This is foreign territory for Lee Janzen.
The 43-year-old PGA Tour veteran is used to being a regular among the series' top 100 money winners, having reached that mark for 14 straight years. Keeping his tour card never has been an issue.
But the last two years have been unkind to Janzen, and unless he can turn around his season, he's in danger of having to go to tour qualifying school.
Janzen is No. 155 on the PGA Tour's money list with earnings of $382,909 entering today's first round of the Frys.com Open at TPC Summerlin and TPC at The Canyons. He needs to finish in the top 125 to keep his card.
Janzen's goal is to take all the guesswork out of the equation by winning in Las Vegas, where the winner's share is $720,000 of the $5 million purse. Even a second-place finish, worth $432,000, would leave him in good shape with three more opportunities to add to his bankroll in the PGA Tour's Fall Series.
"To be honest, if I came to Vegas and won it, it wouldn't surprise me," Janzen said. "I know I have the ability to win. I've just got to put it all together for four days."
That has been the crux of Janzen's struggles this year. He has been consistently inconsistent, which resulted in him missing the cut in nine straight tournaments. His best showing was at the U.S. Open, where he finished tied for 13th. In 21 events, he has made the cut six times.
"I haven't enjoyed it," Janzen said. "Some weeks, I show good progress. Other weeks, I really struggle. It seems to be one thing here or there that sets me back.
"It's easy to say, 'Keep a good attitude.' But the reality is it's hard to keep your confidence level up. You have to approach every week as a new week."
After working with new swing coach Mike Bender, Janzen said his swing is good. He just has to execute better on the course.
"If I can put myself in a position to make some birdies, maybe that'll get me going," he said.
Janzen finished tied for fifth at the Frys.com Open last year and has averaged 68.75 strokes per round in the 14 years he has played in Las Vegas. He knows he'll have to shoot lower than that to win the tournament, but he's looking forward to the challenge.
His first round will begin at 12:30 p.m. today at TPC Summerlin.
"It's forcing me to focus," Janzen said of his ranking. "Bottom line, it's all about confidence. I know where I am. But with a little bit of momentum, maybe I can get it going in Vegas."
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 387-2913.