Daily Wrap-up: Q-School, Round 5

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Scott Pinckney interview after Round 5 of Web.com Tour Q-School

Following a fifth-round 68, Scott Pinckney reflects on his play in the final stage of the 2013 Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament.
December 16, 2013
By Web.com Tour staff

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Former Arizona State Sun Devil Scott Pinckney posted a solid round of 68 on Monday to increase his lead to two shots entering the final round of the 2013 Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA West in the Southern California desert.

Pinckney stands at 25-under par after five trips around the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament Courses. Trailing him at 23-under par is Zack Fischer, who posted the day’s second-best round, a 64, on the TPC Stadium layout, the same course Pinckney played.

Another shot back at 22-under par is Jimmy Gunn. The Scot recorded a 70 on TPC Stadium.

Pinckney, whose brother Brad is caddying for him, reflected on a fairly stress-free round under the circumstances. “I played good today and handled the pressure pretty well,” the leader said. “Tomorrow is hugely important. Leaving here with a “W” would be big, knowing you’re fully exempt and don’t have to worry about the reranks.”

The 24-year-old Orem, Utah native collected five birdies and one bogey, the result of a flier lie, en route to his nines of 32-36. He sealed his two-shot lead with an 8-foot birdie putt on his final hole, No. 9.

Knowing what’s on the line on Tuesday, Pinckney and family members and friends plan to relax over an early dinner before taking in the new “Hobbitt” movie.

Fischer lit up the TPC Stadium Course with five birdies on his front nine and three on the back. “I’m glad to get the Stadium behind me,” the 24-year-old from Texarkana, Texas said. “Pete Dye just destroys you mentally, particularly on that back nine.”

Fischer’s gallery will be lighter by two key members on Tuesday. His parents had to leave after nines hole to catch a flight home.

The leaders will play the Nicklaus Tournament Course tomorrow, which has played almost 1.5 shots easier than the TPC Stadium.

Fifth-Round Notes

* Monday weather: Sunny skies. Overnight low 38. Daytime high 78. Winds light and variable.

* The field will be re-paired for the sixth/final round but only with their course. The tournament leaders will play the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Tuesday.

* Fifth-round leader Scott Pinckney is from Orem, Utah and a 2011 graduate of Arizona State University. He made the cut in just one of seven starts on the Web.com Tour in 2013 and managed to break par in only six of 15 rounds. His lone paycheck for $1,836 came for a T63 at the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kan.

* This is Pinckney’s second trip to the Q-School finals. He finished No. 165 in the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament last year. On the same two courses, Pinckney posted rounds of 75-71-74-75 for a 7-over total of 295, a difference of 28 strokes from this year’s total.

* Zack Fischer moved up to challenge the lead Monday and is in position for a shot at medalist honors. Fischer’s 8-under 64 bumped him to 23-under par and solo second place. Fischer, 24, grew up in Texarkana, Texas and played his college golf at Texas-Arlington, where he graduated in 2011.

* Scott Pinckney (1st) and Tony Finau (4th) are the only two players in the field to post sub-70 each of the first five rounds.

* Tournament leader Scott Pinckney leads the tournament with the fewest above-par holes this week. Pinckney has made only four bogeys over 72 holes. He played bogey-free in the second round and has made one bogey each of the other four rounds.

* Steve Saunders (T5) leads the field with 34 birdies thus far.

* Of the top-40 players on the current leaderboard, only three posted above-par rounds Monday: Chris Baker (73/T33), Blayne Barber (73/T21) and amateur Michael Kim (74/T17).

* Here’s how the 72-hole leaders have stood the previous six times the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament has been held on the current two-course rotation:

2013 Scott Pinckney 335 (-25) leads by 2
2012 Steven Bowditch 337 (-23) led by 1
2011 Marco Dawson 343 (-17) led by 3
2008 Harrison Frazar 333 (-27) led by 5
2006 George McNeill 342 (-18) led by 2
2004 Brian Davis 341 (-19 led by 6
2002 Brian Bateman 343 (-17)
        Jeff Brehaut 343 (-17)

* Best rounds of the day:

63 – Zach Sucher Nicklaus Tournament
64 – Christian Brand Nicklaus Tournament
        Brett Lederer Nicklaus Tournament
        Zack Fischer Nicklaus Tournament

* Florida State All-American Daniel Berger continued his climb up the leaderboard Monday with a 4-under 68 on the TPC Stadium Course. Berger, who turned pro earlier this year after two years in Tallahassee, opened with rounds of 71-75 and was T118 after 36 holes. Since then Berger has shot 63-68-68 to move to T24, T17 and now T12. He is 17-under for his past 54 holes and 15-under total.

