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Q-School notebook: Notables to advance from First Stage

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Q-School notebook: Notables to advance from First Stage

    Written by Jordan Perez @jrdnprz

    One stage down, two to go.

    The final four sites of the First Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry concluded Friday.

    Here is a roundup of who earned medalist honors (from 13 sites contested across the last three weeks), notable names who advanced to Second Stage, and some big names who missed out.

    For all scores from all Q-School sites, click here.

    The Second Stage will begin on Nov. 14.

    The top five finishers (and ties) at Final Stage of 2023 Q-School will earn 2024 PGA TOUR membership. This is the first time since 2012 that Q-School will provide direct access to the PGA TOUR. Players who finish outside the top five and ties at Final Stage will earn 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership, with status determined based on the position of finish.

    The medalist(s) from each First Stage site are guaranteed status on 2024 PGA TOUR Americas, should they not earn PGA TOUR or Korn Ferry Tour status. These players are Tanner Gore, Jonathan De Los Reyes, Michael Sweeney, Alex Scott, Luis Gerardo Garza, Jimmy Hervol, Zander Winston, Luke Long, Matthew Walker, Adam Navigato, Riley Elmes, James Nicholas, Tom Forster, Dylan Healey, Jhared Hack and Sam Fidone.

    Semms, Alabama – Magnolia Grove-Crossing

    The top 19 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 19 players finished at 14-under 273 or better.

    James Nicholas shot a final-round 63 to rocket up the leaderboard and snatch medalist honors by two shots over Julian Perico. Nicholas spent 2020 on the Korn Ferry Tour but has struggled to maintain status since. His medalist finish guarantees him full status on PGA TOUR Americas, but the 26-year-old certainly has bigger aspirations. Nicholas, known widely as a social media darling, once had Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy caddie for him on the Korn Ferry Tour.

    Notables to advance: Danny Walker, the 2018 Final Stage medalist, qualified following a final-round 66; he finished 15-under … Former TOUR pro Brett Stegmaier also finished 15-under to advance. Stegmaier made it through two PGA TOUR Monday qualifiers this season and made the cut in each event (T56 at Travelers Championship, T29 at Rocket Mortgage Classic).

    Notables to miss: Dominic Bozzelli finished T39 at 6-under, eight back of the number to advance. Bozzelli, 32, has played in 96 PGA TOUR events, holding full status for three seasons from 2016 to 2019. He finished T3 at the 2017 Valspar Championship … Wade Binfield, a longtime Korn Ferry Tour pro who advanced to Final Stage last season, finished T63.

    Bermuda Run, North Carolina – Bermuda Run Country Club

    The top 19 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 20 players advanced at 4-under or better.

    Tom Forster cruised to medalist honors with a final-round 67 and beat the field by five strokes. The Englishman graduated from Carson-Newman University (D-II) in 2020 and has made a handful of starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Canada, but has never had full status. With his medalist finish, he is guaranteed full status for 2024 on PGA TOUR Americas.

    Notables to advance:George Bryan, brother of PGA TOUR winner Wesley Bryan, finished 8-under (T8) to advance. Later this fall, George Bryan is slated to make his PGA TOUR debut at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship on a sponsor exemption … Benjamin Shipp advanced at 7-under despite playing an over-par final round. Shipp, who has been outspoken about his battle with Tourette’s syndrome, has made 17 career starts on PGA TOUR Canada … Cody Proveaux, former No. 1 junior in the world, birdied the 18th hole to qualify at 4 under. Proveaux spent several seasons as an assistant coach for the Middle Tennessee State men’s golf team before reprioritizing his professional career in 2022.

    Notables to miss: Caleb Proveaux, younger brother to Cody, finished one shot out of qualifying. Caleb last held conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022 … Former TOUR pro Matt Atkins finished eight shots off the number to advance. He made 21 starts in 2017-18.

    Abilene, Texas – Abilene Country Club

    The top 19 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 21 players advanced at 10 under 278 or better.

