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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Q School - Second Stage in the books

The Second Stage of PGA TOUR Q School is in the books and a fresh crop of players have assured themselves of at least partial Web.com Tour status for 2013, while some familiar names now face a career crossroads.

Here are some notable hits and misses from each site:
  • Plantation Preserve (FL) - Rob Oppenheim was the medalist at 21-under, and notable names like Kris Blanks, Ross Fisher and Oliver Fisher also advanced. The Fishers are Euro Tour regulars with Ross having played in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Those failing to earn a spot in the field at PGA West are Carlos Franco, Jamie Lovemark, Brad Adamonis, Won Joon Lee (opened with a 64) and Notah Begay. Of that list, perhaps Lovemark is the most surprising. He came out of college at the same time as Rickie Fowler with a future equally bright, eventually dominating the then Nationwide Tour, but he's failed to enjoy consistency in his few years as a pro.
  • TPC Craig Ranch (TX) - In a loaded field, Scott Gutschewski topped the field at 20-under. He was joined by PGA TOUR veterans Scott Dunlap, Steven Bowditch, Peter Tomasulo, Matt Jones, James Nitties, Kyle Reifers, Tag Ridings, Jeff Klauk (brain surgery), Alex Prugh, Brenden Pappas, Todd Hamilton and Bob Tway's son Kevin. Also advancing was Henrik Norlander. Hard to believe all those guys are even in Second Stage. Failing to advance were Bio Kim, Wes Short, Jordan Spieth, Matt Weibring, Woody Austin, Nathan Green, Wil Collins, Rich Barcelo, Martin Piller, J.J. Killeen and Roger Tambellini. That doesn't even include mid-tournament W/D from Matt Bettencourt, Tommy Biershenk and Michael Sim.
  • Redstone GC (TX) - Franklin Corpening and Patrick Reed shared medalist honors at 14-under. Reed's success should surprise no one given his propensity to Monday qualify for TOUR events this year with zero status. Other notables moving on are Kevin Kisner, Kelly Kraft, Mark Anderson, Alexander Noren and Shaun Micheel. Missint out were Mathias Gronberg, Chris Smith, Joe Durant, Chris Riley, Roland Thatcher, Cameron Beckman, Doug Barron, Parker McLachlin, Brad Elder, Michael Connell, Miguel Carballo and Kent Jones. Rich Beem W/D after 2 rounds, but was curiously 2-under.
  • Southern Hills Plantation (FL) - Robert Karlsson was the biggest name in the field, and he won the event at 18-under. Others advancing of note are Derek Fathauer, Billy Hurley, Michael Letzig, Arjun Atwal, Matt Hill, Daniel Chopra, Patrick Sheehan, Ben Martin, Derek Lamely and blast-from-the-past Danny Ellis. Failing to punch a ticket to the finals were Robert Damron, Frank Lickliter, Lee Janzen, Bubba Dickerson, Marco Dawson, Sam Saunders, Ryan Armour, Jon Mills, Stephen Gangluff with mid-tournament W/Ds from Ryuji Imada, Garrett Willis, Fran Quinn, Jerod Turner and Robert Gamez with Eric Axley being DQd. Whew.
  • Hombre GC (FL) - Matt Fast won it at 13-under with Scott Sterling, Shane Bertsch, Chad Collins, Erik Compton, Len Mattiace, Glen Day and Gavin Coles also advancing. Missing was Marc Turnesa, Todd Fischer, Craig Bowden, Josh Broadaway, Brett Wetterich, Omar Uresti, Kevin Johnson and Brent Delahoussaye. W/D's included Kyle Thompson and Carl Paulson.
  • Bear Creek (CA) - Si Kim won it at 19-under, but some bigger (and longer) names also advanced including Danny Lee, Dean Wilson, Tom Pernice, Patrick Cantlay, Steve Allan, Jeff Gove, Zach Miller and Luke Hickmott. Failing to advance were Duffy Waldorf, Steven Alker, Troy Merritt, Bob May and Jason Gore.
Several things struck me about Second Stage:
  • There were some very recent Web.com Tour stars who were "can't miss" prospects that failed to get out of this year's Second Stage. Jamie Lovemark, J.J. Killeen and Michael Sim all jump to mind. Without going back and looking, I believe all three of those guys led the money list and I know Sim had a battlefield promotion. That doesn't bode well for Casey Wittenberg.
  • I was very interested in how several of the younger guys performed; Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth especially. Reed moved on easily, Cantlay kept it close for 70 holes, but birdied his final two to pull away, but Spieth failed to advance. That likely means Spieth will retain his amateur status and return to Texas for the rest of the school year. It will be a few years before we know if these guys fall into the Rickie Fowler or Jamie Lovemark category.
  • I can't believe how many incredibly gifted and accomplished golfers are in second stage. I mean, come on. Ross Fisher? Robert Karlsson? Tom Pernice? How does this happen? How fine the line is in golf.
I can't wait until the final stage!

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