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10 players to watch: PGA TOUR Champions Q-School's Final Stage

5 Min Read


    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    A contingent of TOUR winners, veteran pros and dreamers is set to descend upon Arizona in chase of 2023 PGA TOUR Champions status.

    Final Stage of the PGA TOUR Champions Qualifying Tournament is set for Tuesday-Friday at TPC Scottsdale, with PGA TOUR Champions membership awarded to the top five finishers across 72 holes of stroke play (no cut).

    Some players gained direct access to Final Stage via a mix of eligibility categories, while others successfully navigated First Stage of Q-School last month.

    Here are 10 players to watch at Final Stage of PGA TOUR Champions Q-School …

    Jason Bohn

    The soft-spoken Pennsylvania native made headlines in 1992 when, as a sophomore on the University of Alabama golf team, he made a hole-in-one worth $1 million in a charity fundraiser. He turned pro on the spot to accept the prize.

    Bohn has proceeded to carve out a steady career, winning twice on the PGA TOUR at the 2005 B.C. Open and 2010 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The journey hasn’t been without adversity, though; he survived a heart attack after the second round of The Honda Classic in 2016. He received prompt medical treatment and returned to competition two months later.

    Bohn turns 50 next April and will aim to have guaranteed PGA TOUR Champions starts upon blowing out the candles.

    Brandel Chamblee

    Before he was one of golf’s preeminent analysts, known for his direct approach to evaluation of the game’s stars and trends, Chamblee was a highly esteemed TOUR pro. The University of Texas alum is a TOUR winner at the 1998 Air Canada Championship, three strokes clear of Payne Stewart, and he’s also a Korn Ferry Tour winner.

    Chamblee, 60, has made just six career PGA TOUR Champions starts. This week in Arizona, he’ll give it his best effort to try and change that.

    Chris Couch

    The Florida native was a two-time All-American at the University of Florida in the mid-1990s, and he utilized a cross-handed chipping method en route to a dramatic victory at the PGA TOUR’s 2006 Zurich Classic in New Orleans, chipping in for par on the 72nd hole to secure a one-stroke win over Fred Funk and Charles Howell III.

    Couch added five Korn Ferry Tour titles, and he has racked up double-digit victories on the Moonlight Tour / Open America Golf Tour in recent years. Couch turns 50 next May and will aim to celebrate that milestone birthday with guaranteed starts on PGA TOUR Champions.

    Cliff Kresge

    Kresge has perhaps a bit of infamous history around the Q-School process; while competing at Final Stage of the 2000 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, he fell into a water hazard while surveying a putt. The University of Central Florida alum rebounded to finish T21 and earn his first TOUR card, and he proceeded to make 212 career TOUR starts, including two third-place finishes.

    Kresge also won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour, and he’ll aim to convey that winning mindset into a strong week at TPC Scottsdale in pursuit of guaranteed starts on PGA TOUR Champions.

    Thomas Levet

    The Frenchman played his way into the international golf consciousness with spirited play at The Open, finishing T2 in 2002 and T5 in 2004. Levet won six times in a sparkling DP World Tour career, most recently at the 2011 Open de France, and he played on Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team in 2004.

    Levet has made seven career PGA TOUR Champions starts, and he has an eye on more. The 54-year-old advanced through First Stage last month in Florida to earn an opportunity to chase guaranteed starts this week in Arizona.

    Shaun Micheel

    Micheel asserted himself in golf lore with a victory at the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, hitting a mid-iron to within inches of the cup on the 72nd hole for a two-stroke win over Chad Campbell. The PGA Championship returns to Oak Hill next year, and Micheel aims to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his major title with guaranteed starts on PGA TOUR Champions.

    Micheel, 53, has made 24 career starts on PGA TOUR Champions, highlighted by a T16 at the 2019 Regions Tradition. He hopes his best form is yet to come.

    Timothy O’Neal

    O’Neal, 50, is a longtime staple on the APGA Tour, having earned nine titles on the circuit. He’s also a three-time winner on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and played six full seasons on the Korn Ferry Tour. Upon turning 50 this past summer, O’Neal finished T33 at the Ascension Charity Classic and T19 at the PURE Insurance Championship.

    O’Neal advanced through First Stage in Florida last month to earn this week’s opportunity in Arizona, where he’ll aim to make amends for near-misses at Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School in years past. No time like the present.

    Fran Quinn

    The Massachusetts native made headlines this summer by qualifying for his home-state U.S. Open at The Country Club, becoming the oldest on record to gain U.S. Open access via both Local and Final Qualifying. At age 57, it was the stuff of legend.

    Quinn made four PGA TOUR Champions starts in 2022, highlighted by a T21 at the American Family Insurance Championship, and now he eyes a full schedule in 2023. He finished T4 at First Stage in Mississippi to punch his ticket to TPC Scottsdale.

    Jeev Milkha Singh

    In 1998, Singh became the first player from India to join the DP World Tour. He parlayed that achievement into a stout career, winning six times on the DP World Tour, six on the Asian Tour and four on the Japan Golf Tour. He also finished T9 at the 2008 PGA Championship.

    Singh turned 50 last December and now turns his attention to a career on PGA TOUR Champions. He finished solo third at First Stage in Nevada to comfortably advance to Phoenix, where he’ll take aim at a top-five position and a full schedule into 2023.

    Omar Uresti

    The veteran pro holds a spot in the record books with nine consecutive birdies in the third round of the Korn Ferry Tour’s 1994 Shreveport Open – a string that has yet to be surpassed in PGA TOUR-sanctioned competition. He proceeded to win the event, en route to earning his first PGA TOUR card via Q-School that fall. Uresti, 54, made 385 career TOUR starts in addition to 210 Korn Ferry Tour appearances.

    Now he’ll aim to make his mark on PGA TOUR Champions. Uresti gained direct access to Final Stage as a PGA TOUR veteran member, having surpassed 150 career cuts made, and he wouldn’t mind recapturing that birdie-streak magic at TPC Scottsdale.

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for PGATOUR.COM. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.