The cheque for US$27,300 Danny Lee received for finishing T38th in the Quail Hollow Championship at the beginning of May will forever be special to him. It was the first he actually earned as a professional golfer. Today, he'll be feeling even better about the world.
He started the final round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Texas in a tie for 29th place, but leapfrogged a number of players courtesy of a final-round 66. That left him in a tie for 13th, and earned him a cheque for US$125,666.67. With earnings in excess of US $150k since he joined the play-for-pay ranks, Lee is still among the also-rans, but he has two immediate targets. The first is to break into the top 150 in earnings (the cut-off is currently US$219,000) giving him conditional status on the PGA Tour, and potential entry into a whole lot more events. The second is a bit further away - finish the season inside the top 125 money-earners, and get full membership of the Tour for next year. 125th place at the moment is US$284,935, so another cheque similar to todays will propel Lee closer to his goal.
And Tim Wilkinson had a similarly improved day. He started in 40th place, but shot a final-round 67 to finish in a 12-way tie for 23rd. His earnings of $48,777 propelled him from 133rd on the money list to 119th, and for now, inside the top 125 with earnings for the year to date of just shy of US$300k. Wilkinson is never going to be a superstar, but he's a gutsy competitor who makes the most of what he's got, and we are pleased to see his career heading in the right directio - even though Danny Lee commands most of the media's attention back home.