Scramble for the Top 132
It wasn't an abiding love of the fourth estate that drew P.H.
Horgan to the media room at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic at
Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss., on Sunday. Like many
others in the field, Horgan, the 1994 Rhode Island Open champ,
was sweating over how much cash he had won this year ($261,309,
putting him 139th on the money list), how much more he needed
(the top 132 would keep their PGA Tour cards) and when the
weather might clear so that he could make a run. "I need four
birdies on the back nine," said Horgan, who was halfway through
his final round when he ducked into the pressroom during a rain
delay to use the IBM scoring computer. "I've got to finish no
worse than 10th."
So it went as players fought for their livelihoods at the Tour's
last full-field event of '99, where bubble trouble was "a
dark-gray thing that nobody likes to talk about," according to
Brian Henninger, who with a 69 on Monday won the SFB by three
strokes over Chris DiMarco. At Nos. 94 and 83, respectively,
Henninger and DiMarco were sitting pretty all week, but others
were headed for the final stage of Q school at Doral Resort and
Spa in Miami, Nov. 17-22.
"I've got no shot," No. 128 Pete Jordan said last Saturday as he
walked to his car after missing the cut by three strokes. "All I
needed to do was make the cut, and I couldn't even do that."
Jordan, 35, was right. Two front-nine double bogeys had left him
out of the money, and the former TCU Horned Frog was roadkill,
dropping to No. 134. Joe Ogilvie, who started the week at No.
132, also was cooked. A devout follower of the stock market from
Lancaster, Ohio, Ogilvie, 25, missed the cut by one and crashed
The Tour used a "soft" 125 this year--meaning that the six
nonmembers among the top 125 players, such as No. 45 Jose Maria
Olazabal, didn't count--and thus the magic number was 131. But
on Sunday word spread that the number had changed again, to 132,
because of the death of No. 3, Payne Stewart. Further
complicating matters, the tournament had taken Friday off for
Stewart's memorial service in Orlando, and then a rainout on
Sunday delayed the finish until Monday. All of which left
players with six-alarm migraines.
"You need a degree in probability to figure this out," said No.
159 Sean Murphy. Russ Cochran, the lefty from Paducah, Ky., and
No. 137 to begin the week, didn't bother. He birdied five of his
last seven holes during a 64 on Thursday that put him in the
lead and well on his way to keeping his card. Cochran tied for
ninth, earned $44,750 and hung on at No. 128.
On the bubble at No. 130, three-time Tour winner Nolan Henke
also helped himself, opening with a 66. He also tied for ninth
and climbed to No. 121. Paul Stankowski, at the end of his
exemption for winning the Hawaiian Open in '97, tied for third
to jump from No. 140 to No. 113.
Horgan was not so lucky. He managed only one birdie on the back
nine on Monday but was prepared for disappointment. In '98 he
finished at No. 126, and his name became an unwelcome addition
to the golfing lexicon: P.H. Factor, the number of dollars by
which you miss your card.
Late Sunday afternoon some players tabulated earnings assuming
the final round would be rained out, but when play resumed on
Monday, the order shifted yet again. Blaine McCallister, who got
the last card in '98, slipped from a tie for eighth on Sunday to
a tie for ninth and out of the top 132. That opened the door for
Doug Dunakey, 36, the Nike alum who fired a 59 last year. He
shot a clutch 68 on Monday for the coveted 132nd spot, but his
joy was short-lived. Joe Ozaki, No. 137, will earn at least
$25,000 at this week's American Express Championship, dropping
Dunakey into the dumps at 133--with a P.H. Factor of $3,403.
What do these players have in common?
They were the only players to win at least three points in the
1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande, Spain, the
site of this week's World tour event, the American Express
Who should be rookie of the year on the Tour, Notah Begay III or
--Based on 5,756 responses to our informal survey
Next question: To pay respects to Payne Stewart, should
commissioner Tim Finchem have canceled last week's Tour
Championship? Vote at golfplus.cnnsi.com.
The top 50 players in the World Ranking qualified for the World
tour event at Valderrama. Here are the golfers who made the
biggest moves into and out of the top 50 this year.
1998 RANK 1999 RANK
Sergio Garcia 402 16
Paul Lawrie 241 45
Chris Perry 93 30
Tim Herron 84 36
Steve Pate 76 28
Steve Jones 35 100
Tom Watson 24 75
Brad Faxon 40 89
Ian Woosnam 37 81
John Cook 32 67
Tammie Durdin, Adelaide, Australia
Durdin, a junior at Pepperdine and the No. 1-ranked college
player, shot a tournament-record eight-under 208 at Sahalee
Country Club in Redmond, Wash., for a seven-shot victory in the
Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational. Durdin leads the Waves with a
72.27 scoring average.
Jackson Rue, Vancouver
Jackson, a six-year-old who began playing golf in July, made two
aces in one week at the Kensington Park Pitch & Putt, a
1,450-yard 18-hole par-3 course in Burnaby. His first hole in
one came with a driver at the 55-yard 7th hole and his second,
with the same club, on the 55-yard 14th.
Harold Stilson, Boca Raton, Fla.
Stilson, 99, a 24 handicapper, made his fifth hole in one since
turning 71, with a six-iron on the 112-yard 15th hole at
Deerfield Country Club. At 99 years and 163 days, Stilson was 81
days younger than Otto Bucher of Switzerland was in 1985 when he
became the oldest person to make an ace.
Submit Faces candidates to golfplus.cnnsi.com/faces.