• Five players to watch: Q-School USA West 2

  • Cheng Jin was the first amateur to ever win a PGA TOUR Series-China tournament—the 2014 Nine Dragons Open. (Media/PGA TOUR)
    Cheng Jin was the first amateur to ever win a PGA TOUR Series-China tournament—the 2014 Nine Dragons Open. (Media/PGA TOUR)
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  • SAN JACINTO, California—PGA TOUR Canada has completed more than half of its Qualifying Tournaments this year, No. 4 of seven ending last week outside Phoenix. Since the Qualifying Tournaments began, one amateur and three professionals have walked away with medalist honors. Of those four, only Alex Herrmann, emerging from the Dothan, Alabama, site, hails from outside the U.S. The German qualified alongside his twin brother, Max, who picked up conditional status.

    A year ago, Jeffrey Kang was the medalist at the Qualifying Tournament held here at Soboba Springs Golf Club. The former USC and PGA TOUR Series-China player won by two strokes. This week, at Qualifying Tournament No. 5, another former USC golfer and PGA TOUR Series-China veteran is in the field trying to get his career untracked. China’s Cheng Jin left school early, turned pro and earned 2019 PGA TOUR Series-China status. That was the last time he held membership on any PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour, the global pandemic curtailing his play.

    The tournament, which gets underway Tuesday, features 106 players, with the medalist at the conclusion of the 72-hole tournament gaining access to every 2022 PGA TOUR Canada tournament. Those finishing in the second-through-eighth positions guarantee themselves tournament starts in the Tour’s first half of the season, while those finishing ninth through 30th (and ties) will enjoy conditional status.

    Here are five players—three professionals and two amateurs—who bear watching as they’re expected to contend this week.

    Grant Booth (Australia)

    The former University of Nevada star has found it difficult securing a place to play since turning pro. He’s made one PGA Tour of Australasia appearance, as well as a PGA TOUR start—at the Barracuda Championship when that event was still in his college town of Reno (he made the cut). A year later, he caddied at the same tournament for amateur Trent Phillips. Last year at this same qualifier at Soboba Springs, Booth tied for 24th but gained no status with reduced cards available because of the global pandemic.

    Noah Goodwin (United States)

    Goodwin is the highest-ranked PGA TOUR University player in the field this week, checking in at No. 13, which, if the NCAA season ended today, would earn him PGA TOUR Canada status. The Southern Methodist senior is hedging his bets at the Qualifying Tournament, looking to guarantee PGA TOUR Canada privileges for the summer. Goodwin’s amateur resume is an impressive one. He is the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and he is one of only five players—a list that includes Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson—to earn back-to-back American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year honors.

    Cheng Jin (China)

    The former USC golfer and PGA TOUR Series-China player has been playing primarily in China for the last two years after reaching as high as No. 607 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was the first amateur to ever win a PGA TOUR Series-China tournament—the 2014 Nine Dragons Open when he was only 16. He since won the 2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, in Hong Kong, earning a playing spot in the 2016 Masters Tournament.

    Josh McCarthy (United States)

    During his college career, and on the strength of two victories during the fall portion of his senior year, McCarthy reached as high as No. 96 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He played on the national championship Pepperdine team and was teammates with 2021 PGA TOUR Canada qualifier Clay Feagler and Joey Vrzich, who earned his 2022 PGA TOUR Canada playing card last week outside Phoenix. In the fall of 2021, McCarthy made his PGA TOUR debut, at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, where he missed the cut.

    Cameron Sisk (United States)

    Unlike Noah Goodwin, currently No. 13 in the PGA TOUR University rankings, Sisk is just outside the top 15—with the top-15 players at the end of the year earning either Korn Ferry Tour membership or a spot on either PGA TOUR Canada or PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Sisk is taking no chances, at No. 17 in the ranking this week, as he looks to earn PGA TOUR Canada membership. The Arizona State senior’s most-recent college victory came in September 2021, at the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational in Carrolltown, Texas. Cameron, No. 31 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has an identical twin brother, Parker, currently playing for the University of Southern California.