21-year-old Bud Cauley has probably secured his PGA Tour card for 2012 and saved himself a trip to Q-School. Cauley became a Special Temporary Member last week and placed T15 at The McGladrey Classic to boost his earnings to $735,150 — which would make him equivalent to No. 112 on the Tour money list.
“Well, the worst thing in the world would be for me to jinx myself, so I’m not sure what I’ll finish up here and whatnot,” said Cauley after shooting 66 on Sunday. “But obviously it’s very exciting for me, and like I said, I can’t wait to come out here and play next year.”
In eight starts on the PGA Tour, Cauley only missed the cut at the Reno-Tahoe Open. His best finish came at the Frys.com Open, where he tied for third.
Since he didn’t top ten at The McGladrey, Cauley, who hails from Jacksonville, will play on a sponsor’s exemption in the Nationwide Tour’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open this week.
He needs to match No. 125 on the official Tour money list to secure his card for next year. For him to be displaced outside the top 125, Nos. 112-125 would have to play really, really well at the Disney. Tour officials seem confident that Cauley is safe.
He’ll become only the sixth player since 1980 to go from college to the Tour in the same season without enduring Q-school. The other players are Gary Hallberg, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore.
“Obviously those guys have definitely done all right, so I’m proud of myself and happy with the way the summer is going,” said Cauley in response to his feelings on joining an elite list of players. “Just can’t wait to get out here.”