it golf.”