WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Two names stand out as we approach the final day of Q-School – Rickie Fowler and Brian Stuard.
Fowler is on the cut line for a PGA Tour card with 18 holes remaining. Tomorrow will determine whether the promising 20-year-old spends most of next season on the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour.
It wasn’t long ago that Fowler was making Q-School look easy. Midway through his third round, Fowler was flirting with 59 and in the lead.
Through 90 holes, he’s in a six-way tie for 20th at 9 under par; the top 25 and ties will earn PGA Tour cards.
Fowler has been hurt by double bogeys.
After getting to 10 under through 13 holes in his third round, Fowler played Nos. 15-17 in 4 over. In his fourth round, Fowler played Nos. 10-13 in 4 over en route to a 73. Fowler made his third double in three rounds at the par-3 13th in his fifth round, and shot 70.
“Solid day today other than the double,” Fowler wrote on his Twitter page. “Just need one more solid round.”
Despite earning almost $600,000 in just three PGA Tour starts as a pro this year, Fowler entered Q-School with no status on either the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour for 2010.
Stuard, 27, has come close to a PGA Tour card at both the 2008 Q-School and through the 2009 Nationwide Tour, but fell just short both times, missing his card by a combined four shots. Stuard started the final round of Q-School last year in a tie for sixth, but shot 74 and missed his card by three shots.
He entered the Nationwide Tour Championship in 23rd place on the money list. He lipped out an 8-foot birdie putt on his final hole and ended the week in 26th, one spot from a PGA Tour card. Now Stuard is tied for 17th entering the final round. He’s 10 under par for five rounds, one shot inside the cut line.
“Whenever you get knocked down, it makes you stronger,” his teacher, Gary Robinson, said. “I think he’ll get the job done tomorrow.”