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January 15 2012

9:18 PM

Waldorf eyes great opportunity

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Duffy Waldorf is at 9 under entering Sundya's final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

 

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

HONOLULU -- Duffy Waldorf is playing on a Major Medical Extension to start the PGA TOUR season after having knee surgery last summer. He has five events to earn $784,138 and keep his TOUR card.

That's a tall order, especially for a player who hasn't had a top-10 finish on TOUR since 2006. But the 49-year-old Waldorf enters Sunday's final round at Waialae in position to erase that entire amount should he win the Sony Open in Hawaii's first prize of $990,000.

Waldorf starts his round at 9 under, three shots off the lead shared by Jeff Maggert and Matt Every.

Since he turns 50 in August, Waldorf has the opportunity to join the Champions Tour this year. But he's not ready to give up on a career on the PGA TOUR.

"Obviously, my plan would be to have about $1 million on the bank on the regular tour, won a tournament and be playing in the FedExCup instead of starting on the Champions Tour," Waldorf said. "That would be my ideal scenario."

Waldorf said once he turns 50, he would like to do the same thing that Tom Pernice Jr. is doing. The 52-year-old Pernice has maintained his TOUR card -- last year, he had two top-10 finishes and ranked 121st on the money list -- but also plays a few Champions Tour events.

"That would be great for me," Waldorf said. "I think most of the guys out here that are competitive still want to play some TOUR events, and it's just a mix of how many you want to play."

Should Waldorf not reach the $784,138 amount, he said would play some Nationwide Tour events too.

But on Sunday, his focus will be strictly on his position on the leaderboard. He'd love nothing more than to win for the first time in 12 years.

Duffy Waldorf is paired with Scott Piercy in Sunday’s final round. They tee off at 5:35 p.m. ET.

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