The FedEx Cup chase may be finished, but plenty of motivation remains for players still trying to solidify spots among the top 125 on the PGA Tour's final 2008 money list, earning them fully exempt status for 2009.
Perhaps one of the biggest names trying to make a move in the Fall Series is Davis Love III. He's No. 155 on the PGA Tour money list heading into Thursday's first round of the Turning Stone Resort Championship played at Atunyote Golf Club in Verona, N.Y.
The $6 million purse - the largest of any Fall Series event - includes a winner's share of $1.08 million. This is the second fall event as the Viking Classic was played opposite the Ryder Cup Matches two weeks ago.
Love, who hasn't played in a tournament since the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 17, said he's looking forward to getting back on the course.
"I've had a nice long break and I'm excited about the next six weeks," Love told reporters. "I'm going to play hopefully five of the six [Fall Series events]."
While a victory in the Fall Series earns a player a two-year PGA Tour exemption, there are plenty of other carrots for players to finish strong.
• The top 70 on the money list earn spots in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament.
• The top 80 earn invitations to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
• The top 125 earn spots in the Verizon Heritage, The Players Championship and the AT&T National.
Love has plenty of motivation to move up the money list. His two-year exemption on Tour is running out, and he's currently not qualified for any of the 2009 majors.
"[It] puts everything into perspective," Love said. "Players do come and go on this Tour and if you don't play well, no matter what you've done in the past, you don't get in the big tournaments."
Last year, Steve Flesch won the inaugural Fall Series event for his second 2007 title. His winnings at Turning Stone helped boost him from No. 70 to the top 30 on the money list.
Flesch took advantage of his advancement, tying for fifth in the Masters and placing sixth in the PGA Championship. He said he's once again looking forward to a strong showing in the Fall Series.
"I'm going to play three of the next five: Vegas, Scottsdale and then Disney," Flesch told reporters. "Four of the six in the fall finish, I think that's pretty good. I'm not big on the offseason. I'd rather keep playing, so I'm kind of sad to see the year coming to an end."
SITE: Verona, N.Y.
COURSE: Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort (7,482 yards, par 72)
PURSE: $6 million (winner's share: $1.08 million).
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m. EDT; Friday-Saturday, 2:30-5 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, 1:30-3 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Monday, 1-3 a.m. EDT)
October 2, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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