    Dylan Healey birdied three of his last five holes to claim medalist honors over Masahiro Kawamura. Healey, 29, finished 36th in the Fortinet Cup standings on PGA TOUR Canada this season. He will now chase Korn Ferry Tour status at Second Stage, with a PGA TOUR card still in the realm.

    Notables to advance:Tee-k Kelly, a former PGA TOUR Latinoamerica winner and Ohio State standout, advanced at 13-under, T5. Kelly is also a popular social media presence … Brad Marek made it through at 10-under. Marek, a PGA of America teaching professional, made the cut at the 2021 PGA Championship. Cooper Dossey narrowly made it through despite a final-round 75. He finished 10-under. Dossey launched his own podcast, the Stutter Putter, and shot a 58 on the All Pro Tour last year. He is good friends with incoming TOUR pros Parker and Pierceson Coody.

    Notables to miss: Austin Lemieux, son of legendary NHL player Mario Lemieux, missed out by nine. So too did Nick Cantlay, brother of PGA TOUR star Patrick Cantlay, who finished 2-under, T53. Former Texas Longhorn standout Gavin Hall made three birdies on his back nine but missed by one shot.

    Montgomery, Texas – Waldon on Lake Conroe Golf Club

    The top 19 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 19 players advanced at 7 under 281 or better.

    Jhared Hack and Sam Fidone each birdied No. 17 and No. 18 to reach 16-under and earn co-medalist honors. Hack, 34, has bounced around in the lower levels of golf since turning pro in 2008. He has three career PGA TOUR starts but has not played a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since he played 18 times on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018. That will change now, with this week’s performance earning him full status on PGA TOUR Americas for 2024. Similarly, Fidone last played on PGA TOUR Canada in 2021.

    Notables to advance: Former TOUR pro Zack Sucher finished one back, 15-under. Sucher made at least 10 starts in different five seasons on TOUR since 2014 … Longtime Korn Ferry Tour player Grant Hirschman advanced after rounds of 68-71-69-72. Hirschman is the former roommate of PGA TOUR star Scottie Scheffler … Fellow former Korn Ferry Tour player Mark Baldwin advanced. Baldwin shot 74 in the second round, but followed it with back-to-back rounds of 67 to comfortably qualify for Second Stage.

    Notables to miss: Grant Booth missed out, finishing 1-under. Booth Monday qualified for the Barracuda Championship earlier this season to make his second TOUR start, and first since 2018 … Brett White, who finished T13 at the Sanderson Farms Championship earlier this month after Monday qualifying, finished 2-under, five out of qualifying. Jack Trent finished two shots out of qualifying. Trent is a former UNLV standout who made nine starts on PGA TOUR Canada this season.

    Murrieta, California – Bear Creek Golf Club

    The top 20 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 24 players advanced at 5-under 283 or better.

    Adam Navigato of Solana Beach, California, and Riley Elmes of Lake Oswego, Oregon, earned co-medalist honors at 14-under 274, one stroke clear of Andrew Yun. Navigato and Elmes each secure PGA TOUR Americas status for 2024, at minimum, with an eye on a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR card across the next two stages of Q-School. Navigato, 25, played collegiately at the University of California-San Diego, turned pro in 2020 and has made 14 career PGA TOUR Latinoamerica starts, highlighted by a third-place finish at the 2022 Volvo Golf Championship. Elmes, 26, played collegiately at Loyola Marymount, turned pro in 2019 and made his Korn Ferry Tour debut at the 2023 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. While at Loyola Marymount, Elmes was named to the WCC All-Conference First Team in three straight seasons.

    Notables to advance: Andrew Yun finished solo third at 13 under. The Stanford alum was a 2018 PGA TOUR member and has made 122 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, including six top-three finishes … Charles Porter finished T12 at 7 under. The San Francisco Bay Area native, the youngest of seven children who was homeless for a brief period as an elementary schooler, emotionally Monday qualified for the 2023 Barracuda Championship … Alex Chiarella finished T18 at 5 under, advancing on the number with a final-round, 5-under 67. During the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, the Hawaii native pledged a $50 donation per birdie in support of wildlife relief efforts in his hometown of Maui.

