Walk-off eagle propels Gregson to Second Stage of Q-School
October 04, 2019
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- October 04, 2019
- Mitchell Gregson holed out from 168 yards for eagle on his final hole of First Stage, finishing a shot inside the cut line. (Courtesy of Mitchell Gregson)
No event in professional golf is more make-or-break than First or Second Stage of Q-School.
Survive the cut line, and advance to the next stage. Fall short, even by a shot, and wait another year for the next opportunity.
As he arrived at the 72nd hole of this week’s First Stage site in West Palm Beach, Florida, Mitchell Gregson found himself in this make-or-break situation that so many players face as they strive to attain Korn Ferry Tour status.
Gregson stood 3-under for the tournament at The Breakers’ Rees Jones Course. The number for advancement to Second Stage ultimately fell at 4-under. The longtime pro needed birdie on the 425-yard par 4, which averaged 4.22 for the week, to finish inside the cut line.
The Kansas State alum pulled 7-iron for his approach. 168 yards out.
He holed it.
“I thought it was short,” said Gregson, who didn’t compete at 2018 Q-School as he recovered from injury. “Once we walked up, the guy that hit first was up there … he turned around and pointed at me, and I was like, ‘Boom, send.’”
“I didn’t know where I stood … based on the scores going into the day, I was thinking 3(-under) was probably in good shape, and definitely 4(-under). As it turned out, 3(-under) would not have gotten in.”
Despite thinking that par could have likely been safe, Gregson took an aggressive approach into the final hole. Things hadn’t gone quite as well entering No. 18; the St. Augustine, Florida resident took three penalty strokes in Friday’s final round, and was 2-over on the day as he arrived at the pivotal final hole.
Gregson has made three career Korn Ferry Tour starts, most recently at the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS in 2016. Nearly 10 years after completing his college career, he knows there’s no time like the present to advance to Final Stage and secure Korn Ferry Tour membership.
Second Stage brings an entirely new realm of pressure, to be sure. Without successful advancement through First Stage, though, there is no Second Stage.
With 72nd-hole heroics in south Florida, Gregson ensured that he will have that opportunity.
“Especially considering where I was at, in relation to the cut number, it was pretty wild,” Gregson said. “When I came in and looked at the scores, I was like, ‘Wow, that came at a really good time.’
“It was definitely a long day, and it ended with a bang.”