Insider: Herron's experience will pay dividends

October 17, 2012
Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

Tim Herron has been here before. He has ridden the bubble the last couple years, trying to retain his PGA TOUR card.

Herron is 135th on the money list with $537,239 in earnings. He has played in 25 events and made 14 cuts, including a T10 at the Shriners two weeks ago.


He has one huge asset, one big advantage over many of the players who are also trying to finish in the top 125 don't possess. Herron has experience.

The 42-year-old Herron has been a professional for almost 20 years. He has won four times on the PGA TOUR and amassed $18 million in earnings. Herron knows the pleasures of success and the frustration of bogeys.

I talked with Tim in Las Vegas and while he was not stress free, you could feel an underlying confidence that only comes with experience. Tim told me there is a certain feel to the Fall Series and a player has to know when to be aggressive and when to accept pars.

In both 2009 and 2010, Herron finished outside the top 125. Three years ago, Herron was 131st on the money list and in 2010 he finished 170th. Out of the 170th position, Herron rallied and finished 102nd on the 2011 money list. He knows what it's like to have success in the Fall Series and what it's like to fall short.

Herron is not the only veteran to ride the bubble this month. Brian Gay is 115th, Jeff Maggert ranks 119th and Boo Weekley checks in at 121st. Billy Mayfair sits squarely on the bubble at 125th and Jerry Kelly just one behind Herron at 136th.

All of those players are perhaps past their physical primes but all of them also possess that intangible quality of experience. They may succeed or fail in the next two tournaments but their knowledge as veterans will be a huge factor.

Youth is always inevitably served, but a veteran's knowledge can stave off the young charge.

Tim Herron has experience on his side.


Green challenge: Putting always plays a huge roll in any PGA TOUR event, but it's even more critical this week. The Seaside Course distinguishes itself with challenging green complexes. The field averaged almost 31 putts per round last season. Putting and scrambling will be huge stats at week's end. Many in the field spent the last two weeks with bent grass greens, now they must adjust to Bermuda.

Scoring: There are just two par 5s on the par-70 layout and both rank as the easiest holes on the course. The 7th and 15th holes will surrender eagles this week but pay attention to where they fall in the round. The pars fives are perfectly positioned to give a mental boost to players at critical junctures in their rounds. An eagle does more than subtract two strokes, it gives a mental boost and shot of adrenalin to the player.

Time change: It's always a difficult week when you fly from the west coast to the east coast. It's not just the travel it's the time difference. Players have spent the last two weeks on Pacific time and now have a three hour adjustment. Don't minimize that change. All players have a mental clock that counts downs to their tee time. Those coming from California have an adjustment to make.

Winner, winner: Jeff Overton has been climbing an upward bell curve and could be ready to peak. He has a naturally penetrating ball flight that serves him well in windy conditions and it's always windy at Sea Island. Overton is coming off a solid eighth place finish last week and was sixth at Seaside last season.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.