October 21 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Leonard came to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic ranked 144th on the money list. Although there was some confusion during his press conference after Leonard grabbed a share of the lead, his card for the 2012 PGA TOUR season is secure, though, and here's why.
It all started when Leonard received a 10-year exemption for winning the 1997 British Open.
A player who earns a multiple-year exemption for winning a major, the PLAYERS Championship, the TOUR Championship or an official World Golf Championships event will have that extended by one year for each official victory in subsequent years. But in no case shall it be extended beyond five years from the current calendar year.
So in 2003, Leonard's victories began adding an extra year to the original exemption. He won The Honda Classic in 2003 which took the exemption to 2008, the 2005 Bob Hope Classic (2009), the 2005 FedEx St. Jude Classic (2010), the 2007 Valero Texas Open (2011) and the 2008 Stanford St. Jude Classic (2012).