This time of year, we're reminded of how capricious the game of golf can be. For every marquee name your grandmother knows, there are a hundred guys scrambling to get on, or stay on, the PGA Tour, many of whom with familiar names.
One of those guys is Chris DiMarco. Best known as the guy who lost the 2005 Masters to Tiger in a playoff, DiMarco has six top-10 finishes in majors, and he played on both the Presidents and Ryder Cup teams twice apiece. And guess what? He was looking at having to go through Q School to retain his card.
Fortunately for DiMarco, he's made enough money that he's not going to starve. (He ranks 26th on the career money list with $21.2 million.) Fortunately from a career perspective, he can use a one-time exemption for being within the top 50 money list to play in 2011.
It's not the first time that DiMarco has had to resort to exemptions. In 2009, he had to use his status in the top 25 in career earnings for his card. And this year, he used a network of sponsors' exemptions to play. But even so, he finished 165th on the money list.
Golf grows tougher every year for the guys who are in DiMarco's position; the talent level isn't declining, and each season brings a raft of new hot names. But with some good luck and the right bounces, DiMarco is still capable of winning a tournament. And that'll put these worries on the shelf for a couple years, at least.