PGA TOURLeaderboardWatch + ListenNewsFedExCupSchedulePlayersStatsGolfbetSignature EventsComcast Business TOUR TOP 10Aon Better DecisionsDP World Tour Eligibility RankingsHow It WorksPGA TOUR TrainingTicketsShopPGA TOURPGA TOUR ChampionsKorn Ferry TourPGA TOUR AmericasLPGA TOURDP World TourPGA TOUR University

Final Stage at Q-School update: 15-shot swing keeps Aldrich Potgieter's hopes alive

8 Min Read


Final Stage at Q-School update: 15-shot swing keeps Aldrich Potgieter's hopes alive

    Written by Paul Hodowanic @PaulHodowanic

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Aldrich Potgeiter is looking for a place to live as he pursues a PGA TOUR career in 2024.

    He had been eyeing northeast Florida, though Thursday wasn’t the greatest introduction to the area.

    With wind gusts blowing over 30 mph, the 19-year-old South African shot 78 at Sawgrass Country Club in the first round of Final Stage of Q-School presented by Korn Ferry. Considered one of the pre-tournament favorites to finish in the top five and earn a PGA TOUR card, Potgieter found himself tied for 156th.

    “It was a weird situation,” Potgieter said Friday. “I was like, ‘well, it happened. I know I can shoot a better score tomorrow.’”

    Perhaps that’s not a high bar to clear, but besting his opening round by 15 strokes certainly is. Potgieter shot a second-round 7-under 63, one shot off the Dye’s Valley course record, to claw his way back into relevance. At 1-over for the tournament, Potgieter is seven shots back of the top five and two shots back of the top 45, which would earn him additional Korn Ferry Tour status.

    Bryan brothers talk about Aldrich Potgieter's game

    It’s still an uphill climb. Considering where he was 24 hours earlier, it was progress.

    “I hit the ball amazing,” said Potgieter, who displayed the ball-striking prowess that helped him become the second youngest winner of The Amateur at age 17 in 2022. He made eight birdies to just one bogey on Friday and carded the lowest round of Q-School this week.

    Potgieter attributed Thursday’s troubles mainly to the weather, a mediocre round that got out of hand as the conditions worsened. He left Sawgrass Country Club on Thursday, returned to his rental house and took a two-hour nap. He woke up, ate dinner and then went back to bed. There was no sense in worrying about something that already happened.

    “You can’t change it once it’s over," Potgieter said. "So, just trying to change the next round, that’s the most important part. It hasn’t happened often, I can tell you that."

    The long-hitting South African has had a rapid rise into professional golf. He made the cut at this year’s U.S. Open and turned pro the following week – finishing T35 at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Compliance Solutions Championship – before hitting the Monday qualifying circuit (he also made a par-4 ace at the John Deere Classic qualifier, ultimately missing by one). After recharging for a couple of weeks at home in South Africa, he rolled through Second Stage of Q-School in Valdosta, Georgia – earning medalist honors by four shots to secure guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts at minimum in 2024.

    That meant he could deploy an aggressive strategy this week as he chases the five available TOUR cards – an approach suited to his propensity for power. Friday was a display of what can happen when his game clicks.

    Though with conditions expected to ramp up again this weekend, Potgieter will need to conquer the bad-weather demons. Friday's round assured there will still be stakes when he does.

    Projected TOUR cards

    The top 5 and ties after 72 holes will earn full status for the 2024 PGA TOUR season. Through 18 holes, here’s who would earn a TOUR card.

    T1. Kyle Westmoreland (-7) – The TOUR rookie lost his card by finishing No. 192 in the FedExCup Fall last month, though he can earn it right back. Westmoreland became the first United States Air Force Army graduate to earn a TOUR card last year. He was one of the longest drivers on TOUR as a rookie but struggled to find consistency. He made 10 of 32 cuts and failed to card a top-25 finish.

    T1. Blaine Hale Jr. (-7) – The 25-year-old has spent the year playing without status, traveling to Monday qualifiers and fitting in mini-tour events where he can. He’s played just one PGA TOUR-sanctioned event, a T26 at the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2022 Veritex Bank Championship. That he’s made it this far is already career-changing. Two more days of solid golf and that career could fully catapult to the PGA TOUR.

    T1. Harrison Endycott (-7) – The Australian has held a share of the lead in each of the first two rounds. He has already locked up conditional TOUR status for 2024, making this a top-five-or-bust week. He’s made just one bogey through two rounds.

    T4. Harry Higgs (-6) – Like Endycott, Higgs will likely make a dozen or so starts on TOUR next season with his conditional status, though he could lock up plenty more security with a top 5 this week. Higgs shot a bogey-free 65 at Sawgrass Country Club on Friday.

