"You want to know why I'm not worried about it?"

Steve Elling looks at the top 125 bubble boys, and shares this anecdote that will probably have you watching Shane Bertsch's scores this week:

Shane Bertsch is No. 124 on the money list and by no means out of harm's way, but when he was approached about his stress level, he laughed.

"You want to know why I'm not worried about it?" he said.

Well, yeah. Bertsch played this year on a 28-tournament medical extension granted because he had vertigo in 2007. He was required to match the dollar amount of the player who finished No. 125 last year to keep playing.

Which he did, reaching the total at the Turning Stone event five weeks ago, which he believed cleared him for all of 2009.


However, the medical exemption is for 2008, not 2009. Flatly put, like everybody else, he needs to finish in the top 125 this week to keep his card for 2009.

A tour official had to call Bertsch on Tuesday night to break the bad news that he had misinterpreted the rulebook. Worse, Bertsch skipped playing last week, too, passing a possible check that could have padded his total.

Forget the vertigo. His head must really be spinning now. But at least he knows his true standing.