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“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it,” Herman said. “You try not to dwell on it, but you’re aware of it.”

Justin Hicks, at No. 21, has an even more tenuous hold on the top 25. Hicks has made seven of his past eight cuts, though, and feels confident he’ll play well enough to maintain, if not improve, his ranking.

“I’m not in a position to have a week of fun or sightseeing,” Hicks said. “I’ve got to take care of business out there.”

Kisner, a 26-year-old in his first full Nationwide season, felt the pressure much of the season until a win last month at the Mylan Classic in Canonsburg, Pa., assured him an easier stretch run.

He knows playing well at the Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Creek Course could mean moving up into the top 10 and increasing his PGA Tour opportunities.

Those outside the top 25 plan to let it loose one last time to reach their goal like Matt Every here last fall. Every came in 49th but won the tour championship to jump up to 10th and secure his PGA card.

The winner’s check of $180,000 is big enough to bring any of the chasers a spot on the PGA Tour.

Jeff Curl, coming off two shoulder surgeries, played only 13 events this year. However, he finished fifth, fifth, 23rd and second in his past four tournaments to move from 147th on the money list in September to 54th now.

“I’ve kind of been riding a good wave,” Curl said. “I’m really not that stressed over it, as long a I go out and do what I do.”

Herman turned pro in 2000 and has ended most seasons since then at qualifying school. His goal is to finish high enough that he won’t have to again wind up in the grueling, six-round pressure cooker playing for a chance at PGA Tour success.

If Herman slips a bit, he’ll likely still compete at Q-school where his best finish was a tie for 62nd in the final stage of the 2008 event.

“Obviously getting the card is important,” Herman said. “But I want to finish as high as I can.”