Short tops Champions Q-School; playoffs set
A three-hour rain delay forced Champions Tour Q-School play to run into darkness and a playoff to extend into Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
But there was enough time for Wes Short Jr. to take medalist honors along with a $30,000 check and fully exempt status for 2014.
Short was five shots ahead of Mike Reid and Jim Rutledge when regulation play ended – the largest margin for a medalist since Bob Gilder in 2000.
Holing birdie putts at the first, third and fourth holes, Short led by as many as six and played the back nine in 1 under to finish 20 under for the week (64-66-66-68). He turns 50 Dec. 4.
“I didn’t think we’d finish today even if we managed to get started which didn’t look like it was going to happen early. It really helped me to get off to the start that I did," Short said. "It allowed me to play more conservative the rest of the way, especially near the end.
“This was a rough year this year. I missed so much competitive golf and really haven’t been in golf shape for about the last six years. I really prepared hard for this Q-School and felt like my game was back in pretty good shape when I got here this week."
Reid and Rutledge also will be fully exempt in 2014. Reid shot in the 60s for all four rounds this week (68-66-66-69), while Rutledge atoned for a difficult third round with four back-nine birdies in Friday's final round (65-67-72-65).
Saturday-morning playoffs will determine the last two fully exempt spots and several conditional exemptions.
Five players finished play Friday tied for fourth:
- Jeff Hart: 65-72-68-67
- Willie Wood: 69-66-66-71
- Greg Bruckner: 66-70-64-72
- Doug Garwood: 64-67-67-74
- Scott Dunlap: 69-64-66-73
A shot back, four players must play off for conditional exemptions in spots nine through 12:
- Anders Forsbrand: 74-68-66-65
- Mark Mouland: 69-67-68-69
- Jeff Coston: 70-65-67-71
- Ben Bates: 65-68-67-73
Here is the remainder of the top 30 finishers, who earned the right to play in open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events: Jim Gallagher Jr., Phil Golding, Bob Friend, Tom Byrum, Bill Glasson, Ronnie Black, Barry Lane, Jerry Smith, Lance Ten Broeck, Eduardo Romero, Bruce Vaughan, Trevor Dodds, Jeff Brehaut, Gary Hallberg, Frank Esposito Jr., Joe Daley, Brian Cairns and Greg Kraft.
– Champions Tour contributed.