Q-School Tracker: Kim (13 under) leads Taylor by 1

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LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Meen-Whee Kim used a 9-under 63 to vault into the lead at 13 under after the second round of PGA Tour Q-School at PGA West.

Kim leads Vaughn Taylor, who shot 64 to move to 12 under, by a single shot. First-round leader Steve LeBrun sits in a tie for third with Richard H. Lee at 11 under. LeBrun carded a 69 a day after recording a 64. Lee's 5-under 67 was a shot better than his opening-round mark.

Notables like Daniel Chopra (10 under), Camilo Villegas (7 under) and Erik Compton (7 under) are all in good position one-third of the way through the tournament. But other big names such as Patrick Cantlay (1 under), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Even) and Rafael Cabrera-Bello (1 over) still have a lot of work to do.

Our Sean Martin was on the scene at PGA West as we kept you updated on the latest happenings all day long on Thursday.

See how it all unfolded:

• • •

Update #29: 6:38 p.m. EST

Tim Kunick is T-3 with two holes left in his second round (67, -6 thru 16). He advanced to Q-School by the slimmest of margins. He made it out of first and second stage without a shot to spare, advancing on the cut line both times. Now he's near the top of the leaderboard.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #28: 6:20 p.m. EST

Meen-Whee Kim, 20, is the Q-School leader but he isn't the youngest player in the field. That honor belongs to countryman Si Woo Kim, who's just 17 years old and has played impressively for two rounds at PGA West. Si Woo Kim is T-14 (67-69). He doesn't turn 18 until June 28, 2013. He won't be able to play as a PGA Tour member (i.e. using his Q-School status) until he turns 18.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #27: 5:58 p.m. EST

One of the most important parts of Q-School week is realizing how long it is. There's 72 holes, the length of a standard PGA Tour event, left after today. That's the message PGA Tour player David Hearn preached in a text message to his Canadian countryman, Matt Hill, after Hill shot 74 Wednesday that left the 2009 NCAA champ in a tie for 150th in the 172-player field. Hill followed with 65 Thursday that had him in the top 40 when he walked off the course. "He said, 'Don't worry about it, there's lots of golf left.'"

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #26: 5:12 p.m. EST

Morgan Hoffmann already has his PGA Tour card wrapped up for 2013 by virtue of his 2013 finish on the Web.com Tour money list. He's at Q-School to try to improve his status, and stay fresh for his debut as a PGA Tour member at January's Sony Open.

"I didn't want to go two months without playing a tournament," Hoffmann said. "It's the perfect opportunity to keep my game sharp."

Hoffmann is the rare player who can enjoy this Q-School.

"It's a confidence booster either way. I'm going out here and having fun. I can be aggressive. That's the way I like to play. It's a fun week. I'm just going at every pin, not letting anything bother me."

He's opened with consecutive 67s and is currently three off the lead of Meen-Whee Kim and Vaughn Taylor.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #25: 5:08 p.m. EST

Meen-Whee Kim is leading Q-School but that may not be the biggest win of his career if he can hang on here. He was a gold medalist at the 2010 Asian Games, a victory that exempted him from Korea's mandatory 22-month military service.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #24: 4:45 p.m. EST

Meen-Whee Kim just posted 63 on the Stadium Course, the low round of the week, to take a two-shot at 13-under 131. I remember when Rickie Fowler returned from his win at the 2011 Korea Open. He spoke highly of the country's young talent. Meen-Whee's name was one of the first off his lips.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #23: 4:23 p.m. EST

A couple of the frontrunners have finished their rounds. Richard H. Lee turned in a 5-under 67 and is T-2 at 11 under. Morgan Hoffmann is T-4 after a 67 moved him to 10 under. The leader, though, is still Meen-Whee Kim, who is 9 under today and 13 under overall with a hole remaining. He's leading by two shots.

• • •

Update #22: 3:47 p.m. EST

Meen-Whee Kim is your solo leader at 11 under. He's 7 under through 16 holes and has a one-shot edge on Richard H. Lee, Daniel Chopra, Adam Crawford and Steve LeBrun.

• • •

Update #22: 3:23 p.m. EST

Have to give credit for Texas A&M product John Hurley for turning it around today at Q-School. Hurley was 6 over after just seven holes Wednesday and shot 79 on the Stadium Course. He’s 4 under through seven holes today.

He entered here without status on any major tour, so, with four-plus rounds remaining, he has plenty of time to work his way up into good Web.com Tour status. Hurley’s 79 was the second-worst round of the first day, and his rally today has moved him up to T-158.

The Aggies might see their own Johnny Football (QB Johnny Manziel) win a Heisman Trophy in just more than a week. Could they also see their own Johnny Golf secure his status on a professional tour? We'll have to see.

