NORTON, Mass. — Chez Reavie lost full PGA Tour status in May, when his medical exemption from knee surgery last year ran out. He's not eligible for any Fall Series events after the first one in Las Vegas.
Not that it matters anymore. He can even blow off Vegas if he wants.
"It's unbelievable," the 30-year-old Arizona native said. "Starting the year on a medical and not knowing what's going to happen, to be able to go to the Tour Championship … it's what I wanted to do."
The 30 players who reach the Tour Championship receive automatic berths in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. Back in May, Reavie would have been happy just to regain his card for 2012.
After sitting out the second half of 2010, Reavie had 12 starts to bring his winnings up to the $786,977 that marked No. 125 on last year's money list. He came up short but dropped into the next category, in which he could play events bypassed by top names.
It was enough to go on a summer run of five top-20 finishes in six starts, earning a berth in the FedEx Cup postseason. Last week's performance took care of the rest.
Belly up: When Phil Mickelson put a belly putter into play at TPC Boston, it was the latest in a run of marquee names giving the longer club a try.
Jim Furyk switched to the belly putter for the PGA Championship and had two top-10 finishes in his next four starts. Ernie Els made the move after the Masters; Retief Goosen followed shortly thereafter.
"It had some merit," Mickelson said after a 63-69 weekend. "I'm going to practice with it a little more and see if I can get a better feel, a better touch with it."
Tap-ins: J.B. Holmes returns home to Orlando on Thursday, one week after brain surgery to correct Chiari malformations that produced vertigo-like symptoms. Plans call for him to begin chipping and putting within 30 days, with a full return for the start of the 2012 season. … Not only does the PGA Tour have its lone open date this week, the Champions and Nationwide circuits also are idle. … Ten LPGA Futures Tour graduates will receive their 2012 cards after this week's finale in Albany, N.Y.
— Jeff Shain