By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
Davis Love III has finished in the
top 100 on the money list for 26 straight seasons.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. --
Plenty of pressure exists on the PGA TOUR with only two events
remaining this season. Even for established veterans such as Davis
Love III and Jerry Kelly. Yes, a number of players are looking to
retain their playing privileges for the 2013 season and getting
into the top 125 on the money list is a priority in order to do so
-- beginning with this week's McGladrey Classic. Take Vaughn
Taylor, for example. Taylor, a two-time winner on TOUR, sits at No.
139 on the money list and needs to make north of $100,000 or head
back to Q School in order to qualify for next season.
Check out the Money List here.
“There’s a million things going through your
head,” Taylor said. “This is your career. It’s
your job. It’s the way you pay bills. It’s hard not to
think about it. I think every guy out here does.” But there
are also players such as Love and Kelly, both of whom are fighting
for high finishes despite the fact that they can fall back on other
qualifiers to play next season. So why are these final events such
a big deal? “Pride is a good word,” said Love, a Sea
Island resident and tournament host. Indeed it is. Love, currently
104th and a lifetime member on the TOUR, has made the top 100 on
the money list for 26 straight seasons – a streak that stands
above the likes of Jack Nicklaus (25), Gary Player (24) and Arnold
Palmer (21) for longevity. “It just means you're getting
older,” Love said. “But I've hung in there a long
time.” Love missed the cut at Sea Island and the
Children’s Miracle Network Classic last season, but did go
T33 and T19, respectively, in both tournaments in 2010. So
he’s certainly capable of earning roughly the $100,000 it
would take to crack the top 100 again. Kelly, currently 136th, has
a solid streak going as well. He’s had 16 straight seasons
without finishing outside the top 125, 15 of which rank in the top
100. “It’s a different pressure,” said Kelly, who
would hate to have to fall back on his career money list exemption.
“I’ve never been in this position on the PGA TOUR,
period. So I look at it as an opportunity to put that feather in my
cap. I’ve been out here for a long time and I know I’m
still good enough.” With Sea Island being more of a
shot-makers golf course than a bomber’s paradise, Kelly
– No. 1 on the PGA TOUR in driving accuracy and No. 179 in
distance, is relishing such an opportunity. “I don’t
want to fall back on anything,” he said.