Allen gets at least one more shot at PGA Tour in 2009
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For one of the few times in his career, Michael Allen could play a round of golf and relax. He could take in the sights, hear the sounds and breathe easy. It was a glorious day at Walt Disney World, and Allen enjoyed every bit of it.
Sure, the day's work at the Children's Miracle Network Classic became simpler on Sunday since he was on his way to a final-round 67 and a ninth-place finish, which paid him $133,400.
More important to the veteran golfer, however, was the fact that Allen began the day knowing he had a job next year.
That has often not been the case for Allen, 49, who has been to the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament more times than he has fingers with which to count.
"This is the highlight of the year," Allen said.He ended the 2008 PGA Tour season with $981,263 in earnings, good enough to finish 106th on the money list.
After starting the final event of the season in the precarious 123rd spot -- only the top 125 are fully exempt for 2009 -- Allen knew he had to grind out one more decent tournament.
And it was important that he did so, because with his 50th birthday looming in January, Allen had his eyes on the Champions Tour if this gig didn't work out. Not that the 50-and-over circuit was any guarantee, either. Allen's $4.6 million in career earnings means he would be several million dollars short under the tour's all-time money list criteria for being fully exempt. So he was prepared to go to Champions Tour Q-school and say goodbye to the PGA Tour."I would have been done," he said. "I would have been 126th or 128th [on the money list] or something like that, and that would have been tough. I've been through Q-school so much. These days, it's getting harder and harder to get out here out of Q-school. I was going to go to the Champions Tour, see how it went and start a new career.
"The big day was Friday," Allen said. "I knew I had to make the cut. I shot only 2 under the first day and I knew I had to go shoot 3 or 4 under [Friday]. And that was really hard. Once I [shot 67 Friday], it was like I didn't have any pressure. I knew I had a cushion."
Follow The MoneyHow much have purses increased on the PGA Tour? Well, five players made more than $800,000 and didn't earn their card for 2009. Below is part of the final standings for the 2008 PGA Tour money list, of which the top 125 players earned the right to play on the PGA Tour next year.
|No. 120||Brett Quigley||$878,216|
|No. 121||Nick Watney||$878,173|
|No. 122||Angel Cabrera||$868,182|
|No. 123||Jason Bohn||$866,786|
|No. 124||Brad Adamonis||$862,413|
|No. 125||Martin Laird||$852,752|
|No. 126||Shane Bertsch||$841,248|
|No. 127||Bob Estes||$829,395|
|No. 128||Patrick Sheehan||$805,897|
|No. 129||Joe Durant||$802,568|
|No. 130||Charles Warren||$800,694|
|• Complete 2008 PGA Tour money list|
Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.