YOU just had to feel for Cameron Percy on Sunday – beaten by a hole in one on the fourth play off hole of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital Open.
Percy, a 35 year old “rookie” on the US PGA Tour, seemed to have all the momentum going his way after birdying the 18th hole to make it into the three way play off with Jonathon Bird and Martin Laird.
It wasn’t just the win he was playing for, but a place on the tour next year.
As Percy wrote in his player blog this week:
“As most of you know we played three holes and the official said, “I think it’s too dark boys better come back tomorrow unless you want to go one more hole?” I said let’s go as 17 was now a perfect 7 iron for me and I was confident I could make birdie.
Not a good career move as J.Byrd hits a perfect 6 iron in the hole!!!!
What a shot, not that I saw it go in but the crowd reaction told us it did.”
Percy did collect about US$380,000 for losing the playoff though, the biggest collect of his career.
It lifted him from 185 to 144 on the US Tour money list with earnings of about US$600,000 – still about US$150,000 below the amount estimated at US$750,000 required to finish in the top 125 money winners.
He again needs to finish in the top 10 at the final US PGA Tour event of the year in two weeks to have a chance of retaining his playing card for 2011.
13 Aussies already qualified
He would join 12 current Aussie US Tour players who have qualified for next year’s circuit by finishing well inside the top 125 on the money list.
These include Robert Allenby (17th on money list) Jason Day (21) Adam Scott (28) Geoff Ogilvy (29) Stuart Appleby (38) Marc Leishman (56) Michael Sim (64) Matt Jones (70) John Senden (72) Greg Chalmers (89) Steve Elkington (96) and Aaron Baddeley (110).
Another seven can clinch a place in two weeks at the final official event the Children’s Network Classic in Florida.
They are Aron Price (127) Nathan Green (138) Cameron Percy (144) James Nitties (152) Mathew Goggin (156) Jarrod Lyle (161) and Rod Pampling (177).
On the secondary Nationwide Tour, Steven Bowditch is the only Australian to have locked in graduation to the top tour next year.
With the final Nationwide event, the $1 million Nationwide Tour Championship for the top 60 money winners being played this week, Scott Gardiner is also in the top 25 at 22 but faces many challengers to keep his place.
Overall there are six Australians in the Tour Championship and each has a chance to win a US card outright, simply by winning the event. They also can win enough money to grab a top-25 spot.
Apart from Bowditch and Gardiner, the other Aussies are: Won Joon Lee, who shot up to 33 on the money list with his runner-up finish last week, Alastair Presnell (35 on the money list), Gavin Coles (44) and Ewan Porter 52.