When Jimmy Walker tees it up at Sheshan International, he will become the only player to have started all four PGA Tour tournaments in this wrap-around debut season.
Hard to say that Walker hasn’t accomplished his mission – to get off to a fast start in these first tournaments. A win, a T-12 and a sixth have put Walker atop the FedEx Cup points list. His $1,278,000 in earnings in just three tournaments is more than he made in 27 tournaments in 2010 and nearly what he made all of 2011 and all of 2012.
In other words, the wrap-around season meets with his approval.
It’s been a different set of stories for a handful of others, however.
Josh Teater, Cameron Tringale, Patrick Reed, Rory Sabbatini and Lucas Glover have all played three times without earning more than $40,000. The hope to pile up FEC points early has fizzled, with Teater earning 33, Reed 30, Tringale 27, Sabbatini 15, and Glover just 6. Considering that you’ve needed 363 (Jason Bohn, 2012) and 369 (Ben Crane, 2013) to at least get the 125th and final spot into the playoffs, clearly these lads haven’t pushed out to the fast start they envisioned.
So is anyone else on the upturn? Well, how about Aaron Baddeley? He finished joint fifth in Malaysia to earn his largest check ($280,000) since the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Falling to 101st in the FEC standings in 2013, Baddeley missed the cut in 12 of his last 14 starts, then started 2013-14 with another MC at the Frys.com Open. So clearly he is hoping Malaysia is the start of better times.
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EXEMPTIONS IN PLAYOFFS: We know the landscape is different on the European Tour, but still, some of the names who teed it up at the BMW Masters in China? Sponsor invites to John Daly and Paul McGinley? Luke Guthrie riding in for his first European PGA Tour tournament? And this was a playoff?
Can you imagine The Barclays kicking off the FedEx Cup playoffs with the top 125 in the standings, oh, and maybe Matteo Manassero and Thomas Bjorn?
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WHAT WOULD TABLOIDS SAY? News item: Johnny Manziel suggests he would love to party with Charlie Sheen, Rob Gronkowski, and Tiger Woods.
Reaction: What, the Three Stooges aren’t available?
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Q-SCHOOL DOUBLING DOWN: The second stage of Q-School for the European PGA Tour gets under way Saturday at four different sites in Spain. Among those who will tee it up are a handful of Americans who are also entered into the second stage of the Web.com Tour’s Q-school here in the States. Zac Blair, Philip Francis, Jonathan Fly and Will Strickler will take on the European challenge this week, then head back home for their U.S. assignment either Nov. 12-15 or 19-22.