Some guys are playing to keep their PGA TOUR card. Tom Pernice Jr. is playing to determine what Tour he’ll play on in 2011.
If the 51-year-old finishes in the top 125 on the money list – he’s currently 137th – he’ll spend most of his time on the TOUR. If not, it’s likely he’ll play more events on the over-50 circuit.
“Playing out of the 126 to 150 category you really don't know your schedule out here very much,” said Pernice, who opened with a 68 Thursday on the Palm Course. “I still got a chance to have a good week here and see if I can get up there and get ahead of the top 125 and if that's the case I'd like to play as much as I can out here.
“I feel like my game's good enough, and this is still where I want to play.”
The last two starts have been evidence of that -- Pernice tied for 18th at the Frys.com Open and tied for 15th at the McGladrey Classic.
Michael Allen is in a similar position, though he may be leaning toward the Champions Tour. Allen is 124th on the money list, but he opened with a 74 on the Palm Course.
“You know, a lot of guys on the Champions Tour kind of wonder because it's a lot of fun out there,” said Allen, who is coming off a runner-up finish at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. “And after the way I played today, I'm probably moving that way anyhow. It wasn't a very good day.”
Not having won in 360 starts, however, has kept Allen coming back.
“That’s the one thing I want to do,” Allen said. “I want to be able to finish my career and say I won, so I need more opportunities to do that. That's the main reason.” -- Brian Wacker