Q-School: The good, bad, ugly and disheartening
His record will indicate he’s still winless in 347 PGA Tour tournaments over a 14-year career, but Jay Williamson picked a nice time to prove he might just have what it takes.
Breaking 70 for a fourth consecutive day, Williamson completed a dominating performance at the Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla., to record a two-stroke win in a second-stage site of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. Williamson, at 18-under 270, waltzed into the final stage, which will be held Dec. 2-7 at Bear Lakes CC in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Williamson’s story was just one of hundreds on a day when six sites wrapped up and 132 players punched their tickets to Bear Lakes.
Some of the tales, be good, bad, ugly, or disheartening:
PGA Tour veterans move on
• Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Championship winner, finished with a wobbly 73, but being T-9 he easily advanced in Panama City Beach, Fla. So, too, did Casey Wittenberg, Dicky Pride and Skip Kendall.
• Also moving on at various sites were tour veterans Arjun Atwal, Marco Dawson, Robert Damron, Ken Duke, Carlos Franco, Tom Scherrer, Jason Gore, Jonathan Kaye, J.P. Hayes, Omar Uresti, Neal Lancaster, Brandt Jobe, Jeff Brehaut and Mark Hensby.
While others check out
• The list of those with big-league credentials who must re-assess their situations after falling short at second stage include Peter Lonard, Brad Adamonis, Robert Gamez, Frank Lickliter, Ted Tryba, Dean Wilson, Eric Axley, Guy Boros, David Berganio, Kirk Triplett, Bob Burns and Dennis Paulson.
Quite a pair
• Chris Nallen and Chris Kirk apparently fed off one another in the 7:55 group at Callaway Gardens. Both started the final round two shots outside the cut, but both posted bogey-free rounds that included an eagle and six birdies. The 64s comfortably left them tied for seventh and on their way to final stage.
• At Callaway Gardens: Longtime PGA Tour member Jim McGovern started the day tied for 13th, but shot 75 and finished well outside the number, tied for 38th. Ian Leggatt went from T-18 to T-54 with a 76 and Derek Fathauer shot 74 to fall from inside (T-18) to outside (T-42).
• Former Vanderbilt standout Jon Curran started the day three outside the projected cut. But when he pushed to 4 under on his round, he was safely on the number – which is when disaster struck. He made a 9 at the par-4 18th to finish T-32.
Good day for ski racers
• Two guys who grew up racing on Vermont’s vaunted ski trails, Keegan Bradley and Trevor Murphy, made it through at Southern Hills. Bradley, nephew of World Golf Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley, closed with a 69 to finish seventh, while Murphy got in on the number at 8 under.
Finally, his “break” lands
• It’s been six years since Justin Peters made a name for himself as winner of The Golf Channel’s first “Big Break” reality show. With a rock-solid 68-67-72-67 showing in Panama City Beach, Fla., he finished fourth and is on his way to the final stage for the first time.
Tough going for collegiate standouts
• Marquette’s Mike Van Sickle was 5-under on the par-5s, but 6 over elsewhere as he finished well down the list (T-65) at Callaway Gardens.
• Walker Cupper Drew Weaver closed with a 66 at Callaway Gardens, but it was too little, too late, as he wound up tied for 49th.
• Onetime NCAA champions Jamie Lovemark and Kevin Chappell never got untracked in Kingwood, Texas. They finished T-32 and 66th, respectively.
• Daniel Woltman, the Northeast Amateur champion, also came up short. Despite a 68-69 finish, he was done in by a 74-72 start and missed by three strokes in Beaumont, Calif.
• In McKinney, Texas, Ben Hogan Award winner Kyle Stanley, the former Clemson star, came on strong wtih a 65-70 finish, but still fell two strokes shy.
Comebacks hit a snag
• David Gossett, the 2000 U.S. Amateur champ, and Ty Tryon, the onetime teenage phenom, both came up well short at Southern Hills, finishing 72nd and T-51, respectively.
• Erik Compton opened with a 69 at Southern Hills, but never got it going thereafter. He finished T-62 and won’t be at final stage.
Brothers bat .500
• While 30-year-old Bret Guetz closed with a 71 to finish tied for 12th and move on at the Panama City Beach site, his 35-year-old brother, Brian, finished T-29 and did not make it.
• Chris Mundorf, the caddie in 2008-09 for Troy Matteson, started the day T-7 at Callaway Gardens, but was 3 over on his round and one stroke outside the number when he birdied the par-4 17th. Thus he did advance to the final stage for the first time.
And narrow misses
• Len Mattiace played his last 22 holes in 5 under, but came up one stroke shy, Bob May missed by one in Beaumont, Calif., when he bogeyed his 71st hole, and Jarrod Lyle bogeyed his 72d hole in Panama City Beach to miss by one, and Joe Durant, after getting inside the cut by one with birdies at 12, 15, and 16, doubled the par-3 17th at Southern Hills to miss by one.