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PGA TOUR Americas players look to break through in Week 2 of Second Stage of Q-School

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PGA TOUR Americas players look to break through in Week 2 of Second Stage of Q-School

Two Second Stage events are left to play next week in California and Georgia



    Written by Staff @PGATOUR

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Second Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry opened last week with seven 2024 PGA TOUR Americas exempt players advancing to Final Stage. Those who punched their tickets were Marcus Byrd, Ryan Davis, Cooper Dossey, Conner Howe, John Pak, Davis Shore and Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. With two events left to play this week in Valencia, California, and Valdosta, Georgia, the following are six players to watch at each of the two venues starting play Tuesday.

    VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA

    Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at Valencia Country Club

    Jeffrey Kang (Anaheim, California)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    This 32-year-old University of Southern California alum had four consecutive top-10s, including two runner-up finishes and a solo third to close out the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada season. That final charge allowed him to finish sixth in the Fortinet Cup Standings, just outside the top-5 who secured 2024 Korn Ferry Tour status. Making only six starts, he had the best birdie-to-bogey ratio on Tour, the second-most top-10s, and the third-best scoring average at 67.59 strokes. As a Monday Qualifier earlier this month, he tied for 31st at the PGA TOUR’s World Wide Technology Championship, where he was ranked inside the top 10 through 36 holes.

    Stuart Macdonald (Vancouver, Canada)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    No. 7 in the Fortinet Cup Standings and No. 20 in the Totalplay Cup standings, this 29-year-old Purdue University alumnus left his mark on both PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica this past season. His season was highlighted by 10 top-25s in 14 starts across both Tours, a victory at the Commissionaires Ottawa Open, a tie for second at the Windsor Championship and a solo third at the Colombia Classic. Macdonald also tied for the lowest round of the season in Canada (60) and Latin America (61).

    Devon Bling (Ridgecrest, California)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    The runner-up at the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship, where he lost the 36-hole final to Viktor Hovland (6&5), this 24-year-old had three collegiate wins as a UCLA Bruin. Twice a runner-up on PGA TOUR Canada, he went on to finish the 2023 season ranked 10th in the Fortinet Cup Standings. He produced consistent numbers across the season, finishing third in total eagles (10), fourth in par 5 performance (68-under for the season), seventh in scoring average (68.32), and eleventh in total birdies (154).

    Chris Korte (Littleton, Colorado)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    Opening the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada season with back-to-back runner-up finishes, this 27-year-old went on to close the campaign as No. 11 in the Fortinet Cup Standings. A University of Denver alum, Korte fired final-day 64s in four of his six cuts made to claim the Tour’s lowest final-round scoring average at 66.33 strokes.

    Raul Pereda (Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    With a solo fourth finish at the Neuquén Argentina Classic as his best of four top-10s in 10 starts, the 27-year-old Pereda is coming off a 2023 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season where he finished 22nd in the Totalplay Cup standings. Earlier in the year he made headlines at the PGA TOUR’s Mexico Open at Vidanta, where he fired an opening 65 and stayed in contention before a final-round 76 slowed him down to a tie for 60th.

    Derek Hitchner (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    Following a 14th-place finish on the Final 2023 PGA TOUR University ranking, this 24-year-old rookie made a strong professional debut on PGA TOUR Canada. A tie for third at the season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship vaulted him to a 22nd place finish in the Fortinet Cup Standings. The Pepperdine University alum made the cut in six of his eight starts, adding a second top-10 at the Quebec Open.

    VALDOSTA, GEORGIA

    Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club

    Conner Godsey (Rogersville, Alabama)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    Godsey came close to securing his return to the Korn Ferry Tour with a sixth-place finish on the 2023 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Points List. With runner-up finishes at the Chile Open and the Diners Club Peru Open, the 31-year-old ended up just four points short of the coveted top five. He was third in total birdies, third in top-10s, fifth in par-4 performance and 10th in sub-par rounds. His summer on PGA TOUR Canada was not as hot, as he made only two cuts in six starts.

    Linus Lilliedahl (Sandviken, Sweden)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    The 29-year-old University of Missouri alum got off to a fast start this past season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. He opened with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Argentina Open and the Neuquén Argentina Classic, where Korn Ferry Tour players Zach Fischer and Cristóbal Del Solar edged him out by a slim margin. He added a solo fourth finish at the Inter Rapidisimo Golf Championship in Bogota later in the year, and finished the season ranked seventh in the 2023 Totalplay Cup standings.

    Leandro Marelli (Casilda, Santa Fe, Argentina)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    The runner-up at the Roberto De Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years in Buenos Aires last March, Marelli went on to record four top-10s in 12 starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, and finished 12th in the 2023 Totalplay Cup standings. A longtime member of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Marelli captured his only victory at the 2019 Diners Club Peru Open and amassed 21 top-10s in 134 career starts.

    Jeremy Gandon (Charpey, France)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    A consistent competitor, Gandon made the cut in all eight of his 2023 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica start. Gandon had six top-25s, including a second-place finish at the season-ending Bupa Tour Championship. The 26-year-old Kansas State University alum finished the season ranked 17th in the Points List a year after an 11th-place finish. He also made seven starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, with a tie for sixth at the Utah Championship as his best of four cuts made.

    Julián Etulain (Coronel Suarez, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    A former PGA TOUR member and Korn Ferry Tour champion, Etulain is also a four-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner. Having lost his status at the higher levels, he came back to Latin America last season and finished with three top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the Kia Open for a 19th-place finish on the Totalplay Cup Points List. The 35-year-old veteran showed up in Canada late in the season, tying for 13th at the Manitoba Open and then tying for sixth at the CRMC Championship to finish 64th in the Fortinet Cup Standings.

    Sudarshan Yellamaraju (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)
    Status: Exempt for the Latin America Swing

    Playing his second full season on PGA TOUR Canada, this 22-year-old had six top-25s in 10 starts in 2023, with a solo fourth finish at the ATB Classic as his best performance. His second top-10 of the year came at the season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship, where he tied for ninth to charge for the 21st spot in the Fortinet Cup Standings.

    Just as last week, the medalists and ties at these two Second Stage sites will earn guaranteed starts on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2024, with the top 15 and ties advancing to Q-School’s Final Stage in December. The top five and ties at Final Stage will earn 2024 PGA TOUR membership, with the next 40 and ties earning guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts. The following 20 finishers and ties will earn exempt status for the Latin America Swing of the 2024 PGA TOUR Americas season, while also earning conditional Korn Ferry Tour membership. All remaining finishers will earn conditional Korn Ferry Tour membership and conditional PGA TOUR Americas membership for the 2024 season.

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