• • •

Update #21: 3:14 p.m. EST

There are seven Web.com Tour graduates in the field who are hoping to improve their status for the 2013 PGA Tour, and several are playing well. Those players don’t count toward the 25 and ties who will earn PGA Tour cards at week’s end. John Huh, Nathan Green and Colt Knost earned PGA Tour cards after finishing T-27 at last year’s Q-School because two Web.com Tour grads were ahead of them on the leaderboard.

Morgan Hoffmann (19th on the Web.com Tour money list) is currently T-11, while Jim Herman (25th) is 19th and Nicholas Thompson (22nd) is 26th. These players can only improve their PGA Tour status. They’ll earn higher standing in the Q-School/Web.com Tour graduates status category on next year’s PGA Tour if they finish higher at this week’s Q-School than they did on the Web.com Tour money list. That status category gets into PGA Tour events on a space-available basis, and players are ranked based on their finish on the Web.com Tour or Q-School.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #20: 3:10 p.m. EST

There are a lot of under-par rounds being played here at PGA West, but there are also some over-par rounds out there right now. Two golfers find themselves at 5 over so far today. Stephan Jaeger, a former first-team All-American at Chattanooga, is 5 over on the tournament after entering the day at even par. Scott Brown, who notched three top 10s on the PGA Tour this year, is at 11 over overall, which puts him in dead last.

• • •

Update #19: 3:05 p.m. EST

With a bogey by Steve LeBrun on the Nicklaus Tournament Course's third hole, there is now a four-way tie for the lead at 10 under. Richard H. Lee, who's 4 under through 14 holes today, Meen-Whee Kim (6 under through 13 holes), and Ed Loar (3 under through eight holes) are the other three players tied for the top spot.

• • •

Update #18: 2:54 p.m. EST

Nick O'Hern made 26 starts on the PGA Tour this year, notching two top 25s, including a third-place finish. He has 177 Tour starts for his career, and he's playing well so far in La Quinta.

O'Hern has five birdies in nine holes and has moved to 5 under for the tournament. He had four straight birdies on Nos. 5-8 on the Stadium Course and although he just amde bogey on No. 9, he's in great position early at PGA West.

• • •

Update #17: 2:29 p.m. EST

Steve LeBrun (11 under) continues to lead, but Meen-Whee Kim has moved to within a shot. Kim is 6 under through 11 holes today and sits at 10 under overall. He's in second place all by himself, a shot ahead of Jin Park, Adam Crawford and Ed Loar, who is 2 under through six holes today.

Also, Vaughn Taylor is 4 under through seven holes today and has worked his way to 8 under and into a tie for sixth.

• • •

Update #16: 2:06 p.m. EST

We've reached another top of the hour and it's time for a few more quick-hitting updates:

• A trio of former Pac-12 golfers find themselves currently T-6 or better. Former Arizona State player Jin Park is T-2 at 9 under. He's 2 under through 10 holes today. Washington product Richard H. Lee is also 2 under on the day. He's through 11 holes and is T-5 at 8 under. One stroke behind at 7 under is former Stanford player Joseph Bramlett, who is 3 under through 10 holes today.

• A pair of Sweden natives is at 7 under, as well. Daniel Chopra is 3 udner thriugh seven holes today and Robert Karlsson is 1 under through four holes.

• Hyung-Sung Kim is 4 under through 10 holes today. As a result, he's 5 under and T-21.

• • •

Update #15: 1:49 p.m. EST

LeBrun's playing partner, Matt Hill, just made his second consecutive birdie on No. 16. Hill sank a 4-footer for bird at 15 and a 10-footer at the 16th. He's 4 under through 7, and has moved from T-150 to T-65. He shot 74 at the Stadium Course. Hill, the 2009 NCAA champ, is playing Q-School finals for the first time since turning pro in 2010. He won the Canadian Tour's order of merit this year, and is sporting red pants and a white shirt today in homage to his homeland.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #14: 1:46 p.m. EST

There aren't many players in the top third or so of the leaderboard who are playing poorly. In fact, there are only five players in the top 64 who are currently over par on the day. Among that small group are Brett Stegmaier (1 over today, 4 under overall) and Kyoung-Hoon Lee (2 over, 3 under), who both started the day at T-9.

• • •

Update #13: 1:42 p.m. EST

Well, I just jinxed Steve Lebrun. He three-putted from 20 feet at the par-4 16th for his first bogey of the tournament. LeBrun was bogey-free for his first 24 holes, making 12 birdies in that span.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #12: 1:31 p.m. EST

Steve LeBrun is en fuego. He's 4 under thru six holes today and currently holds a four-shot lead after shooting 64 yesterday. LeBrun, who was 56th on this year's Web.com Tour money list, is seeking his first PGA Tour card. He just holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the island-green, par-5 15th hole. He has zero bogeys and birdies on half his holes (12 of 24). Counting yesterday's finish, when he birdied four of his last five, he's made birdie on eight of his past 11 holes.

