Second Stage notebook: Thompson brothers advance, VanDerLaan dominates
Breakdown of who secured 2020 Korn Ferry Tour membership via Nov. 5-8 sites
November 10, 2019
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
- Brothers Curtis (left) and Nicholas (right) Thompson thrived at South Florida's Second Stage site. (Getty Images)
Second Stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament wrapped up this week with four sites across the United States.
By successfully advancing through Second Stage of Q-School, a player obtains Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season, and can improve his status via Final Stage.
Final Stage will be held December 12-15 at Orange County National just outside of Orlando, Florida.
The top-40 and ties at Final Stage will secure guaranteed starts for the early portion of the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season – Nos. 11-40 and ties will receive approximately eight starts, Nos. 2-10 and ties will receive approximately 12 starts, and the medalist and ties will receive fully exempt 2020 status.
Here’s a capsule look at what transpired at last week’s Second Stage sites across Florida, Alabama and California.
Brooksville, Florida (Southern Hills Plantation Club)
Seventy players competed for 18 spots (and ties). Medalist was John VanDerLaan of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, who shot a four-round total of 23-under. VanDerLaan was the 2018 NCAA Division II Player of the Year while at Florida Southern.
Notables to advance: Former NCAA Division I Individual Champion Broc Everett of West Des Moines, Iowa finished runner-up. Although he finished eight shots back of VanDerLaan, he still moved on comfortably … PGA TOUR winner Derek Ernst of Prosper, Texas finished at 14-under and was T3 … Celebrated amateur and another NCAA D-I Individual Champion Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch, Mississippi finished T5 … Despite a 1-over final round, longtime PGA TOUR pro Spencer Levin advanced at 12-under … Donnie Trosper of Canton, Michigan was the lone amateur to qualify for Final Stage. Trosper finished at 10-under and was T18 … Also tied for 18th were five others including Mikel Martinson of Fort Worth, Texas. Martinson bogeyed his final two holes to let a large group move into a qualifying position.
Notables to miss: Former PGA TOUR member Matt Atkins of North Augusta, South Carolina finished one shot back of qualifying … 17-year-old Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina missed qualifying by six shots. Bhatia played a handful of PGA TOUR events this fall after deciding to forgo college … Dru Love of St. Simons Island, Georgia finished six shots back of qualifying. Love is the son of multi-time PGA TOUR winner Davis Love III, and Love was his caddie for the week … Matt Hill of Canada finished 10 shots back of qualifying. Hill was the 2009 NCAA D-I Individual Champion and received that year’s Haskins Award.
Dothan, Alabama (Robert Trent Jones, Highlands/Marshwood)
Seventy-four players competed for 18 spots (and ties). Stephen Franken of Raleigh, North Carolina was the medalist at 16-under. Franken, a North Carolina State alum and Mackenzie Tour member, topped Mike Schoolcraft of Denver, Colorado by one shot.
Notables to advance: Danny Walker of Bradenton, Florida finished T3. Walker captured the Final Stage title a year ago, and has won on the Mackenzie Tour … Tommy Gainey of Hartsville, South Carolina finished T9 after shooting 6-under. ‘Two Gloves’ is a PGA TOUR winner … Chandler Eaton of Alpharetta, Georgia qualified after shooting 5-under. Eaton graduated from Duke University this year.
Notables to miss: Lee McCoy of New Port Richey, Florida missed qualifying by 16 shots. McCoy earned 2017 Final Stage medalist honors and is a former Mackenzie Tour winner … Norman Xiong of Las Vegas, Nevada finished at 16-over for the week and beat just two players. Xiong, a celebrated amateur, was the Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the 2018 Division I men’s golfer of the year.
Murrieta, California (Bear Creek Golf Club)
Seventy-eight players competed for 18 spots (and ties). Co-medalists were Brandon Wu of Scarsdale, New York and Jordan Niebrugge of Jupiter, Florida. Both Wu and Niebrugge finished at 17-under after sparkling final rounds. Wu and Niebrugge shot 6-under and 7-under, respectively, in the final round.
Notables to advance: Andy Spencer of Prairie Village, Kansas was the lone amateur to advance. Spencer, a Kansas University alum, started Second Stage at 7-over through seven holes but battled back to finish T9 … Alex Kang of Las Vegas, Nevada finished 3-under for the week and qualified at T14. Kang is the brother of LPGA star Danielle Kang … Daniel Summerhays of Fruit Heights, Utah finished T20. Summerhays won a Korn Ferry Tour event as an amateur and has recorded 19 career top-10s on the PGA TOUR.
Notables to miss: Twins Jeremy and Yannik Paul of Germany both missed out on qualifying. Jeremy finished T25, two shots back of qualifying, while Yannik finished T52 … Kyle Maze of Phoenix, Arizona finished T25, two shots back of the magic number. Maze is in Instagram influencer (his @cartbarnguys account boasts more than 127,000 followers) but showed his golf acumen this week. After an opening-round 85, he battled to fall just short … Jamie Sadlowski of Canada finished T54, nine shots back of qualifying. Sadlowski is a multi-time World Long Drive champion.
Plantation, Florida (Plantation Preserve GC)
Seventy-four players competed for 18 spots (and ties). Medalist was Curtis Thompson of Boynton Beach, Florida who finished at 15-under for the week. Thompson, the former Korn Ferry Tour member and brother of LPGA superstar Lexi Thompson, topped Andy Pope of Orlando, Florida by one shot.
Notables to advance: Chip McDaniel of Manchester, Kentucky moved on after finishing T8. McDaniel made waves this year on the PGA TOUR with his Monday qualifying prowess … Curtis Thompson’s brother Nicholas Thompson also qualified after finishing at 9-under.
Notables to miss: Bryson Nimmer of Okatie, South Carolina missed qualifying by one spot. Nimmer was a star at Clemson University before turning professional and playing the Mackenzie Tour this season … The comeback tour of Bryan Bigley of Charlotte, North Carolina has been cut short as he finished T31, two shots back of qualifying. The veteran had considered retirement prior to this season … Sean Jacklin of Bradenton, Florida finished T51, six shots back of qualifying. Jacklin is the son of golf legend Tony Jacklin.