    Notables to miss: RJ Manke finished T25 at 4 under, one stroke outside the cut line. The University of Washington alum finished No. 4 on the 2022 PGA TOUR University Ranking to earn Korn Ferry Tour membership that summer … Justin Kim carded a final-round, 7-under 65 but finished two strokes outside the cut line. Kim played collegiately at UNLV, where his teammates included TOUR pros Harry Hall and Taylor Montgomery … Anthony Paolucci finished T64 at 9 over. Paolucci, a former No. 1-ranked junior, was named the 2010 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and played collegiately at the University of Southern California. He made eight cuts in 11 starts on the 2023 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, finishing No. 70 on the Totalplay Cup.

    Albuquerque, New Mexico – University of New Mexico Championship Course

    The top 20 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 25 players advanced at 3-under 281 or better.

    Matthew Walker of Ottumwa, Iowa, earned medalist honors at 14-under 270, three strokes clear of Andrew Gibson, Spencer Tibbits and Brandon Tsujimoto. Walker carded four rounds of 68 or better to pull away from the field and secure PGA TOUR Americas status for 2024, at minimum, with an eye on a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR card across the next two stages of Q-School. Walker played collegiately at the University of Iowa and turned pro in 2019; his professional victories include the 2019 Iowa Open and 2021 Nebraska Open. Walker battled kidney cancer as a toddler and underwent a kidney transplant in March 2022 – his mom Camilla donated the kidney.

    Notables to advance: Spencer Tibbits finished T2 at 11 under. Tibbits played at Oregon State from 2017-21 and recorded the second-best scoring average in program history. He’s a man of the world; he majored in geography and his dad is a pilot … Jared du Toit finished T8 at 7 under. The 28-year-old Canadian played collegiately at Arizona State – his teammates included Jon Rahm – and he has played six seasons on PGA TOUR Canada after famously finishing ninth at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open … Mitchell Meissner finished T12 at 5 under. Meissner won the 2022 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica season-long standings to earn 2023 Korn Ferry Tour membership; he played the season alongside his brother Mac, who earned 2024 PGA TOUR status … Ryan Ruffels carded a final-round 67 to finish T17 at 4 under, one inside the number to advance. Ruffels turned pro in January 2016, at age 17, and has made 51 career Korn Ferry Tour starts in addition to 20 TOUR starts.

    Notables to miss: James Hart du Preez finished T26 at 2 under, one stroke off the cut line. The 6-foot-9 South African is known as one of pro golf’s longest hitters; he averaged 373 yards off the tee on the 2021 Sunshine Tour … Charlie Saxon finished T29 at 1 under. The University of Oklahoma alum, 30, has made 104 career Korn Ferry Tour starts.

    Rockwall, Texas – Rockwall Golf & Athletic Club

    The top 20 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 24 players advanced at 4-under 284 or better.

    Luke Long of Fayetteville, Arkansas, earned medalist honors at 21-under 267, seven strokes clear of Matthis Besard. Long carded a final-round, 9-under 63 to pull away from the field and secure PGA TOUR Americas status for 2024, at minimum, with an eye on a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR card across the next two stages of Q-School. Long played collegiately at the University of Houston, graduating in 2021 with an economics degree, before playing for the University of Arkansas in 2021-22 as a graduate senior – he was named second team All-SEC that season. Long earned his first professional title at the 2022 Texas State Open.

    Notables to advance: Dawson Armstrong finished solo fifth at 10 under. The Lipscomb alum played the Korn Ferry Tour full-time from 2020-23; he finished No. 145 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List … Joey Vrzich finished T19 at 4 under, squarely on the number to advance. The California native was part of Pepperdine men’s golf’s national championship team in 2021. He played PGA TOUR Canada full-time in 2023, finishing No. 39 on the Fortinet Cup … Theo Humphrey advanced on the number at 4 under. The Vanderbilt alum has recorded two runner-up finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour, which he played full-time from 2020-22.

    Notables to miss: Jordan Hahn finished 3 under, one off the cut line. Hahn, who stands an imposing 6-foot-8, holds the career scoring average record for Wisconsin men’s golf … Conrad Shindler also finished one off the cut line at 3 under. The Texas A&M alum, 35, held 2018 PGA TOUR membership and won the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2017 UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH.

