Mathias Gronberg: The Harry Houdini of the PGA Tour
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Mathias Gronberg, one of four 54-hole co-leaders at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, is the Harry Houdini of the PGA Tour. The guy constantly finds ways to skirt danger and keep his PGA Tour card.
He finished No. 24 on this year’s Nationwide Tour money list to earn 2010 PGA Tour playing privileges, which are given only to the top 25.
Though Gronberg is safe for 2010, the two-year exemption that would come with a Disney win would go a long way for a player who’s perennially scrambling to keep his card.
He’s twice earned a PGA Tour card at Q-School without a shot to spare, and twice came to this season-ending event on the bubble for the top 125.
Here’s how Gronberg has earned playing privileges in the past six years:
2004: He played his rookie PGA Tour season in 2004 after winning the previous year’s Q-School. The win came after seven unsuccessful Q-School attempts. He finished No. 132 on the money list to retain conditional status.
2005: Gronberg finished No. 160 on the PGA Tour money list but regained his card for 2006 through the Q-School. He finished T-26 to earn his PGA Tour card on the number.
2006: Gronberg earned less than $12,000 in his final four PGA Tour events of the year but finished 124th on the money list, about $16,000 ahead of No. 126 Rich Beem.
2007: Gronberg finished No. 125 on the money list after starting Disney week at No. 124. He kept his Tour card with just $13,000 to spare.
2008: Gronberg had to return to Q-School after finishing 192nd on the 2008 money list. He finished T-18 at Q-School to again earn his card for the following year without a shot to spare.
2009: Gronberg’s low Q-School status meant he spent much of this year splitting time between the Nationwide and PGA tours. He needed just nine Nationwide starts to clinch a PGA Tour card, one off the record for fewest starts necessary to graduate from the Nationwide Tour.