William McGirt, who finished 141st on the money list in 2011, is back on TOUR in 2012 after getting into the clubhouse at 11 under. McGirt, who made it through two events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, fired a 69 Monday to move off the bubble.
He will be joined by 48-year-old Scott Dunlap, who has 184 career PGA TOUR starts, and Greg Owen, who has 142 starts. Both Dunlap and Owen finished at 10 under. Owen's final-round 67 is one of the best rounds of the day.
Low round of the day? Sang-Moon Bae, who fired rounds of 69-66 on the last two days to secure his card.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- With just seven made cuts in 20 starts and zero top-25s on the Nationwide Tour, Patrick Sheehan didn’t exactly have the kind of year he was looking for. But the 42-year-old, who works with his younger brother Chris as his swing coach, was more concerned about using the year as a building one to fix the bad habits he’d fallen into with his swing.
After finishing at 10 under at q-school following a final-round 66, he’ll now have the opportunity to do that on the PGA TOUR.
The last time Sheehan played on TOUR was in 2009, when he split his season between the Nationwide Tour and the PGA TOUR.
“With the stuff I saw this week with the improvements, if it keeps moving in that direction my expectations will be a little higher,” Sheehan said. “My ball-striking is better than when I was out there. I love the way I played the last three days.”
Meanwhile, the magic number to secure a TOUR card, is currently at 8 under with 28 players at that mark or better. Three of those 28 already have secured a TOUR card via the Nationwide Tour.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The University of Georgia has a pretty good presence on the PGA TOUR, and it’s about to get even stronger.
Brendon Todd, who helped lead the Bulldogs to a national championship in 2005, is currently tied for the lead at 15 under with four others.
One of those four? Former Bulldog Brian Harman. Meanwhile, Harris English, who won earlier on the Nationwide Tour while he was still in school at Georgia, is tied for eighth, and Kevin Kisner tied for 12th.
As for the rest of the leaderboard, the magic number is currently 9 under.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The main objective at q-school is to obtain a PGA TOUR card for next season. But there’s an additional reward for playing well this week: Money.
The winner here will get $50,000. Second place will earn $40,000, third $35,000, fourth $30,000 and fifth $27,500. Players who finish between sixth and 25th (and ties) will get $25,000 each. Everyone else who earns Nationwide status will get $5,000.
As for the leaderboard, the top 27 players and ties at the moment will get cards. That’s because Mark Anderson and Roberto Castro, both currently inside the top 25 on the leaderboard, are already guaranteed TOUR cards for next season via the Nationwide Tour and don’t count against the number.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- There’s still a lot of golf left in the final round at PGA West, but some players are in good position for a little redemption.
Case in point: Tommy Biershenk. He missed getting his card by a stroke last year. This year? He’s currently tied for 16th after playing his first six holes today in even par. Ditto Bobby Gates, who has moved all the way up to a tie for sixth after playing his first eight holes in 4 under. Last year, Gates three-putted from 40 feet to miss out on a card by a shot.
Bob May, on the other hand, isn’t so fortunate. Finally healthy after battling back injuries for the last seven years, the 2000 PGA runner-up has slipped into a tie for 70th after shooting 78 on Sunday. Today, he’s 1 under through eight holes today.
David Duval, meanwhile, is trying to make a late push. He’s 4 under through seven holes and 6 under for the week. That puts him three shots outside the top 25 at the moment and in all likelihood Duval would have to get to 10 under or thereabouts.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The last groups just teed off here at PGA West, where the top 25 and ties after today’s final round will get PGA TOUR cards for next season.
Marco Dawson is the leader at 17 under. His experience is clearly a benefit -- this is the 11th time in Dawson’s career that he’s played in the final stage.
Others in good position include Stephen Gangluff, who is in second, and Harris English, who is tied for third with Brendon Todd. English you might remember won on the Nationwide Tour earlier this year while he was still in school at the University of Georgia.
Some notables currently on the wrong side of the number including Lee Janzen (5 under/T42), Jason Gore (4 under/T52), Boo Weekley (3 under/T61), Dean Wilson (2 under/T70) and 2000 PGA runner-up Bob May (2 under), who tumbled down the leaderboard after a 78 on Sunday.
David Duval is also 2 under, while Canadian Adam Hadwin has dropped down to a tie for 96th after shooting 76-75 the last two days.
Marco Dawson has been to the final stage of q-school before -- 11 times to be exact.
While that’s a somewhat dubious honor, experience goes a long way and so far Dawson has been able to use to it his advantage. The 48-year-old is near the top of the leaderboard at PGA West, where he’s tied for the lead at 13 under after playing his first six holes on the Stadium Course in even par.
Dawson spent this past season on the Nationwide Tour, where he earned just over $156,000 and finished 32nd on the money list -- only the top 25 are guaranteed PGA TOUR cards for 2012 and Dawson missed that mark by about $24,000.
The other thing Dawson has working for him is that he’s twice made it through q-school at PGA West. If he keeps playing the way he is, the third time will certainly be a charm.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The wind is much calmer for the fifth round of q-school, which is in full swing from PGA West ( click here for live scores ). That should mean better scores a day after just five players in the field broke 70 on a winblown afternoon in the desert.
Just how difficult has the scoring been when the wind has blown? Saturday’s scoring average was north of 74 on both courses (see chart below). While the wind will be much calmer for today’s fifth round, the forecast for Monday isn’t so go good with winds expected in the 25-30 mph range.
Scoring averages (both courses are par-72):
Nicklaus Tournament Course
TPC Stadium Course
As for the leaderboard, Will Claxton leads at 15 under and will tee off at 1:10 p.m. ET. Claxton has made only one career start on the PGA TOUR, finishing in a tie for 67th at this year’s Transition Championship. He earned conditional status on the Nationwide Tour after finishing in a tie for 139th at q-school last year but appears well on his way to a TOUR card.
That would be quite an achievement, too. Claxton made just four cuts in nine starts on the Nationwide Tour this year and he had just one top-25.
Meanwhile, Marco Dawson is making his 11 th appearance in q-school. He last earned his card through this tournament in 2006 but is in good shape at 13 under as he tees off.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The good news for Seung-yul Noh is that he’s still high up on the leaderboard despite a bogey-quadruple bogey finish Saturday at q-school, where he shot an even-par 72 in a windswept day on the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
At 11 under through the first four rounds, the 20-year-old from South Korea seems to be well on his way to securing a PGA TOUR card for next season.
He also made quite and impression on Tag Ridings, who played with Noh the last two days.
“I had no idea he was 20 years old,” Ridings said. “That’s impressive.
“He’s a very good player. He swings it great, he putts it great. He’s one of the best players in this field.”
Ranked 101st in the world, Noh isn’t exactly a stranger to success. In 2010, he won the Malaysian Open, which made him the second-youngest winner in European Tour history behind Danny Lee. Noh finished 34th on the Order of Merit that year and led the Asian Tour money list as well.
Noh isn’t the only one playing well on another windy day, however. Veteran Marco Dawson shot 67 for a second straight day and is 13 under.
That is easily the lowest score among those near the top of the leaderboard on a difficult day of scoring.
“Brutal,” Ridings said, describing the conditions. “This is a horrible place to play in these conditions. The wind is more gusting than swirling.”
Other notables inside the magic number of the top 25 on the leaderboard at the moment include 2000 PGA runner-up Bob May, who is 7 under through four rounds.
Harris English, who won on the Nationwide Tour while still in college at Georgia earlier this year, is also near the top of the leaderboard, while William McGirt, Bob Estes and Jeff Maggert are also all in the top 25.