    T4. Trace Crowe (-6) – No stranger to being on the bubble, Crowe was in the mix for a TOUR card during the weekend at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. A Saturday 76 derailed his hopes, but he’s back in contention for a card through two rounds at Q-School presented by Korn Ferry. Crowe has three career TOUR starts.

    Korn Ferry Tour bubble

    The next 40 finishers and ties will earn exempt status through multiple reshuffles of the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour season, with the first 25 finishers and ties being subject to the third reshuffle (12 guaranteed starts), and any remaining finishers within the category being subject to the second reshuffle (eight guaranteed starts).

    Through Round 2, 45 players are at 1-under or better, making that the current cutoff for Korn Ferry Tour status. Among the notable names of the group:

    Danny Walker (-4, T9) – Walker needed to shoot a final-round 67 or better just to make it through First Stage. He shot 66. Then he was co-medalist at Second Stage, which earned him full status on PGA TOUR Americas and conditional Korn Ferry Tour status. Now he’s on the precipice of guaranteed Korn Ferry starts or possibly a TOUR card.

    Julian Suri (-3, T15) – A former DP World Tour winner, Suri spent most of the year on the Challenge Tour before coming to the States to make a Q-School push. A Jacksonville native, Suri is performing well in a comfortable environment. He is well within range to lock up guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts, with an outside chance to earn a TOUR card.

    Noah Goodwin (E, T46) – The 23-year-old withdrew from the Final Stage of Q-School a year ago due to illness. He returns for redemption. Goodwin made it through First and Second Stage with his dad on the bag, and the duo are back together this week. Goodwin finished outside the top 100 of the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, leaving him with work this week to earn starts next season.

    Brian Carlson (+1, T61) – Carlson finished 61st on the Fortinet Cup standings last season, one spot away from retaining his PGA TOUR Americas card. He has conditional status on both PGA TOUR Americas and the Korn Ferry Tour, though he would like to be on the right side of the bubble this week. He’s currently two shots out of earning guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts.

    Caleb Hicks (+3, T94) – One of two Final Stage participants who started in pre-qualifying, Hicks can already call this week a success. Conditional Korn Ferry Tour status is much better than anything he has had.


    Harry Higgs (-6, T4) – Harry Higgs made the most of his time at Sawgrass Country Club Friday, posting a 65 to ascend into the threshold of potential TOUR cards. After a disappointing season, this could be the redemption arc that Higgs needs to put his career back on track. Golf fans would relish seeing the Big Rig regain full status on TOUR for 2024.

    Keita Nakajima (-5, T6) – The Japanese sensation and pre-tournament favorite Nakajima confirmed the hype Friday, posting 66 at Sawgrass Country Club to get to T6, just outside the line for TOUR cards. Nakajima posted just one bogey Friday and will look to maintain that consistency into the weekend.

    Wesley Bryan (-4, T9) – The YouTube star had one of the most interesting rounds of the day, carding eight birdies against one quadruple bogey on Dye’s Valley to shoot 66. Bryan’s quad on the 17th hole, a par 5 playing as a par 4 this week, didn’t stop him from ascending into the top 10. However, a four on that hole instead of an eight would’ve given Wesley a share of the course record.

    Doc Redman (-3, T15) – After a lackluster season that saw Redman finish 157th in the FedExCup, the Jacksonville local now finds himself in striking range of regaining full TOUR status for 2024. A 66 on Thursday had him in the top 5 before a 71 at Sawgrass Country Club knocked him back.

    Sam Bennett (-2, T30) – The Texas A&M alum contended at this year’s Masters and would like to play a full TOUR schedule in 2024. For now, Bennett is only projected to earn Korn Ferry Tour status.

    James Nicholas (-1, T38) – A social media darling, Nicholas has been on a heater this fall, rising through DP World Tour’s qualification process and earning full status for next year. Now he’s trying to do the same on the PGA TOUR. It’s going to take more than what he’s done so far.

    Peter Kuest (+2, T78) – After nearly gaining his TOUR card through exemption starts earlier this season, Kuest came into Final Stage as a dark horse to earn full status. Unfortunately, Kuest hasn’t found his groove in the dreary Florida conditions and sits T78 after two rounds.

    PGA TOUR staff member Jimmy Reinman contributed to this report.

    Privacy PolicyTerms of UseAccessibility StatementDo Not Sell or Share My Personal InformationCookie ChoicesSitemap

    Copyright © 2024 PGA TOUR, Inc. All rights reserved.

    PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and the Swinging Golfer design are registered trademarks. The Korn Ferry trademark is also a registered trademark, and is used in the Korn Ferry Tour logo with permission.