No matter the money list spot, there's something to play for

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Vaughn Taylor grew up in Augusta and dreams of playing the Masters. At 41st on the money list, he knows he must have a big week at Disney to crack the top 30 -- and a spot in the 2011 Masters.
November 10, 2010
Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Vaughn Taylor knows what it's like to be on the bubble; let's just say he prefers the one he's on now. And with the potential perks at stake, who wouldn't?


If Taylor, currently 41st on the money list entering the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic, can move up 11 spots or more, for example, he'll secure a spot in the Masters and U.S. Open.

"It's always been a dream to play in the Masters; that's why I'm here," said Taylor, an Augusta, Ga., native, who, two Novembers ago entered the Ginn sur Mer Classic 129th on the money list before a tie for second catapulted him to 98th. "I'm just going to go for broke this week."

Brendon de Jonge, though, says he won't change his approach -- despite knowing that he probably needs to finish solo second or third to secure his own place in the top 30.

"Everyone is playing for something different this week," said de Jonge, who finished third in the Viking Classic last month and is currently 34th on the money list.

A year ago, de Jonge was in a similar position to Taylor's -- only he didn't make a late-season surge. De Jonge finished 139th on the money list and earned better status on the PGA TOUR for this season only after a trip to q-school.

"It's a different kind of pressure playing for your job or for extra perks," de Jonge said. "[This is] a lot better situation to be in."

Briny Baird agrees.

Baird, who has only finished outside the top 125 twice in his 10-year career, comes to Disney 126th in money and with the hope that dreams really do come true.


"Obviously being 126th on the money list is not an enviable position to be," Baird said. "About the only thing I can say about it is it's better than being 127, or worse.

"[I] gotta play well this week. If not, I've gotta come back here in two weeks, and that's pretty much my main motivation to play well this week is to not have to come back in two weeks for the simple fact that it takes -- I have to stay tournament ready for two more weeks, and you get less time in the off season, less time to shut it down, less time doing fun things with your family. I got three kids that would love to do all kinds of things besides watch me play golf."

Baird is so intent on not being distracted this week that he even left the aforementioned wife and three kids at home, despite the tournament being played at a kid's ultimate playground.

"Last year when I played here, I remember we just had so much going on," Baird said. "I remember telling my wife we need to re-think this whole Disney tournament stuff."

Baird has never won on TOUR, but he does know a little something about success on this golf course. In 2003, he made an eagle and seven straight birdies on the Palm Course at one point during his second round and in 2004 he tied for second at Disney.

Another runner-up finish would go a long way for Baird, and a lot of other players here this week.