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March 26 2013

9:04 AM

Monday qualifiers: Shell Houston Open

Wheatcroft has two top 21 finishes on the Web.com Tour this season. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

Former Texas Longhorn golfer Randy Lowry fired a 7-under 65 at Cypresswood Golf Club’s Tradition Course to top the Monday qualifier field and earn his way into this week’s Shell Houston Open on the PGA TOUR.

A couple of veterans trying to make their way back onto the PGA TOUR, Steve Wheatcroft and Michael Putnam, posted 67s to make the field. Dallas native Paul Haley, who has failed to make a cut in five starts on the PGA TOUR this year, also shot five-under to qualify.

The 25-year-old Lowry makes his career debut on the PGA TOUR this week. On his Monday qualifier card, he circled eight birdies and had a lone bogey.

Wheatcroft, who regained his PGA TOUR card at the end of 2011 after graduating from the Web.com Tour, managed to post a tie for third at the Puerto Rico Open in 2012 – one of his few highlights on the PGA TOUR last year. The 35-year-old Jacksonville resident already has a T21 (Panama Claro Championship) and a T7 (Colombia Championship) in 2013 on the Web.com Tour, where he won the Melwood Prince George’s County Open Presented by UnderArmour in 2011.

Last year, Haley, a former Georgia Tech golfer, won the Web.com Tour Chile Classic Presented by Pacific Rubiales. The 25-year-old also had two runner-up finishes to finish No. 12 on the money list and earn PGA TOUR playing privileges for 2013.

Haley also played on the same sixth-grade baseball team with Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Staford and Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Putnam, who had the lowest back-nine (31) in the Monday qualifier, has not made a cut on the PGA TOUR since 2011, but has 36 cuts made on the PGA TOUR in his career. The 29-year-old Washington native and Pepperdine University graduate turned pro in 2005 – posting his best finish ever on TOUR that year with a tie for fourth place at the Buick Championship.

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