LeBrun has moved to 12 under, four shots clear of three players tied for second at 8 under. Included in that trio is Meen-Whee Kim, who is also 4 under on his round today.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #11: 1:19 p.m. EST

Patrick Cantlay drops another shot at 14 to fall to 2 over for the day and 3 over for the event. He's T-159 in the 172-player field. This bogey was caused by a poor tee shot into a fairway bunker left of the fairway. His approach came up about 10 yards short and his chip shot stopped 10 feet short of the hole. His playing partners, Chad Collins and Mathew Goggin, both holed 30-footers for birdie.

A poor tee shot also led to double bogey on the easy par-5 11th. He hit it OB there.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #10: 1:14 p.m. EST

Camilo Villegas put together a bogey-free, 2-under round on Wednesday and he's off to a good start through two holes today. Villegas just birdied No. 11 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course and is 3 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #9: 1:04 p.m. EST

Now, let's rattle off some quick-hitting updates:

• Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has two birdies in his last three holes and has moved back into red numbers. He's 1 under for the day and 2 under for the tournament.

• Mark Anderson was 3 over at one point in the first round. He fought back Wednesday for an even-par 72 and he's off to a good start today. Anderson has two birdies in three holes and is 2 under for the tournament.

• Two-time PGA Tour winner D.J. Trahan has fallen back to 171st. He's 4 over through eight holes today and 7 over overall. The only player he's ahead of is Brett Bergeron, who sits at 9 over and has yet to begin his second round.

• • •

Update #8: 12:52 p.m. EST

Meen-Whee Kim is racing up the leaderboard this morning, going 3 under on his first five holes at the Stadium Course to jump from T-20 to T-3. PGA West had been good to Korean players. Sang-Moon Bae and Seung-Yul Noh got their Tour cards here last year and went on to have strong rookie years. Y.E. Yang earned his Tour card on the number here at 2008 Q-School after holing a 7-foot par putt on the last hole. He went on to win twice the next year, including the PGA Championship.

Kim is one of four Korean players in the top 20 after Day 1 at Q-School. He's on a roll, too. He won in his last start before second stage, beating PGA Tour players like Noh, Paul Casey, John Huh, Kevin Na and Charlie Wi at the Shinhan Donghae Open before finishing second at Q-School's second stage.

Also, Steve LeBrun has three birdies in four holes and has moved to 11 under. He's got a three-shot lead.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #7: 12:28 p.m. EST

I'm out following Patrick Cantlay this morning. He opened with a 1-over 73 at the Stadium Course and started today in 136th place. Cantlay birdied his first hole today, the par-4 10th at PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament course, but then hit his tee shot out of bounds at the reachable par-5 11th and made double bogey.

Cantlay already has Web.com Tour status wrapped up for 2013, so this week is all about that Tour card. He finished 79th on the Web.com Tour money list in just four starts, losing a playoff in September's Chiquita Classic and finishing fifth at the final full-field event, the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open.

He's still trying to find that magic from 2011, though, when he finished in the top-25 in four Tour events as an amateur, including the U.S. Open, and fired 60 at the Travelers. Cantlay made eight of 10 Tour cuts this year, including at the Masters and U.S. Open, but didn't finish better than 31st and made just $105,000. He also didn't win a college title in his sophomore season at UCLA after winning four times as a freshman and winning the Haskins Award.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Update #6: 12:20 p.m. EST

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is struggling to get going after an opening-round, 1-under 71. He's got two bogeys in four holes and is 1 over so far today to fall back to even par.

Also, Morgan Hoffmann had moved to 6 under after a birdie on No. 2 on the Stadium Course, but a double bogey at No. 3 has dropped him back to 4 under.

• • •

Update #5: 12:15 p.m. EST

Anything you can do I can do better. Or at least that's what comes to mind watching the top of the leaderboard. Steve LeBrun entered today with a one shot lead over Kris Blanks. Blanks birdied his first hole to tie things up, but LeBrun quickly answered with a birdie of his own. So what did LeBrun do after Blanks birdied his second hole to knot things up again? He sunk a second straight birdie and leads by one shot again at 10 under.

• • •

Update #4: 12:08 p.m. EST

Kris Blanks has made it two birdies in a row to begin his second round and as a result has moved into a tie for the lead with Steve LeBrun at 9 under. Four of the top 5 on the leaderboard have already teed off today.

• • •

Update #3: 11:59 a.m. EST

Leader Steve LeBrun ended his first round at 8 under. He's now moved to 9 under after a birdie on his opening hole today (No. 10 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course). LeBrun still leads by a shot, however, as Kris Blanks has also birdied his opening hole (No. 1 on the Nicklau Tournament Course) to move to 8 under.

