Hayes getting sweet Q-School revenge

J.P. Hayes has a share of the lead after Round 3 of PGA Tour Q-School.

J.P. Hayes has a share of the lead after Round 3 of PGA Tour Q-School.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Maybe the beast that is Q-School, despite all the negative press it has received, has a soft side.

Last year, J.P. Hayes was the victim of one of those unfortunate “only at Q-School” stories. Now he’s getting redemption.

Hayes shot 63 Friday and is tied for the lead with former Boise State star Troy Merritt. Both players are at 12 under par; Hayes has completed his third round, while Merritt was on No. 17 when play was called due to inclement weather.

At second stage last year, Hayes mistakenly played a nonconforming ball (it was a Titleist prototype) for one hole in the first round. After realizing the error, he disqualified himself after the second round, eliminating any chance of regaining a PGA Tour card.

Hayes called the situation “a bad nightmare” last year. He played on Tour this year with past-champion’s status and sponsor exemptions.

“(Q-School) has been good to me. I’ve had success at this tournament, but last year was a little crazy,” Hayes said.

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