Rob Labritz earns medalist honors at Q-School
Jaidee, Branshaw, Rowland and Gillis Also Earn Status
December 10, 2021
By Connor Stange , PGATOUR.COM
- December 10, 2021
- (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Lutz, Florida – Trailing by one entering the final round, Rob Labritz carded the low score on Friday with a bogey-free 7-under 64 to win the PGA TOUR Champions Qualifying Tournament (Final Stage) at TPC Tampa Bay. He posted a 72-hole score of 17-under 267 to finish three strokes ahead of runners-up Thongchai Jaidee and David Branshaw.
“I’ve been envisioning this happening. And it did, which is crazy,” Labritz said after achieving his dream of 15 years. “It shows the power of the mind. I’m beyond the moon. I’m almost speechless. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this, to know that my golf game held up.”
After opening with four consecutive pars in the final round, Labritz, a club professional at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York, birdied seven of his next 10 holes before closing with four pars. Labritz, who turned 50 on May 31, advanced to Final Stage by finishing runner-up at the First Stage Qualifier at Buckhorn Springs last month in Valrico, Florida.
Labritz has played in eight PGA Championships, including each of the last three, and earned low club professional honors in 2010 (T68) and 2019 (T60). At the Senior PGA Professional Championship in October, he finished sixth, one spot away from an exemption into Final Stage.
"We did it, we did it." ❤️— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) December 11, 2021
Rob Labritz did it and all the emotions poured out as the three-decade club pro secured his card for 2022. pic.twitter.com/N5IxHM08Zq
Labritz added: “I’ve played with so many players – TOUR players, Champions Tour players, amateurs and even in the majors – and they kept saying ‘You’ll get your chance. Just keep grinding.’ And I grinded. And I turned 50. And it seems like 50 is the new 30. We just won Champions Tour Q-School. We just got on the Tour that was supposed to be the hardest thing to do. I’ve waited for this – and it’s here.”
Labritz is one of five players to earn status on PGA TOUR Champions from this week’s Q-School. Jaidee, Branshaw, Roger Rowland and Tom Gillis are also exempt into open, full-field events for the 2022 season. Jaidee and Branshaw shared runner-up honors at 14-under 270 before Jaidee birdied the first playoff hole (No. 10) to earn the No. 2 spot.
“I performed well this week,” Jaidee said. “I’m putting very well. Everything is better than it was earlier this year. Hopefully I can keep it going.”
Rowland was 2-over after six holes on Friday before playing the final 12 holes in 8-under, including an eagle on the par-5 14th and a back-nine 30. He finished fourth at 9-under 275. Gillis shot 1-over 72 to finish fifth with an 8-under 276 total, edging a quartet of players by one stroke for the final PGA TOUR Champions card. Players who finished sixth to 30th at Q-School are eligible to play in open qualifiers in 2022.
The start of Friday’s final round was delayed by one hour and 50 minutes due to fog.
Quick Link: Final Results