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PGA Tour dangles in front of Allred

Jason Allred faces a crossroads this week in the Wyndham Championship, the final PGA Tour event of the regular season.

The tournament starts Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Allred, an Ashland native, has fared so well this year — despite non-member status and limited opportunities — that he's in position to play himself onto the tour next season.

He'll have to make the top 125 in tour earnings to gain exemption in 2015. In eight PGA events, he’s pocketed $612,477, which would place him 130th on the tour list.

Allred is $35,409 out of the No. 125 spot, occupied by Bud Cauley with $647,886.

A top 125 season finish in FedExCup points would also land him on the tour next year, but he’s further back in points than earnings.

If he comes up shy of making the tour in earnings, he’ll have a chance to gain his PGA card through the Web.com Tour Finals, for which he’s already qualified. The Finals, a stretch of four tournaments, begin Aug. 28.

Allred gained entry into the Wyndham with a top-10 finish 1 1/2 weeks ago at the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nev. Birdies on three of his final six holes, including the 18th, nudged him into a tie for sixth place and kept alive his hopes of using this week as a springboard to the PGA.

On Thursday, he tees off in the first round on the No. 1 tee at 5:50 a.m. PDT with Marc Turnesa and Brad Fritsch. For Friday’s second round, theirs will be the penultimate group, going off No. 10 at 11:05 PDT.

Allred has taken advantage of Monday qualifying and sponsor exemptions to get in the eight events. No one in the top 174 on the PGA money list has played fewer than 11 times, and most have been in at least twice that many tournaments.

His biggest splash was in the Northern Trust Open, where he tied for third. Prior to Reno, he tied for 15th at The Memorial and tied for 48th in the Byron Nelson. Allred has missed four cuts.

He has conditional status on the Web.com Tour and has played in four events. He made the top 25 in two, earning a combined $20,640. He missed the cut in the other two.

Allred has twice had full status on the PGA Tour, in 2005 and ’08. He’s had three exempt seasons on the Web.com, in ’06, ’07 and ’12.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com