December 7, 2010 in Golf
Yesterday marked the end of the six-round, 108-hole third stage of Q-School. What some call the most revealing of all reality television did not disappoint. 2010 Q-School had it all. There was triumph, heartbreak as well as a plot twist.
The real drama unfolds coming down the stretch as the middle-front of the field try to reach a guesstimated number. With no scoreboards on the course, the players and their caddies are forced to rely on wives, girlfriends and other family members who have smart phones or some other way in which they can determine what is needed.
In the triumph category was medalist Billy Mayfair. The tour journeyman has won five times on Tour and made just his second appearance in Q-School, his first in 22 years. At 44, Mayfair cashed a $50,000 check for winning and he’ll be back on tour next year.
Then there’s Joseph Bramlett, a Standford cardinal, so he has a connection with the Man in Red. Upon completing his final round at Q-School and securing his 2011 Tour card, Mr. Woods tweeted his congratulations saying he cannot wait to play with him next year. Bramlett also joins Woods as the only other person of African-American heritage to be a Tour member in 2011.
For your heartbreak, you have Ryan Armour, Camilo Benedetti and Jeff Quinney. All four of these guys were inside the number going into the final round, but the pressure caught up with them each at the wrong time. For Armour, it was the beginning of his round. He made four bogeys through eight holes before parring out and missing the number by two strokes.
For Benedetti and Quinney, it was a little worse. What makes it worse is how they managed to hold it together for the most part, each giving themselves a shot on the last hole to make the dream happen. Benedetti, squarely on the number, bogied the 108th hole to miss out by a shot. Quinney, like Benedetti, shot a 74 to miss the Tour by one stroke.
The plot twist was another occasion of triumph for three players.
Contrary to popular belief, some people in the final stage of Q-School already have status on the PGA Tour. For two players in particular, Michael Putnam and Justin Hicks, they had placed in the top-25 on the Nationwide Tour and were only at Q-School to improve their status. Both made it inside the number to gain their status.
With Putnam and Hicks, there were 26 players at 10-under, but because they had cards wrapped up from the NWT, only 24 players who needed a card stood at 10-under, moving the number for top-25 and ties to nine under. For that reason, Scott Gordon (who missed a three-foot par putt on 18 to drop to nine under), Billy Horschel and Will Stricker got their cards as well.
All in all, 29 guys had dreams come true on Monday.
And a couple stats to keep in mind, via Doug Ferguson’s Twitter:
- In three of the last eight years, a player in Q-School won a major the following year.
- 2010 was the first time in at least 25 years that a Q-School graduate has not won a PGA Tour event. (Fowler almost did)
So, there’s some goals for the class of 2010.
|T22||Richard S. Johnson|