    Madison, Mississippi – Lake Caroline

    The top 20 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 20 players advanced at 11-under 269 or better.

    Zander Winston of Scottsdale, Arizona, earned medalist honors at 23-under 257, three strokes clear of Thomas Giroux. Winston carded a final-round, 10-under 60 to pull away from the field and secure PGA TOUR Americas status for 2024, at minimum, with an eye on a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR card across the next two stages of Q-School. Winston, 30, has made six career PGA TOUR Latinoamerica starts in addition to three Korn Ferry Tour starts. He spent two years at Centenary College (2011-13) before transferring to Cameron University, where he played from 2014-16.

    Notables to advance: Ryan Hall finished solo fifth at 16 under. The University of South Carolina alum finished No. 11 on the 2022 PGA TOUR University Ranking; he has recorded three top-20s on the Korn Ferry Tour in just seven starts … Michael Arnaud of Covington, Louisiana, finished T11 at 13 under, two strokes clear of the cut line. Arnaud, 42, has made 126 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, including a victory at the 2018 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX … Matias Dominguez finished T15 at 12 under. The Chilean played collegiately at Texas Tech and competed in the 2015 Masters after winning that year’s inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship.

    Notables to miss: Michael Visacki finished T46 at 4 under, seven strokes off the cut line. The University of Central Florida alum, 29, made waves in 2021 after emotionally Monday qualifying for the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship … Andrew Loupe finished T53 at 3 under. The LSU alum won the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2015 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and has made 95 career PGA TOUR starts.

    Lake Worth, Florida – The Falls Club

    The top 20 and ties advanced to Second Stage; 22 players advanced at 11-under 273 or better.

    Jimmy Hervol earned medalist honors at 23 under, four strokes clear of Shunyat Hak. Hervol closed the week with back-to-back 64s to pull away from the field and secure PGA TOUR Americas status for 2024, at minimum, with an eye on a Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR card across the next two stages of Q-School. Hervol shares a hometown with Keegan Bradley – Hopkinton, Massachusetts – and he played collegiately at the University of Connecticut from 2015-19. Hervol spent the past three seasons on PGA TOUR Canada and competed in the 2021 U.S. Open. He also won the 2015 Massachusetts Junior Amateur.

    Notables to advance: Dan McCarthy finished solo third at 18 under. The native of Syracuse, New York has made 135 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, highlighted by a victory at the 2019 Club Car Championship at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club … Dylan Meyer of Evansville, Indiana, finished T9 at 12 under, including a final-round 65 to advance with a stroke to spare. Meyer played collegiately at the University of Illinois, won the 2016 Western Amateur and finished T20 at the 2018 U.S. Open … Matt Hill, who played collegiately at North Carolina State and won the 2009 Haskins Award as top collegiate golfer, finished T9 … Cal Hoskins of Warsaw, Indiana, fired a final-round, 10-under 61 – that included 11 birdies and an eagle – to finish on the number to advance at 11 under. Hoskins could be classified as a teenage phenom; earlier this year, he won a Minor League Golf Tour event at age 19, outlasting Rob Oppenheim in a seven-hole playoff at PGA National (Fazio) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida … Former PGA TOUR pros to advance include Kris Ventura(T9) and Bo Hoag (T16).

    Notables to miss: Rodolfo Cazaubon finished T37 at 6 under, five shy of the number to advance. He won the 2015 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica season-long standings and represented Mexico in the 2016 Olympic Games … Relatives of TOUR winners to fall short include Olin Browne, Jr.(son of Olin) at T55, Trevor Sluman (nephew of Jeff) at T59, and Cristian DiMarco (son of Chris) at T62.

    Champions Gate, Florida - ChampionsGate GC

    Florida native Michael Sweeney finished atop a tough field in his home state, carding a final-round 64 to finish 18-under for the week. Sweeney made headlines in April when he Monday qualified for the HomeTown Lenders Championship, having spent months living in his car while simultaneously pursuing another passion: rap. He played eight PGA TOUR Canada events this past summer but made just one cut.

