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“It’s probably going to be difficult for tour school players to get in events early in the year,” Maggert said, looking ahead to 2013. “Guys will play a lot of tournaments because of the shorter season. It’s good to be fully exempt. The top 125 on the money list is probably a bigger deal than in the past.”

The top 150 used to be significant. Even if a player wasn’t fully exempt, he could count on playing about 15 to 18 tournaments a year.

Not anymore.

“It’s not like 125 is really good status and 126 to 150 is pretty good,” David Mathis said after wrapping up his tour card a few weeks ago. “Now it’s like 125 is awesome and 126 to 150 is terrible. That’s kind of how the players view it.”

Kevin Chappell began the Fall Series by getting engaged. It’s going to be easier to plan a wedding knowing that he’s fully exempt next year, but the Californian has work left. Chappell is at No. 123, and only $7,318 separates him from Gary Christian at No. 127. Even finishing last at Disney pays more than that, so it starts with making the cut.

“If you finish 126th and don’t go to tour school, you’re 50 people behind the guy that’s 125th on the money list,” Maggert said. “You’ve put 50 guys ahead of you fighting for spots to get into a tournament. And if you don’t get any starts until two or three months into the season, with a short season you’re pretty far behind.”

A year ago, Roland Thatcher missed the cut at Disney and lost his card by $1,695. Thatcher played out of the No. 126-150 category this year and got into 20 events, a number that figures to shrink next year. D.J. Trahan finished 125th on the money list and played 26 times.

Disney bills itself as the “happiest place on earth.” There were plenty of long faces on the practice green, which was quiet even for a Tuesday.