Tom Gillis at make-or-break point to keep PGA Tour card

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Tom Gillis has one more week — this week — to keep his PGA Tour card.

Tom Gillis of Lake Orion needs to  earn about $94,000, or finish around 15th place at the Honda Classic to keep his PGA Tour card.

Because of a shoulder injury last season, he was granted four PGA Tour events this season to keep his card.

And the Honda Classic this week in Florida is his last chance. He needs to earn about $94,000, or finish around 15th place.

“I don’t really look at it (as now or never),” Gillis said during a telephone interview from Florida on Tuesday. “At the end of the day, I’m gonna play somewhere.

“I’d prefer it to be on the PGA Tour, but you never know.”

Gillis, 47, is in position to keep his card because of one good showing last season — a second-place finish in the John Deere Classic in July, when he lost in a playoff to Jordan Spieth.

The showing earned Gillis $507,600 and put him in position to hang on to his card.

In three events this season, he’s withdrawn, missed the cut and finished tied for 70th at Pebble Beach.

He said is game is rounding into form, slowly.

“Playing so much at the end of the season, I probably got a little burned out,” Gillis said. “It’s coming around.

“I haven’t had a whole lot to show for it.”

But, at least, Gillis is making his final pitch on a course (PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) he likes and has had success on.

In 2012, Gillis finished tied for second at the Honda Classic, earning what at the time was his best Tour paycheck, $501,600. He was 25th in 2013, and tied for 17th in 2010.

The Honda usually features windy, tough conditions, which suits Gillis’ game.

“It does give me confidence,” Gillis said. “It’s one of the most difficult we play all year.”

Gillis won’t be overly distraught if he doesn’t keep his PGA Tour card. The Lake Orion native has gotten used to the ups and downs during his career. In fact, he spent Monday night fishing in Jupiter, Fla.

If he doesn’t get the $94,000 this week, he would maintain PGA Tour status, allowing him to play another five or six events this season. He would play the remainder of his events on the Tour, the PGA Tour’s development circuit.

On the Tour, good seasons in 2009 and 2014 earned him his PGA Tour card for the following season, and he sees no reason why he can’t get that done again.

“I’ve done that before; it wasn’t like it was impossible,” Gillis said. “I mean, it would be a little disappointment. But I also know it’s not easy to do.”