Stankowski moves closer to retaining Tour card

Paul Stankowski during the first round of the Puerto Rico Open.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Paul Stankowski recorded his second top 10 of the season when he shot 64 in the final round at the Greenbrier Classic to tie for fourth.

It was the first time since 2003 that Stankowski, 40, has had multiple top 10s in a season. At 133rd on the money list ($487,421) and 139th in the FedEx Cup standings, he has a chance to retain his PGA Tour card.

“I hired a new teacher (Mike Abbott) for the first time in 19 years, and it’s been really cool,” Stankowski said. “He’s shown me some things – not that I haven’t heard before, but for some reason it clicked. It’s pretty fun. It’s fun to hit more than just one golf shot.”

Since a lone top 10 in 2004, Stankowski has had a second surgery on his left wrist and torn the tendons that forced him to miss the 2005 season. Since 2008, Stankowski has been pain-free, but played poorly.

With Abbott, Stankowski has changed ball flight from a high cut to a draw. Stankwoski has adjusted and found his game again.

“I’d love to win again,” he said. “I almost made the Ryder Cup in 1997 and had a really good chance. The fact that I get to play and have opportunities to still do it, I feel like a kid.”

• • •

Woody Austin rode a hot putter to his largest paycheck in almost two years Sunday at the Greenbrier Classic and propelled himself back into the FedEx Cup Playoffs at 121st in the standings.

Dubbed “Aquaman” due to his water antics at the 2007 Presidents Cup, Austin’s game seems to have been mostly under water this season. Missed cuts and low finishes have dotted his resume. However, his final-round 63 left him tied for fourth at Greenbrier.

“I’ll build on the putting aspect of it,” Austin said. “It’s really hard to take too much out of this golf course because there’s really no test to this place. Nothing against the golf course, but there’s no test. It’s just a putting contest this week.”

With a check of $226,200, his highest since a T-3 at Turning Stone in 2008, Austin has two more chances – Turning Stone and Wyndham – to make the playoffs.

“I’m trying play my way into the FedEx so I don’t have a month and a half off,” Austin said. “I don’t have a job for next year either.”

Austin is 116th on the money list.

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