    Notables to advance: Willie Mack III, 35, earned his first Korn Ferry Tour card in 2022. He played 24 events but made just 10 cuts ... Abel Gallegos became the first Argentinian to win the Latin America Amateur Championship at 17, subsequently earning invitations to the Masters and Open Championship. Braden Thornberry had a decorated amateur career: NCAA Individual champion at Ole Miss, a member of a winning Walker Cup team (2017), and a former world No. 1. amateur ... Mickey DeMorat, nephew of Daniel Tosh, has played 43 Korn Ferry Tour events since turning professional in 2018.

    Notables to miss: Jiri Zuska, 24, became the first Czech player to play a Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour event in 2023 … Charlie Reiter, the former teen superstar who turned heads with his mind-blowing swing speeds, spent his 2023 competing on PGA TOUR Canada ... Andrew Walker, a Michigan State alum, is the youngest African-American to qualify for the U.S. Amateur.

    Muskogee, Oklahoma - Muskogee GC

    Luis Gerardo Garza of Mexico led the way at Muskogee Golf Club in finishing 10-under. Gerardo Garza turned pro in 2021 and has made 19 starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. His best finish in 2023 was a T6 at the Inter Rapidisimo Golf Championship.

    Notables to advance: Will Grimmer, a 26-year-old Ohio State alum, has competed in two U.S. Opens … Oklahoma native Tyson Reeder, 26, made a hole-in-one at the 2022 NCAA Championship as a member of the University of Arkansas golf team. Alex Schaake advances, having made headlines when he qualified for the 2023 U.S. Open after an eight-hole playoff against collegian Max Moldovan.

    Notables to miss: Thomas Lehman, son of former world No. 1 Tom Lehman ... Will Wears, assistant golf coach at Loyola University.

    Lincoln, Nebraska - Wilderness Ridge CC

    Alex Scott of Traverse City, Michigan, rose above the rest in a final round with tough conditions to earn medalist honors by four strokes at Wilderness Ridge. The 26-year-old has made nine starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, having spent the bulk of his professional career on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica making 14 of 19 cuts.

    Notables to advance: Cooper Musselman made 11 of 22 cuts to finish 119th on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List, including a dramatic final-round 65 at the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation to advance to the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, the third leg of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals ... Jim Knous, 33, last held PGA TOUR status in the 2021-22 season ... Scott Stevens thought his Korn Ferry Tour season was over at No. 159 on the Points List before a spot opened at the Simmons Bank Open, producing his best finish of the season at T12.

    Notables to miss: Cole Hammer, former world No. 1 amateur and University of Texas standout, fell two shots short of the cut line. Hammer was part of Texas' 2022 NCAA Championship-winning team, and he made the cut in five of 10 PGA TOUR starts in the 2022-23 season ... Clay Feagler, a former Pepperdine standout, fell just one shot outside the number. Feagler was part of Pepperdine's NCAA Championship-winning team in 2021 and turned professional that summer; he held Korn Ferry Tour status in 2022 and 2023.

    Maricopa, Arizona - Ak-Chin Southern Dunes GC

    Tanner Gore and Jonathan De Los Reyes both separated themselves from the pack in finishing 17-under. Gore hails from Farmers Branch, Texas and played under conditional Korn Ferry Tour status this past season. De Los Reyes has spent seven years as a pro and won the Northern California Open in 2020.

    Notables to advance: Alistair Docherty finished 86th on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points list and had one top-10 this season; Nos. 61-85 on the Points List advanced directly to Second Stage, Docherty missed a top-85 position by one shot at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship ... Patrick Flavin Monday qualified into five PGA TOUR events in 2022; his best finish was a T10 at the John Deere Classic ... Newly minted pro Jared Nelson vaulted up the leaderboard on the final day with a 7-under 65 to finish 8-under overall.

    Notables to miss: Ollie Osborne, runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes, had two top-10s on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica this season. Carson Schaake, an Iowa alum, shot 6-under 66 and missed the cut by a shot. His younger brother, Alex, advanced at the Muskogee site.

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