For most in the Nationwide Tour Championship at Charleston's Daniel Island Club, the four-month stretch Kevin Johnson completed would be cause for alarm, if not outright panic.
Missing 10 cuts in 13 tournaments is hardly the "momentum" you want when trying to finish among the year's top 25 and earn a spot on the 2010 PGA Tour.
For Johnson, who played on the weekend only three times since mid-June ... well, it's been frustrating. This week, it's also irrelevant.
That's because from May 28-June 14, the former three-time All-American at Clemson was the Nationwide Tour's hottest player. Johnson, 42, won twice and tied for 12th, earning $201,065 and locking up a place on next year's PGA Tour.
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At No. 12 with $262,690, Johnson cannot fall out of the top 25 no matter how this week goes. So what's his motivation, other than to please a gallery that will include wife Krista and childhood friend Rich Rankin, general manager of nearby Dunes West golf resort?
"Well, a third win (which would mean an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour)," Johnson said. "And if I'm higher on the money list, that gets me into more events early next year."
Cue a yawn. It's not that the Massachusetts native doesn't want to play well this week; it's just nice for a change knowing he doesn't have to.
"One year, I went in (to the tour championship) 14th on the list when they were taking (the top) 15; I played poorly, finished 16th, missed by one," he said. "In the back of my mind, I know that can't happen this time, and that's a pretty exciting feeling.
"I'd love to play well this week, but I'm not forced to play well. They can't take my (PGA Tour) card away."
In a professional career dating from 1990, Johnson has never had that luxury. His lone trip to the PGA Tour in 2001 lasted one season and the past two years he made just six cuts in 36 Nationwide events.
Then earlier this year, he reconnected with instructor Jeff Leischman, who helped rebuild his swing from his Clemson days. Johnson then won the Rex Hospital Open (Raleigh) and the Knoxville Open.
Johnson does not believe having his PGA Tour spot locked up has blurred his focus. If anything, his pursuit of that third, instant-elevation victory might have created more pressure, he said.
"I was definitely trying to get that," he said. "I was working as hard or harder, but sometimes the harder you work, the harder it gets."
For players ranked 19th-60th, that final money list is the difference between a career dream and another year in the boonies. For Johnson and the others ranked 1-18 - those who already know their 2010 futures - Sunday cannot get here soon enough.
"It'll probably hit me when I get my (PGA Tour) card," he said. "It's like my game lately: (Leischman) told me, 'I can give you a 'band-aid' and you might go out and win this week, or you can work the next two months'" and be ready for 2010.
"My history has been trying to get through the week, so it's nice not to have to do that. I might not see the results yet, but hopefully in January it'll be there."
This week? Time to enjoy.