St. Simons Island, Ga. • Bud Cauley has the same good vibes at Sea Island, even if the stakes are different this time.
The McGladrey Classic is where Cauley did well enough to secure his PGA Tour card, joining an elite list of players who went from college to a full tour card without going to Q-school. Now he's after his first win, and Cauley took a big step Thursday by overpowering the course for an 8-under 62.
It was his best score on the tour, and it gave him a share of the lead with Marco Dawson.
Winning is about all that's left for Cauley, the 22-year-old who left Alabama after his junior season. He already has made more than $1.7 million this year, and has moved up to No. 55 in the world.
"Obviously, I've thought about winning every tournament I've teed up in this year," Cauley said. "It's been a long year, and although I've played a lot this year, I haven't won. It's still a goal of mine, but I'm not thinking about that while I'm out there, or putting any more pressure on myself this week. The season is kind of winding down. It would be great to win here."
Dawson is in a more desperate position.
The McGladrey Classic is the penultimate PGA Tour event on the schedule that counts toward the money list, and Dawson is at No. 216 with only $62,026 in 20 tournaments. The top 125 earn full cards for next year, so Dawson likely has to win to avoid a return to Q-school. His year has gone so badly that Dawson doesn't even look at the money list.
"I'm so far away from it that the only thing I can do is just try and play well," Dawson said. "And when I am playing well, just to keep it going instead of kind of messing it up like I have during the year."
Two guys on the bubble Boo Weekley (No. 121) and Rod Pampling (No. 124) joined Greg Owen at 64.
Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, the tournament host, was in a group at 65.
PGA Tour acquires Canadian Tour
The PGA Tour acquired the Canadian Tour, giving it smaller circuits north of the border and in South America as a potential starting point to reach the big leagues.
Web.com Tour cards will be awarded to the top five players on what now will be called "PGA Tour Canada," with the next five players given exemptions into the final stage of qualifying school for the Web.com Tour. The Canadian circuit will have at least eight tournaments next year, each with prize money of about $150,000.
The tour previously started the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, which began in September and features 11 tournaments.
Each tour will have separate Q-schools.
The PGA Tour this year provided funding and other services to the Canadian Professional Golf Tour.
Bud Cauley -8
Marco Dawson -8
Greg Owen -6
Boo Weekley -6
Rod Pampling -6
Daniel Summerhays +1