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April 13 2012

8:00 PM

Knost: Mixed emotion over q-school

Interview: Colt Knost

Following his second-round 66, Colt Knost talks about his play with Bob Stevens from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. --  When Colt Knost sank his final putt at q-school last December, he walked off the golf course thinking he’d missed out on a PGA TOUR card and broke down in tears.

The only problem was he didn’t. Knost finished on the number and had secured his playing privileges for this season.

“My caddie said, ‘This is going to make you better’ and I feel like it has,” Knost said of the grueling six-round experience. “I’m stronger mentally now. I’m happy with how my game is and I’m happy with how I’m progressing.”

It’s shown through two rounds at Harbour Town, where Knost shot 67-66 through to get to 9 under and the lead heading into the weekend at the RBC Heritage.

With schedule changes that will eliminate the chance of a player reaching the TOUR via q-school set to take place in 2013, Knost’s emotional story will be one of the last to come out of q-school. Once the changes take effect, players coming out of q-school will earn Nationwide Tour status only.

“I have mixed emotions about it,” he said. “I like the fact that a guy can go from nothing to being on the PGA TOUR, in my opinion.”

Knost said he understands the challenges the TOUR is faced with -- “they know what they’re doing,” he said -- and he also felt the Nationwide Tour was the best place for him last year. Yet he couldn’t help but feel a little bittersweet about it.

“I think it's kind of sad that a guy can't go -- like Tommy Gainey went from kind of a nothing to being out there,” said Knost, who had to go through the second stage of q-school before advancing to the finals. “I felt like a lot of the young guys that are really stand-out amateurs are going to turn pro this year because it's their last chance to get out there. Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth, I wouldn't be surprised if they're done with q‑school.”

For now, though, Knost is hoping his q-school experience pays off.

“A win is obviously my goal, but there’s a long way to go,” Knost said. “I like my chances, and I love the way I'm playing right now.”

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