By Michael Curet, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Frank Lickliter, Jay McLuen, David Branshaw and Fran Quinn earned qualifying spots into this week’s Travelers Championship in the Monday qualifier at Connecticut National Golf Club. However, it was two-time PGA TOUR winner Vaughn Taylor (2004 Reno-Tahoe Open; 2005 Reno-Tahoe Open) who grabbed most of the attention with an eagle on the 18th hole for a sizzling 63.
Taylor’s round was the best of the day, but he never needed to sign his scorecard because he learned he was being called up as the first alternate at the Travelers. Taylor promptly withdrew, leaving Lickliter and McLuen to share medalist honors after both shot 3-under 67s.
Lickliter, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR (2001 Kemper Insurance Open; 2003 Chrysler Classic of Tucson), is making his first start on PGA TOUR in 2013. The 43-year-old Lickliter is making his first PGA TOUR start since the Frys.com Open last year and has not had a top 10 on TOUR since finishing second at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort in 2006.
McLuen, a 32-year-old native of Harvard, Ill., who now resides in Forsyth, Ga., makes his PGA TOUR debut this week and has yet to make a cut in six tries on the Web.com Tour. He and Branshaw shot 68 in the qualifier.
Branshaw, 42, a New York native now living in Tampa, Fla., missed the cut in his only start on the Web.com Tour in April at the Brasil Classic Presented by HSBC and has not played a PGA TOUR event since finishing 86th in the 2007 Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart. During that same season when he had his PGA TOUR card, Branshaw tied for fifth place at the Viking Classic. His best PGA TOUR finish came at the B.C. Open (T4) in 2006.
Among the biggest surprises in the Monday qualifier was Quinn, a 48-year-old Worchester, Mass., native who owns four Web.com Tour victories and two International wins on the Asian Tour in a professional career that has spanned over 25 years.
A graduate of Northwestern, Quinn returned to the PGA TOUR for the first time since 1992 a year ago at Greenbrier, where he tied for 64th. He was a member of the PGA TOUR in 1992 and 2010.