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Home Learning on the job

Brooks Koepka made the most of his opportunity. An unsolicited invitation to the Frys.com event produced a T3 finish. Equally important he earned $240,000 for his efforts and a spot in this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. In the 2013 season, which just ended, Peter Hanson finished 125th in earnings with $610,178. Koepka’s payday last week represents nearly 40% of last year’s number needed to keep a card on the PGA TOUR. If he has another successful week in Vegas, he could give his passport a rest. “You know, it's kind of funny. I didn't really win much growing up. I felt like I was always close, put myself in position, and never was able to come through,” he remarked after the third round at the Frys.com. “You know ever since turned professional I feel like I've won more professional events,” he continued. Koepka won three times on the European Challenge Tour in 2013. “I feel like learning how to win, that is a big deal.” Maybe lady luck will be on his side in Sin City at the TPC Summerlin.

Koepka, who finished tied for third at the Frys.com Open on a Sponsor Exemption after holding the 36- and 54-hole leads, has one other angle to gaining membership on the PGA TOUR. He earned 134 non-member FedExCup points for his finish at the Frys.com tournament. A new change in the PGA TOUR Regulations for 2013-14, non-member FedExCup points equal to the previous year’s No. 150 in the final FedExCup points list replaces official money for players to receive Special Temporary Membership. The former Florida State All-America needs a total of 278 non-member points (last year’s No. 150) to earn Special Temporary Membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited Sponsor Exemptions through the Wyndham Championship as he attempts to earn his 2014-15 PGA TOUR card through the Non-member Money List or Non-member FedExCup Points List.