Geoff Ogilvy is hoping to repeat his 2014 heroics as he leads a group of veteran Australians at the Reno-Tahoe Open needing a big late surge to make the US PGA Tour playoffs.
Ogilvy burst out of a long slump with a victory in the modified stableford event 12 months ago that catapulted him on to the elimination playoff series right through to the season-ending Tour Championship.
The 2006 US Open champion needs something similar again as he sits in 144th on the FedEx Cup standings with just three weeks remaining in the hunt to be inside the top 125.
While his performances in his last two starts, the US and British Opens weren’t headliners, they produced sparks of his best.
“I was ready to kind of write off the year last year about this time,” Ogilvy said.
“But a combination of a few things, nice place here, good format for me, and obviously the timing to win was right and things worked out.
“I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t have a really good finish to the year again. My game feels like in a pretty good place.”
While Ogilvy knows that if he fails to make the top 125 he still has a tour card for next season, the same cannot be said for Aaron Baddeley (146th), Cameron Percy (148th), Greg Chalmers (171st) and Robert Allenby (182nd).
The quartet needs a huge result to push towards the playoffs and to keep their jobs on the main tour, particularly as they aren’t guaranteed another start this season given they are not in the US PGA Championship next week.
If they can manage to stay between 126th and 150th on the list they will miss the FedEx Cup playoffs but cement conditional status on the main tour, good for a handful of starts only.
All players finishing 126th to 200th can enter the secondary web.com tour playoffs where they compete with the top 75 players on that tour for 25 main tour cards over a month of tournaments.
Allenby has the luxury of a top-50 career money earning exemption up his sleeve of he fails.
Rod Pampling (190th) is also in the field this week but is already heading back to the main tour thanks to his standing on the web.com tour.
The top 25 in the regular season (Pampling is 12th) are given tour cards before the playoffs begin with the extra tournaments used to work out their order of status with the other 25 players who can earn a place in the playoffs.
Rhein Gibson (27th), Mathew Goggin (29th) and Steve Allan (31st) remain the best chances to join Pampling with just four events of their season remaining to jump inside the top 25 while Oliver Goss (62nd), Bronson La’Cassie (82nd), Brett Drewitt (89th), James Nitties (96th), Aron Price (104th), Alistair Presnell (117th), Bryden Macpherson (121st), Ashley Hall (123rd) and Adam Crawford (126th) all have a battle to qualify inside the top 75.