• • •

Update #2: 11:52 a.m. EST

The groups have started to tee off and among those off to good starts are Joseph Bramlett, who is 1 under through two holes today to move to 5 under (T-6), and Nicholas Thompson, who is 1 under through four holes to move to 4 under (T-19).

Heath Slocum (3 under), Alex Aragon (3 under) and Billy Mayfair (2 under) are also part of the contingent that is 1 under so far today.

• • •

Update #1: 11:17 a.m. EST

Day 2 at Q-School is getting underway. The forecast calls for another day in the California desert, confirming why Q-School is held out here and not in, say, Minnesota. The high temperature is expected to be 78 degrees, with barely a breeze. That means another day of low scoring is about to begin. In Wednesday's first round, 110 of the 172 players in the field broke par. PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament course played to an average score of 70.5 Wednesday, while the Stadium yielded an average score of 71.0. Here's 5 (quick) things to keep an eye on today:

MAN OUT IN FRONT: Web.com Tour player Steve LeBrun is your first-round leader after shooting a bogey-free 64 on the Stadium Course. LeBrun, who's seeking his first PGA Tour card, finished 56th on this year's Web.com Tour money list.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE: Camilo Villegas, arguably the highest-profile player in the field, shot a bogey-free 70 Wednesday at PGA West's Stadium Course. "It was simple,” Villegas said. “Nothing special.” Villegas, 30, is making his first appearance at Q-School finals. He's a three-time PGA Tour winner. The 2012 season was the first of his seven PGA Tour campaigns in which he failed to earn more than $1 million.

THE EUROPEANS: Several players crossed the globe to get to this Q-School, flying Monday from the Middle East to get to this desert in California. They're among the European Tour's best players, having qualified for the 60-player season finale that was held last week in Dubai. They had solid opening days at Q-School despite the commute. Here's how they fared: Romain Wattel, 67; Marcus Fraser, 69; Rafael Cabrera-Bello, 70; Alex Noren, 70; Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 71.

THE ALL-AMERICANS: UNLV alum Derek Ernst, who turned pro this summer, is the leader among the five 2012 All-Americans in the field. Ernst fired 68 at the Stadium Course and is T-20. He was a semifinalist at the past two U.S. Amateur Public Links. Here's how the other All-Americans fared: Joakim Mikkelsen (Baylor), 70; James White (Georgia Tech), 71; Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga), 72; Patrick Cantlay (UCLA), 73.

THE KOREANS: There are four Korean players T-20 or better after Wednesday’s first round: Si Woo Kim (67), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (67), Meen-Whee Kim (68) and Dong-hwan Lee (68). Korea is the only country, besides the United States, to graduate multiple players from each of the past two Q-Schools. Last year’s Korean grads, Seung-Yul Noh and Sang-Moon Bae, both had successful rookie seasons.

– Sean Martin

• • •

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012

DAY 1 TRACKER: The final stage of PGA Tour Q-School got underway on Wednesday at PGA West. And it was Steve LeBrun who finds himself out in front early. See how it happened.

COMEBACK TRAIL: Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, Robert Karlsson. Three different personalities, three different golf swings, one common malady. All three suffered from the full-swing yips. They reached a point in their professional careers where they couldn’t start the swing. Karlsson is back at it this week at Q-School. Story.

EUROPEANS START HOT: 5 Things from Day 1 of the final PGA Q-School in La Quinta, Calif., on the PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course and Stadium Course. Story.

• • •

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012

5 THINGS PREVIEW: The 2012 field at Q-School is one of the strongest fields in the event's history, featuring four players inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Story.

• • •

Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

TEE TIMES & PAIRINGS: Check out the tee times and pairings for the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. Tee times.

• • •

Q-School: Second stage

FINAL RESULTS: Robert Karlsson, Matt Fast and Si Kim took medalist honors at their respective sites on Saturday, and Daniel Chopra shot 6 under to advance in Brooksville during the final day of PGA Tour Q-School's second stage. Notes & scores.

SPIETH COMES UP SHORT: Jordan Spieth’s first Q-School attempt came to an end Friday, ensuring that he won’t earn a PGA Tour card this year. The biggest question surrounding the Texas sophomore is when he’ll start pursuing his PGA Tour card in 2013. Story.

• • •

Q-School: First stage

BARBER IS OUT: Blayne Barber had easily advanced out of the first stage of the PGA Tour’s Q-School, but something was weighing on him. It was an incident that had occurred in the tournament’s second round, one of those moments when this game’s rules so harshly penalize the slightest misstep. Story.

FINAL RESULTS: Find out who advanced and who missed out. Notes & results.

• • •

Q-School: Pre-qualifying

FINAL RESULTS: Find out who advanced and who was left out. Notes & results.

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