Needing a strong finish to the end of a long PGA Tour season just to make it back to The Show the following year is nothing new for James Driscoll
The Boston native, the subject of a recent Golf Magazine profile, is no stranger to grinding away to earn his way into the top 125 of money winners who earn their playing cards for the next campaign.
Starting the week at 117th on the money list, Driscoll hoped to improve his position with a decent performance at this week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open.
Despite a lackluster season that included 10 missed cuts in 23 starts, last year’s Bubble Boy was not about to panic.
“In my mind, there’s so much golf left,” Driscoll, who in 2011 began the season-ending Children’s Miracle Hospitals Classic right on the cut line at No. 125, told PGATour.com on Wednesday. “If you have only one event, you start crunching the numbers and thinking to yourself what you need to do. With four left, it’s way too soon to start thinking that way.”
Driscoll, 34 and still seeking his first tour victory, referred to the four post-FedEx Cup events that constitute the tour’s Fall Season and are critical to the futures of several players on or near the bubble. Coming off four consecutive missed cuts before placing 75th at The Barclays and failing to qualify for the rest of the FedEx Cup series — including his hometown Deutsche Bank Championship — Driscoll took some time off to gather himself before returning for this week’s Las Vegas tilt.
“I wasn’t playing well and it gave me time to start from scratch,” said Driscoll, who told PGATour.com that he put his clubs away for two weeks before traveling to Ireland with his brother and a few pals for a little R&R and some golf. “I was kind of spinning my wheels the last couple of months.”
After a 2-over start to his Timberlake event on Thursday, which put him 12 shots behind clubhouse leader Ryan Moore, Driscoll found himself projected to finish 118th on the money list. With much golf left to play before next week’s Frys.com Open, and the afternoon wave of the opening round still on the course, the two-time Massachusetts State Amateur champ for whom great things were predicted, was, no doubt, still clinging to his hopes for a decent run through the autumn.
“I could have the best year of my career,” Driscoll, who secured his 2012 card with a T12th in the tour finale at Disney last year, “if I finish strong.”
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminerWHAT'S YOUR REACTION?