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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Who Knew?

By Charlie Schroeder

That sigh of relief you heard last Sunday came from Justin Leonard when he beat Jesper Parnevik on the second playoff hole of the Valero Texas Open. Leonard's victory, his first since 2005, catapulted him up 53 spots on the Money List from 94th to 41st. While recent lackluster play isn't what we've come to expect from the 1997 British Open Champion, it's hard to feel too bad for him. After all he sits in a very comfortable 8th place on the all-time Money Leaders list.

How much has Leonard won? After his recent victory his total comes to about $22 million. The victory also catapulted him (by $600,000) past Mark Calcavecchia to take the 8th place spot.

Wait a minute you say. Calc is in 9th place all-time? Yup, I had the same reaction.

I'm not even going to tell you who's in first place all-time. He has $76 million, while Vijay comes in second with $54 million and Phil, poor guy, has only $45 million settling for a distant third.

But what's really shocking, however, is how many major-less players are in the top fifteen. In fact Kenny Perry (10th place), Stewart Cink (11th), Scott Verplank (12th), Stuart Appleby (13th) and Fred Funk (14th) all have close to $21 million each and none of them have won a major.

It's a sign of the Tiger Times. Purses have grown considerably since he started dominating the tour and all players have been rewarded. Consider this year's money list. Major-less Harrison Frazer is currently holding down the #125 spot with a healthy $688,000. Good cash, yes, but unless Frazer and others below him can't crack the Top 125 in the next four tournaments they'll have to head back to Q-school.

Don't feel too bad for Frazer if he doesn't earn his exemption this year. He ranks 94th on the all-time money list with $7.9 million, 53 spots ahead of 19-time major winner Jack Nicklaus who comes in with $5.7 million.

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