Rookie diary: No. 16 and the reshuffle

March 1, 2010

(Note: Chris Wilson shot 72-72 at TPC Scottsdale to miss the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He is No. 166 on the money list with $33,360.)

After getting into the Waste Management Phoenix Open as an alternate, I really wanted to play well, but did not make the cut.

Some players feel the need to jet out of town after missing a cut, but I stayed for a full day Saturday to take advantage of the nice facilities and the fact that my instructor is in Phoenix.

I will say this has been my favorite event thus far this year. I can’t say enough about how cool and good for golf a hole like No. 16 is. I can understand why some players may not like that atmosphere, but I tried to embrace the fans and remind myself they were pulling for me to make a birdie, and not waiting to boo me off the course. I birdied the hole on Thursday which was one of the coolest feelings ever.

This week I will talk about the reshuffle, and how it works and effects players. Each new PGA Tour member is given a priority number based on where he finished at Q-school or on the Nationwide Tour money list.

There is a reshuffle every 5-7 events where all those players are re-ordered based on how much money they have earned this year. So even though I have made more cuts than a few players, a guy with one 20th-place finish is going to be ahead of me because it is worth more money. I started with a priority number of 23 and after the reshuffle my number is 29.

Wilson’s Rookie Diary

Ever wonder what life is like for a PGA Tour rookie? Well, Chris Wilson is here to tell you. Wilson, 25, will file a weekly diary on Golfweek.com to give you an insider’s view of the PGA Tour. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/TheRealCWilSon.

To only lose six spots while not having played well this year is encouraging. I know this next reshuffle period is after only five events, and one is the Bay Hill Invitational, so it will be important again to play well and play often to move up.

Now that is the math portion, but how it impacts players is even more important. Very basically a player’s number determines if he will get into certain events. Some of the stronger fields coming up such as the Honda Classic, Quail Hollow, and Verizon, will all require a relatively high number to get in because we come in line after all the exempt Tour players from last year.

I just snuck into the field this week at the Honda Classic here in West Palm Beach, Fla., and have some great memories about this area from December and finishing 12th at Q-School’s final stage. Once again I am staying with a former Northwestern golfer and alum for the week and really looking forward to having a good following, since my girlfriend and my parents will be here for their first event of the year.

Being back on East Coast time is different too. Hopefully I’ll be able to wake up for my morning tee time this week!

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