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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mini Tour players / Journeymen / Rookies in Q School

Up until today, the players profiled have been players that have had successful runs in professional golf, but just didn't get quite as much out of 2011 as they needed to to avoid Q School.  Today's featured players are players with more to gain and lose than many of the other competitors.  For many of these guys, finishing in the next 50 after the top 25 and ties and earning full time Nationwide status before the first re rank would be quite an acceptable tournament.  Finishing in the top 25 and earning a PGA Tour card would be great, but it could be a blessing in disguise to be in that next group down.

Doug Barron - Barron falls into the "journeyman" category and has spent times playing all levels of golf.  He is also the golfer that failed a drug test on tour for using Performance Enhancing Drugs.  It proved to be a little bit of a sad story because he was legitimately on a medication for a condition he suffers from and the general consensus among his fellow competitors was that he was not doing anything to gain an advantage.  Doug's been on the biggest stage, but could probably benefit from a year on the Nationwide Tour getting his game back into form.

Benoit Beisser - An entertaining contestant on the Big Break series, Beisser has finally broken through to the Final Stage of Q school.  The Golf Aficionado (TGA) is pulling for Beisser to at least get full Nationwide status because he's nothing if not entertaining.  He's also a qualified golfer having played at the storied Arizona State program and even Monday qualifying for a PGA Tour even while in college (and rumored to have been hung over).

Jimmy Brandt - Brandt caught TGA's radar last year as a Nationwide Tour member through his blog for http://www.pgatour.com/.  As TGA followed Brandt, it was noticed that he went all year without making a cut.  The former Auburn walk on never crashed and burned on the Nationwide Tour as he never shot higher than 76, but never shot lower than 70.  His worst tournament was +6 and his best was -2, but his consistent effort just wasn't quite good enough to make any cuts.  He has figured out the formula for Q School to this point having made it through all 4 stages last year and he's in the finals again this year.  An encore performance of full status on the Nationwide Tour should be his goal and should also result in a better year in 2012.

Jeff Corr - Corr was the Hooters Tour Player of the Year in 2011, and the Hooters Tour has consistently been a mini tour breeding ground for success.  Ted Potter is another Hooters Tour legend and broke through with a huge year on the Nationwide Tour in 2011.  If Corr could have a good enough week to get full Nationwide status he could have a really big 2012.  If he breaks into the top 25, it could work out or it could be a little more than he's ready for.

Matt Davidson - Matt's bounced around from the PGA Tour to the mini tours and then to the Nationwide Tour with a successful year on the Nationwide Tour under his belt.  He may be a prime example of someone who made it to the PGA Tour before he was ready.  If he can get through this time around he's got a chance to stick.

Brian Duncan - Former Clemson stand out has basically spent his professional years on the mini tours.  He's made it to the Final Stage twice before, but never finished all that high and his limited Nationwide Status earned didn't get him into many tournaments.  Those he got in to didn't result an any made cuts.  The best thing for Duncan would probably be a full year on the Nationwide Tour if he could finish in or around that top 75 number.

Harris English - Won as a amateur at the Nationwide Tour Children's Hospital Invitational.  It would seem like this is a recipe for immediate success, but Daniel Summerhays did the same thing and it took him a little longer than expected to establish himself as a professional.  English is talented enough to get through and have success on the PGA Tour, but it wouldn't be the end of the world for him to hone his skills for a full year on the Nationwide Tour.

Anthony Rodriguez - Another Big Break veteran, Rodriguez didn't come off quite as well as Beisser on camera.  He's another example of someone who had early success by making it to the PGA Tour but couldn't sustain it and eventually retired from golf until coming back.  TGA is one for forgiving people who act like jerks on T.V, so it would be interesting to see how "A-Rod" (or "A-god" as some of his competitors less than affectionately called him) handled a year on the Nationwide Tour.

Sam Saunders - The King's grandson is making his first appearance in the Q School Finals.  He's received numerous sponsors exemptions on both the Nationwide and PGA Tours as a result Arnie and he's actually done pretty well with them.  He's played well in the Honda and the Bay Hill on the PGA and he's made some cuts on the Nationwide Tour as well.  TGA is mildly excited to see how he does in the finals and see if Sam can begin to stake his own path without the need of his famous grandfather. 

Ty Tryon - The once teenage phenom is now about a decade in as a pro and he keeps fighting.  He made it through to the Final Stage last year but didn't have a very good Nationwide Tour season.  Here's hoping for a nice season.

3 most likely to make it to the PGA Tour - Davidson, English, Saunders

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