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October 27 2013

8:38 AM

Will Aphibarnrat chase membership?

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished one shot out of a playoff Sunday at CIMB.

After coming within a shot of making a playoff at the CIMB Classic, the question is now: Will Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat continue to pursue his goal of a PGA TOUR card?

If he wants it, the big 24-year-old has a spot in The McGladrey Classic in two weeks at Sea Island, Ga. That would make it three PGA TOUR events in a row for Aphibarnrat, who is also in the field this week at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. A high finish there would all but assure him Special Temporary Membership.

Aphibarnrat missed a birdie putt that would have put in a playoff Monday at the CIMB Classic. Instead, he finished tied for third with Chris Stroud, earning over $400,000 and virtually securing the No. 1 spot on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Aphibarnrat, a non-TOUR member, would have earned 163 FedExCup points would his finish. He can play
The McGladrey Classic and hope for another top-10 (which assures yet another start) or finish high enough to score enough FedExCup points to earn Special Temporary status. Such status would give him unlimited sponsor exemptions into PGA TOUR events, making it much easier to earn full membership. 

"I think the schedule will change right now," Aphibarnrat said. "If I have my chance even like just 1 percent, I will try and do it."

Aphibarnrat had several chances to win Sunday and erase all membership doubts, but his his putter went cold on the back nine and he went without a birdie on the final 12 holes.

"After I saw my name on the top of the leaderboard, I think I pushed too much," Aphibarnrat said.

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