For a guy who's currently fighting for his PGA life, Glen Hnatiuk certainly doesn't seem like a desperate man.
Hnatiuk spent all day yesterday hosting his annual charity golf tournament at his hometown course, the Selkirk Golf and Country Club, where he chatted casually with fans, shook hands, and answered questions about his future on professional golf's top circuit with a calm, zen-like tone.
Hnatiuk is playing this PGA season on a major medical exemption, because he had surgery on his elbow last May and couldn't complete the 2004 season. He had won $103,500 over nine events prior to his surgery and the PGA decided that, in order for Hnatiuk to keep his card, he would have to win $519,762 over his first 20 events of this season, which, when added to the $103,500 he had already won, would equal the total won by Tag Ridings, who finished 125th on the PGA money list in 2004.
Hnatiuk has played in 15 events so far this year, winning $118,729. That means he has to make a little over $400,000 in his last five events or it's back to qualifying school.
"It will take a couple of top fives or top 10's," Hnatiuk said yesterday. "It's in the back of my mind but I know if I play well it will be taken care of.
"I'm not going to change the way I play," he said. "Whatever happens happens. I've got enough things to worry about."
ELBOW FEELS FINE
Hnatiuk has struggled this season, missing the cut in 10 of the 15 events he's played in. He said his elbow feels fine and that's not what's hurting his game.
"When I hit it good it's as good as it's ever been, but right now it's the consistency," he said.
Hnatiuk did well this past weekend at the John Deere Classic though, where he made the cut after missing six straight, then finished tied for 36th place and won $19,250.
His best-ever PGA finish was a tie for third at the 2000 B.C. Open.
If Hnatiuk can equal a finish like that in one of his next five events, he'll be well on his way to keeping his card.
Hnatiuk is taking this weekend off before playing in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee next weekend, the Buick Open in Michigan July 25 to 31 and The International in Colorado Aug. 1 to 7.
If he doesn't end up making the required $400,000, Hnatiuk has yet to decide what he'll do, although he does acknowledge that going back to Q-school is one option.
"I'll wait to make that decision until it happens," he said.