By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For all the back and forth, permutations, and scoreboard watching, only two players moved from outside the top 125 on the money list to inside it, and one of them was the winner of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Charlie Beljan, who entered the week 139th in money, locked up a PGA TOUR card for the next two years after his two-shot victory. Tim Herron’s journey to full status was a little more harrowing.
Herron, who came here 136th in money, was cruising along with five birdies through his first 14 holes Sunday. Then he double bogeyed the 17th hole after hitting his tee shot into the water and left his putt from just off the green a few inches short of the hole.
“I needed to suck it up and hit it down the left and try to hit a cut and I came over and hooked it in the water,” Herron said. “I thought if I got in at 12 under, I was in.”
But Herron finished at 11 under and thought he was out, kicking and walking on his bag in frustration. “Usually when I walk on something, it breaks,” he said.
Then he was informed he was safe.
“Billy Andrade told me, ‘Don't worry about it; you’re in; don't break any more stuff’,” Herron said. “But I didn't believe him.”
Herron finished 124th, about $13,000 ahead of Kevin Chappell.
Chappell, who tied for 34th, teetered back and forth most of the day before finishing just over $1,800 ahead of Jerry Kelly, who finished outside the top 125 for the first time in more than a decade.
Chappell, though, wasn't safe until Charlie Wi and Josh Teater each made par on the last hole. If either made bogey, Kelly would have moved up on the leaderboard and passed Chappell on the money list.
Kelly, meanwhile, can use a career money exemption.
Only two players fell out of the top 125. Rod Pampling and Billy Mayfair, who began the week 124th and 125th, respectively, both missed the cut and had to watch their fate from home.