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"I think it makes a man of you if I come through this and get into that top 125," he said. "Then I think going forward, you use that as something very positive to fall on where you have one opportunity to perform and you did. These guys on the bubble have had more than one opportunity."
The players from No. 120 to No. 130 on the money list averaged 25 starts this year, and their own play put them in this predicament. Everyone through No. 122 -- that would be 48-year-old Jeff Maggert -- have enough of a cushion that they should be safe. That's not the case for Kevin Chappell at No. 123 or Rod Pampling at No. 124.
And that's certainly not the case for those beyond No. 125, such as Justin Leonard.
Leonard is one of the more under-appreciated players on tour. He got his card out of college without ever having to go to Q-school, and he has never come particularly close to losing his card. Despite being a peashooter in an era of bazookas, his 12 wins include the British Open and The Players Championship, and he lost two majors in playoffs.
But this has been a year to forget, and Leonard finds himself at No. 138 going into the last tournament.
Leonard had to be told that.
"I've made it a serious effort not to look," he said. "I don't know where I am. I don't know what I need to do -- just go out and play and do the best I can every day."
Asked for his thoughts on the week, the Texan smiled.
"The kids are having a blast," he said. "Usual Disney week, shuttling between the parks and the golf course."
Leonard found himself consumed with the money list in the late spring, when he wasn't getting much out of his game. He stopped worrying about results and tied for fifth at the Reno-Tahoe Open and tied for 19th at Greensboro. But when he returned six weeks later and opened with a 64 in Las Vegas, he again was consumed of trying to make the most out of a good start and stumbled.
"I got caught up in what I needed to do," Leonard said.
He's not that bad off. If he loses his card, Leonard is No. 9 in career earnings at just over $31 million, and he can use a pair of one-time exemptions for being in the top 25 and the top 50 on the money list. He plans on using only one of them, and that depends on this week.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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