By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- It’s a good thing for Patrick Reed that the final round of q-school is on a Monday.
Reed of course Monday qualified six times this season on the PGA TOUR. He’s taken advantage of his limited opportunities, too, netting four top-25 finishes in a dozen starts.
Still, if Reed is going to be on the PGA TOUR next season, he needs to finish in the top 25 here at q-school. So far, so good. Reed is 4 under through 13 holes here in the final round and 16 under for the week, one stroke inside the magic number in a tie for 24th.
Why does Reed happen to play so well on Mondays?
“It’s 18 holes, just like match play,” Reed said. “You have to make birdies. It’s the urgency of 18 holes and just getting it done.”
To his point, Reed, a first-team All-American last year at Augusta State, went 6-0 in the match-play portion of the last two NCAA Championships and was a semifinalist at the 2008 U.S. Amateur.
The difference here, of course, is that there 108 holes spread over six days. It’s cliché, but Reed has just tried to take them one day and one round at a time, and he hasn’t changed his philosophy that worked so well in Monday qualifiers this year.
“I’m an aggressive player,” Reed said. “I probably played conservatively once and that was in the first stage and I shot 2 over that day, so that’ll be the last time I play conservatively.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Si Woo Kim won’t turn 18 until June. In the meantime, he’ll try to make history.
Should Kim, who is 17 years, 5 months and 6 days old, finish inside the top 25 here at PGA West, he would become the youngest ever player to earn a PGA TOUR card through q-school. Ty Tryon holds that current distinction, having earned his card in 2001 at 17 years, 6 months and 1 day old.
Kim, who at the moment is tied for 17th, wouldn’t be able to take up membership on the PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour, however, until June 28, 2013, when he turns 18.
In the meantime, he can play no more than 12 events as a non-member on sponsor exemptions (with a maximum of seven), top-10s or special exemptions. He would be able to Monday qualify, however, an unlimited number of times as those do not count toward the 12 events.
The age restriction applies to Special Temporary Membership and therefore this eligibility category is not relevant to the player's situation. There is also no provision for the player to petition to join the TOUR earlier than his 18th birthday.
Though Kim is not yet 18, he would be included, however, in the 25 and ties or number nearest 50 "number" at q-school.
For the purposes of gaining eligibility on TOUR in the 2013-14 season, official money earned as a non-member, along with official money earned once the player becomes a member, will count toward the top-125 money category, which gains access into standard, open beginning in the 2013-14 season. Prior to becoming a member, money will be shown on the non-member money list.
FedExCup points earned as a non-member on the Non-Member FedExCup Points list, along with FedExCup Points earned once the player becomes a member, will also count toward the top-125 FedExCup Points category, which is exempt beginning in the 2013-14 season. Prior to becoming a member, FedExCup Points earned will be shown on the Non-Member FeExCup Points List. This is different from previous FedExCups with the advent of a non-member FEC list (which will now be tracked for eligibility purposes) and mirrors how the TOUR has treated the money list since 1999.
In terms of the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs, points earned as a non-member on the Non-Member FedExCup Points list (excluding points earned as a non-member at World Golf Championships), along with FedExCup points earned once the player becomes a member, will count on the 2013 points list.
Regarding reshuffles of the q-school/Web.com Tour category, once the player becomes a regular member he will be placed in the category with the amount of money earned on the money list on the date of the reshuffle. In Kim's case, since the reshuffle will occur on the Monday of the U.S. Open, he would be placed in the category upon joining with zero dollars and would need to wait until the next reshuffle for any money earned as a non-member to count. The Player Advisory Council will review this subject further in 2013.
If Kim were to win an event on either Tour prior to his birthday, the benefits that come with a win would be waiting for him upon his birthday, effective as if they commenced on the date of the win.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The final round of q-school is under way at PGA West, where the top 25 players and ties will receive PGA TOUR cards for next season.
With changes coming to next year’s schedule -- after this year players in q-school will receive only Web.com Tour status -- this is a particularly important year for players looking to lock up their future.
The final group will tee off in about 10 minutes with Steve Bowditch leading by one over Kris Blanks and two over Derek Ernst.
The more important number, however, is down the leaderboard.
Currently, 28 players are safely inside the magic number to secure a card. That includes the oldest player in the field, 53-year-old Tom Pernice Jr., and Patrick Reed, who is 4 under through his first six holes. Reed successfully Monday qualified six times on TOUR this season. Another good round today would get him a card.
You can follow the final round with our live scores and discuss below.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Meen Whee Kim has a one-shot lead through the first two rounds of q-school after shooting a course-record tying 9-under 63 Friday on PGA West’s Stadium Course.
Another Kim, however, could make even bigger headlines.