* Zach Sucher was the day’s biggest mover, thanks to a pair of eagles and a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Sucher jumped 65 spots in the standings and is now T42 heading into the final round. Here’s how Sucher, a two-time All-American at Alabama-Birmingham, stood after each round this week:

R1 73 T103
R2 72 T105
R3 69 T73
R4 74 T107
R5 63 T42

* Lefty Brett Lederer of Long Beach, Calif. birdied six of his first seven holes at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Lederer turned the front in 30 and played the back nine in 2-under 34. He jumped up in the standings and is also T42 with one round to go.

* Mexico’s Sebasitan Vazquez has turned things around substantially after the halfway point. Vazquez, 23, opened with scores of 71-75-74 and was T135 after 54 holes. He posted Sunday’s low score, a 9-under 63 on the TPC Stadium Course and then turned right back around and added a 66 on the Stadium Course Monday. Vazquez is now up to T26 with one round to go on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. His consecutive round total of 129 is the second-best back-to-back combination this week, topped only by Chris Epperson’s opening rounds of 65-63-128.

* Sebastian Vazquez has torn up the TPC Stadium Course the past two days, posting scores of 63-66. He has totaled 18 birdies, 1 eagle, 3 bogeys and one double bogey in his last 36 holes and has birdied 15 of the 18 holes on the Stadium Course. The only three holes that he failed to birdie at least once were No. 6 (par, double bogey), No. 11 (par, bogey) and No. 13 (bogey, par).

Q-School Notes

* The Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament is a six-day, 108-hole competition that ends on Tuesday Dec. 17.

* There were more than 1,000 entries for the tournament, which has included previous Pre-Qualifying, First and Second stages that began in August.

* Players in this event are competing for positions on the 2014 Web.com Tour priority ranking, which will be used to form tournament fields. The medalist (or co-medalists) will be guaranteed fully-exempt status next year. Players #2-10 (and ties) will be exempted through the first two reshuffles (12 events) next year and players #11-45 (and ties) will be exempted through the first reshuffle (8 events).

* This week’s medalist will earn $25,000. Players #2-10 (and ties) will earn $15,000 each. Players #11-45 (and ties) will earn $10,000 each.

* There are 96 players in the field of 152 who will be newcomers/first-time members on the Web.com Tour in 2014.

* There are three amateurs competing this week – Zac Blair, Michael Kim and Anthony Paolucci. Those three will have the option of joining the Tour and becoming a member at any point of the 2014 season, but they must join as professionals at that time.

* Here’s how the three amateurs are faring to this point:

T Michael Kim 68-69-66-70-74—347 (-13)
T83 Zac Blair 71-74-67-75-68—355 (-5)
T92 Anthony Paolucci 71-72-68-75-70—356 (-4)

* Leaders after each round:
Round 1 Justin Shin 64 (8-under) led by 1
Round 2 Chris Epperson 128 (16-under) led by 4
Round 3 Steve Saunders 199 (17-under) led by 3
Round 4 Scott Pinckney 267 (21-under) led by 1
Round 5 Scott Pinckney 335 (25-under) leads by 2

* The scoring averages for the two courses (both are par-72):

  Nicklaus Tournament TPC Stadium (host)
R1
70.347 72.312
R2
69.883 71.787
R3
71.027 71.885
R4
69.599 71.562
R5
70.387 71.293
Cumulative 70.219 71.772

 

* The toughest holes on the two courses:

Nicklaus Tournament No. 8: 3.182
TPC Stadium No. 13: 3.251

* The Coachella Valley has hosted the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament several times over the years. This is the seventh time that the current two-course rotation of the Nicklaus Tournament Course and TPC Stadium Course has been used.

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