After injury-riddled year, Quinney coming aroundAugust 09, 2009
Laury Livsey, PGA TOUR Staff
RENO, Nev. -- Through 36 holes, following a 6-under start to the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, Jeff Quinney knew his game was rounding into shape.
Dealing with a herniated disk in his back, an injury he suffered at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, Quinney missed six weeks of the season and has been disappointed he hasn't been able to duplicate his career season of a year ago when he came $628 short of passing the $2 million mark in season earnings.
"It's kind of been a struggle with injuries this year and playing bad -- a combination," said Quinney.
Perhaps the struggle has ended.
On Sunday at Montreux Golf and Country Club, Quinney, who trailed eventual champion John Rollins by nine strokes when the day began, shot a final-round 66 to move into a tie for second and record his best finish of 2009.
Quinney tied for fourth at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee in July, had three solid rounds at the RBC Canadian Open before a final-round 73 derailed him and had something of the same fate at last week's Buick Open, where he had three rounds in the 60s -- including a final-round 68 -- to go with a disappointing, third-round 75 to tie for 37th.
"I've been in contention quite a bit," he said of his last month on TOUR. "Even in Flint (at the Buick Open), I had a hot run Sunday, and I really drew on those [today]. I played bogey-free golf, and that made me a lot more happy to finish that way."
Quinney had two front-nine birdies and then got rolling on the back nine Sunday, making three consecutive birdies, beginning at the 11th hole, and then adding another on the 17th to make Rollins think a little coming down the stretch.
Quinney did it in front of a small cheering section, that included his father, Bob, his brother, Mark, his girlfriend Kristen, a nephew, a couple of cousins and other friends who made the trip from Oregon.
"I had a good group for a cheering squad," Quinney added. "It's obviously a tough course to walk, and they really were able to troop it out and keep going."
Not eligible for the PGA Championship in Minnesota, Quinney will return to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and try, as he says, "to keep my game sharp." Quinney admits the forced break doesn't come at the most opportune time. "I don't want a week off. I kind of want to keep going and maybe try to get another tournament or keep playing, just building this momentum the rest of the year."
Quinney's next start will be in the final full-field Regular Season event, the Wyndham Championship, in Greensboro, N.C., as he tries to keep moving up. Prior to his Reno start, Quinney was 146th in the FedExCup. He improved to 108th after his runner-up finish. The top 125 players in the standings qualifying for The Barclays, the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
"I was disappointed the last two years. I've missed four cuts and did horrible in the Playoffs," Quinney said. "So I feel like I'm peaking at the right time. My game is coming around rather than fading. So I'll be more excited to play in the Playoffs."