Si Woo Kim is tied for 14th and at 17 years, 5 months and 6 days on Monday would be the youngest player ever to reach the PGA TOUR via q-school. In 2001, Ty Tryon became the youngest player to reach the TOUR via that route. He was 17 years, 6 months, 1 day old when he tied for 23rd.
Should Kim earn his card, though, he wouldn’t be able to take up membership until June 28th of next year when he turns 18. He could play no more than 12 PGA TOUR events as a non-member on sponsor exemptions or Monday qualifiers prior to that date.
Alone is second, meanwhile, is Vaughn Taylor, who shot a 64 on the Tournament Course.
Taylor is looking to secure his card via q-school for the second straight year after never finishing outside the top 100 on the money list from 2004 to 2010. Last year, he finished 148th before tying for fifth here. This year, he was 139th in earnings.
Other notables in good shape to finish in the top 25 and earn a card include Robert Karlsson ( who overcame an admitted case of the yips this year ), who is tied for fifth at 10 under, and Billy Horschel, who is one of nine players tied for 14th at 8 under.
Camilo Villegas is another stroke back after a 67 on the Tournament Course.
This is the first time Villegas has played in the final stage of q-school after failing to finish in the top 125 on the money list for the first time in his career.
“One thing is working hard with a purpose, but another is working hard without a purpose,” Villegas said of his struggles earlier this season. “A little bit of that happened with me and when that happened the good results went away, and when they go away the smiles go away and you’re miserable. You have a great life, but you’re miserable. Then you realize, ‘Why am I being so hard on myself?’ and you start playing good golf again and the smiles come back.
“I just wasn’t having as much fun as I should have been.”
A second-round 67 gave Villegas plenty to smile about, and in a tie for 23rd through the first two days puts him in position to regain his card.
A few notables haven’t been so fortunate: Billy Mayfair (5 under/T-39), Shaun Micheel (5 under/T-39), Nick O’Hern (4 under/T-59), James Nitties (3 under/T-71), Billy Hurley III (3 under/T-71), Patrick Cantlay (1 under/T-94), Tim Petrovic (even/T-110), Alex Cejka (1 over/T-127), Steve Flesch (1 over/T-127) and Todd Hamilton (2 over/T-142) are all on the outside looking in at the moment.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- One down, five to go.
Q-school is a marathon and not a sprint, but Steve LeBrun put himself in good shape with an opening-round 64 on the Stadium Course to take a one-shot lead after the first round at PGA West.
Only the top 25 (and ties) after six rounds will receive PGA TOUR cards for 2013 with the rest earning Web.com Tour status or conditional status on that tour.
On a pristine day in the desert, LeBrun was flawless, making eight birdies and no bogeys on the typically more difficult of the two courses.
LeBrun spent this past season on the Web.com Tour, where he had four top 10s and made 14 of 21 cuts. His best finish was a fourth-place at the Miccosukee Championship.
Among the four players tied for a second is Kris Blanks, who despite nagging injuries since mid-summer managed to be mistake-free.
Prior to the second stage of q-school, Blanks hadn’t played competitively since the John Deere Classic in July because of a shoulder injury.
During that time, Blanks played only a half-dozen rounds and most of those were with buddies at his home course in Jupiter, Fla., where more beers were consumed than strokes counted.
At one point, Blanks’ shoulder was so bad he could hit an 8-iron just 130 yards. He’d routinely play from the forward tees just to avoid being frustrated.
“I just didn’t have the ability to swing with any amount of speed,” said Blanks, who got three different opinions on his shoulder before visiting Dr. James Andrews, who prescribed a daily routine of rehab exercises. “If I did, it would hurt.”
If there was an upside to being sidelined, it was that Blanks spent many of his waking hours working on his putting -- one of the weaker areas of his game -- on the synthetic green in his backyard.
“I couldn’t beat balls and do the things I needed to do until I got things calmed down in my shoulder,” Blanks said.
That extra time spent on his putting paid off in the opening round Wednesday with Blanks at one point making six birdies in an eight-hole stretch on the Stadium Course.
”It’s definitely great to get a low round under your belt,” he said. “It affords you the luxury of not having to be so precise the next five rounds.”
That same luxury was also afforded to Robert Karlsson and Erik Compton, who are 6 and 5 under, respectively, after the first round.
“Sometimes in a TOUR event you’re 10 back before you even tee off,” Compton said. “Here, you have to get a piece of the pie every day.”
Other notables in good shape after the first round include Vaughn Taylor, Joseph Bramlett and Daniel Chopra. All three are tied for 20th at 4 under.
Ross Fisher is among a large group another stroke back, while Camilo Villegas, Billy Horschel, Billy Hurley III, Heath Slocum, James Nitties and Rod Pampling are among those at 2 under.