THE FALL IS WHEN the leaves turn and PGA Tour players (and wannabes) scramble to get in the top 125 on the official money list to secure their card for the coming season.
Tom Pernice Jr. is one of those lads. Only Pernice is no lad. He’s a fossil, age 51. At a time when most players his age would see dollars signs flashing in neon on the Champions Tour, Pernice is intent on playing with the flat bellies a while longer.
“I still think I can compete against the best in the world,” Pernice told Golfweek.
The 28-year veteran missed earning back his PGA Tour card at the 2009 Q School by a single shot. And get this: Pernice took a double on the last hole. That is nightmare material.
In the 2010 season, he’s played 20 events on the PGA Tour, earning $573,551, and eight events on the Champions Tour, banking $798,410. Add them together and it’s a very good year. But Tom needs more of the PGA Tour bucks. He currently sits at 138th on the PGA Tour money list, so he has work to do to get his card.
This week Pernice is in the field at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, California, which has a purse of $5 million. This week’s Champions Tour event, the Administaff Small Business Classic in The Woodlands, Texas, has a $1.7 million payout. That’s a big difference. But it’s not about the money for Tom. He’s still determined to tee it up with the young guys.
“When I feel it’s time, then I’ll go,” he said. “As of now, I’m not ready to go yet.”
−The Armchair Golfer