Jeff Thomsen, a PGA Tour rookie from Idaho who needed to earn at least $970 at the Kemper and next week at Atlanta to retain his playing card, had the pressure lifted yesterday by PGA Commissioner Deane Beman.

Thomsen won $712 yesterday after shooting 74 to finish at 301, next to last.

Still $258 short of the $8,000 minimum, he was planning to gamble all at the Atlantic Golf Classic starting Thursday rather than returning to the PGA qualifiying school Wednesday.

Instead, Beman intervened and told Thomsen his playing privilege would be extended another year regardless of how he fares in Atlanta.

"He (Beman) told me that because I had made the cut here and due to the circumstances I was in, he felt that was demonstration that my card should remain," Thomsen said.

"I feel like I have the freedom now to go out and play. He roughly said it would be better from his standpoint if I sent to Atlanta and played good and made the cut.

"After I made the cut here, I decided not to go to the qualifying school."

"At the worst, he'll come up $200 short of making the $8,000 figure is a guideline and not an absolute. The commissioner has discreiton powers in cases like this. I'm hoping he doesn't come up short next week. The principle of removing a player's card is, we are not trying to run people off. Here's one case I feel should be given the benefit of the doubt."