Muehr, Branshaw, Cooper at top of First Stage of Qualifying School
November 19, 2021
By Bret Lasky, PGATOUR.COM
- November 19, 2021
- Brian Cooper has the lead at Primm Valley site in Las Vegas through three rounds. (Getty Images)
Michael Muehr (-14) and David Branshaw (-14) share the lead at the Buckhorn Springs site of PGA TOUR Champions Q-School First Stage through three rounds while Brian Cooper holds a two-shot lead at the Primm Valley site in Las Vegas. All three are in prime position to advance to Final Stage of PGA TOUR Champions Q-School, which will be held at TPC Tamp Bay from December 7-10. Final Stage carries a field of 78 players and 27 are currently exempt into Final Stage. The rest of the field will come from the Buckhorn Springs site, the Primm Valley site and the Orange Country National site (November 29-December 2).
In September of this year, Muehr won the prestigious Crump Memorial Tournament, an amateur event at Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey in its 96th year of competition. Muehr played 72 times on the PGA TOUR from 1995 to 2003 and recorded two top 10 finishes. He played a bit more regularly on the Korn Ferry Tour (121 starts) during that same time period.
Branshaw is another guy that spent most of his career on the Korn Ferry Tour where he has two career wins. He played as recently on the KFT as 2016, but hasn’t played full-time since 2011.
"The grind is extremely ... the grind."@CoopsGolf has scratched and clawed his entire career and continues to grind his way at @AllyChallenge.— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) August 26, 2021
He's rocking old school Chuck Taylor shoes! 💯 pic.twitter.com/FcdRPck2hg
Cooper is a bit more of a familiar name on PGA TOUR Champions. He’s gone the Monday Qualifying route for the last two years and has had some success. He’s made 10 career starts on PGA TOUR Champions including three in 2021.
John Smoltz, former Braves Hall of Famer, is on the outside looking in to advance at the Buckhorn Springs site. He’s T57 through three rounds (77-80-77).
Mario Tiziani, the brother-in-law of Steve Stricker, is T11 after three rounds of 70-71-70 at the Buckhorn Springs site.
70-year-old Dick Mast is T14 with rounds of 68-73-68.
Rob Labritz is in third place at the Buckhorn Springs site. He played only 11 times on the PGA TOUR.
At the Primm Valley site, Tom Kalinowski and Mark Walker are in second and third place respectively behind Cooper. Both should comfortably advance assuming a solid final round on Friday.