HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) — Brad Faxon and Brett Quigley have more in common than their New England roots.
Faxon is out for the year after having surgery on his right foot to remove bunions. Quigley will have surgery on his right knee to repair torn cartilage as soon as he is eliminated from the FedEx Cup, which would be early as this week if he finishes lower than second at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
And both might be paying close attention to the money list the last two months.
Faxon, 46, didn’t make a cut until March and his best finish was a tie for 33rd in Hartford. It became difficult to push off on the inside of his right foot, and equally painful was not playing well enough to qualify for any of the majors for the first time in his career.
“It was getting worse,” Faxon said. “The surgeon told me if I didn’t do surgery soon, I’d have a more difficult surgery later.”
Faxon’s two-year exemption from winning in Hartford runs out this year, so he is hopeful of staying in the top 25 on the career money list to use a one-time exemption for 2008.
He is No. 24 by about $900,000 over David Duval, who might play in the fall depending on his family situation. Of greater concern are the players right behind Duval — Jerry Kelly, K.J. Choi and Adam Scott, all of whom are within $2 million of Faxon, with three FedEx Cup events worth at least $7 million each.
If he stays inside the top 25, Faxon will use the one-time exemption. If he falls below that, Faxon said he probably would use his status as a past winner and ask for sponsors’ exemptions to get by next year, wanting to save his one-time exemption for top 50 in career money until he is closer to being eligible for the Champions Tour.
Quigley’s right knee began bothering him in February, and only recently did he discover it was a torn meniscus. He took cortisone shots before The Barclays, but still walked with a noticeable limp. He will miss the rest of the year after surgery.
Once the FedEx Cup is over, the PGA Tour reverts to the money list and the top 125 keep their cards for 2008. Quigley tied for 25th at Westchester and earned $49,035. That put him at $717,411 for the year.
He should be safe.
A year ago, Darren Clarke nailed down the 125th spot on the money list at about $660,000, and tour officials still believe $700,000 is a safe number. Then again, no one knows what to expect out of the seven tournaments that make up the Fall Series, especially since the first one at Turning Stone has a $6 million purse.
For the most part, the Fall Series could exclusively be for players beyond the top 70, which could mean more starts and more money earned over the final two months of the season. Quigley could help himself with another strong week in Boston.
If for some reason he fell out of the top 125, he could apply for a minor medical exemption.
“That would be a last resort,” Quigley said. “I don’t even want to go down that road.”