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Final Stage at Q-School update: Harrison Endycott leads six players currently projected to earn PGA TOUR cards

8 Min Read



    Written by Paul Hodowanic @PaulHodowanic

    Editor's note: The final round of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry's Final Stage has been postponed until Monday due to heavy rain in northeast Florida.

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The gravity of the moment began to hit Blaine Hale Jr. The 25-year-old had just wrapped up his third consecutive round of 67 or better. In solo second at 10-under, Hale had suddenly gone from an unknown mini tour pro to fielding questions about how playing on the PGA TOUR would feel.

    “Oh, I mean, God's in control. It's all I got,” Hale said Saturday, choking back tears. To that point, the Oklahoma alum had been measured by discussing his days on the All Pro Tour, narrow misses at Q-School, and solid play this week. But as he let his mind wander to what could be, it began to hit him.

    “I mean, this is a dream. To get to play professional golf. It's been my dream since I was three years old. Just to get the opportunity to continue my dream is emotional. It should be,” Hale said.

    It’s the magic that returned this year with TOUR cards up for grabs at PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry for the first time in a decade. Four rounds have the possibility of changing your life. The top five and ties will earn full PGA TOUR status in 2024. For some, like 54-hole leader Harrison Endycott, it represents their path back to the TOUR. He was a rookie last year and has conditional status for next season after finishing between Nos. 125 to 150 in the FedExCup.

    But Endycott’s situation is an outlier. He’s the only golfer in the top five with conditional TOUR status for 2024. The rest are trying to realize their dream. Some have bided their time on the Korn Ferry Tour. Others had no status when they started Q-School just a few months ago. Now they’re all 18 holes away.

    “Yeah, it does feel close,” said Spencer Levin, who turned pro in 2005, won for the first time in 2007 and has spent the last seven years trying to make it back on TOUR. He shot 66 at Sawgrass Country Club on Saturday to move to 8-under, tied for third.

    Levin, now 39 years old, made 227 PGA TOUR starts between 2009 and 2017. He finished runner-up once, losing to Johnson Wagner at the 2011 Mayakoba Golf Classic, but otherwise never came close to winning on TOUR. That winless streak stretched out to 15 years before he won the Veritex Bank Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in April. After years of close calls, he was finally on the right track. Still, he couldn’t maintain that momentum throughout the year and finished outside the top 30 in the Korn Ferry Tour Points List. That meant another trip to Q-School to potentially earn his TOUR card. Three solid rounds have put him on the precipice again.

    “I've been a pro now for almost 20 years, so there's been a lot of golf, a lot of miles traveled,” Levin said. “Good golf this week has got me in a good position, and I've kind of been around the block every which way with this game, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It'll be fun.”

    The opposite is true for Hale. He hasn’t been outside the house, let alone around the block. Hale has played just one PGA TOUR-sanctioned event, a T26 at the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2022 Veritex Bank Championship.

    The Dallas, Texas native graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2019. He missed Second Stage of Q-School by one stroke later that year, then COVID hit and halted his professional aspirations. Hale is finally seeing the progress he hoped to make three years ago. He timed it just right for a possible life-changing week.

    “I'm just excited that my game is showing up when I feel like I needed it to,” he said.

    The other three players currently projected to earn their TOUR cards fall somewhere between Levin and Hale.

    Trace Crowe is 8-under and tied with Levin in third. He nearly earned his TOUR card through the Korn Ferry Tour Points List but struggled over the weekend at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and fell outside the top 30. The 27-year-old Auburn grad has made three PGA TOUR starts and has spent the last two seasons playing full-time on the Korn Ferry Tour.

    Raul Pereda, 27, made his lone PGA TOUR start earlier this year at the Mexico Open. He shot an opening-round 65 to capture headlines but struggled to maintain that pace and finished T60. He entered Q-School with no status but could become the only active PGA TOUR member of Mexican descent. He is 7-under and tied for fifth with Hayden Springer.

    “I've always dreamed about putting Mexico back on the PGA TOUR,” said Pereda, a longtime PGA TOUR Americas member. “I am 18 holes away from being able to do that.”

    Hayden Springer finished No. 1 in PGA TOUR Canada, which exempted him into Final Stage. Springer, 26, had no status on any PGA TOUR-sanctioned tour before 2022. The Nashville native is playing with a heavy heart. His young daughter Sage passed away last month at age three after battling Trisomy 18.

    Projected TOUR cards

    The top five 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.

    1. Harrison Endycott (-12)
    2. Blaine Hale Jr. (-10)
    T3. Spencer Levin (-8)
    T3. Trace Crowe (-8)
    T5. Raul Pereda (-7)
    T5. Hayden Springer (-7)

    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 3, 53 players are at 1-under or better, making that the current cutoff for Korn Ferry Tour status. Among the notable names of the group:

    Julian Suri (-5, T10) – 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.

    Blake Elliott (-3, T19) – This week has already been the highlight of Elliott’s career, he said following a Saturday 64. Elliott advanced all the way from First Stage, having played most of the season on the All Pro Tour. He’s a round away from guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts.

    Thomas Power Horan (-2, T24) – The Australian began Q-School without any status, but a Saturday 64 now has him in position for guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts. Power Horan has won three times on the Australasia Tour in the last four years, which came after he took a break from professional golf to support his family.

    Brian Carlson (+1, T68) – 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.

    Van Holmgren (+3, T91) – Holmgren lipped out his final putt of Second Stage two years ago, which cost him a spot at Final Stage. He saved a video of the putt as motivation. After two years of having nowhere to play, Holmgren has locked up at least conditional Korn Ferry Tour status but will need a low round Sunday to earn anything more.


    Keita Nakajima (even-par, T54) – The pre-tournament favorite entered the day just one shot back of the top 5, but a pair of double bogeys derailed his round. After a Saturday 75, Nakajima will need to channel the golf that made him the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world if he hopes to contend for a TOUR card.

    Harry Higgs (-4, T13) – Three bogeys on his closing nine loom large for Higgs’ hopes. He missed a tap-in par putt on the 13th, three-putted the 15th and found the water on the 18th. Still Higgs is just two shots from improving his conditional TOUR status to full status for 2024.

    Wesley Bryan (-5, T10) – Two shots out of the top five, the former RSM Classic champion is within range of earning full status for the first time since 2018. Without Bryan's quadruple bogey during his second round, he would be in the top 5. Bryan’s 16 birdies this week are third-most in the field.

    Sam Bennett (-1, T36) - The Texas A&M alum who broke on the scene at last year’s Masters must conjure some of that magic to earn a PGA TOUR card. Bennett shot 71 on Saturday and sits six shots back.

    Kyle Westmoreland (-6, T7) – 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. After rounds of 69-64 gave him a share of the 36-hole lead, Westmoreland fell back on Saturday with a 1-over 71. Still, he’s just one stroke back from the top 5.

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