Q-school's second stage concludes this week

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Cal junior Michael Kim, who finished 17th at the U.S. Open, is playing q-school as an amateur.
November 18, 2013
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM

The second stage of q-school is an important step in most players’ careers. Few are fortunate enough to avoid it.

The second stage is an all-or-nothing affair for most of the participants. Players who advance to the third and final stage are guaranteed at least conditional status on the Web.com Tour, which is the only pathway to the PGA TOUR. Most who miss out at second stage will start 2014 without status on that circuit.

Q-school’s second stage concludes this week at four sites that will be played Tuesday-Friday. Two sites were held last week (click here for results). The second stage always features a mix of young up-and-comers and former PGA TOUR winners.

Billy Mayfair, Arjun Atwal, Eric Axley, Frank Lickliter, Peter Lonard, Chris Smith, Marc Turnesa are among the former PGA TOUR winners competing this week.

The q-school fields also are full of players just starting their pro careers.

Three 2013 first-team All-Americans are taking part in second stage this week – Daniel Berger, James Erkenbeck and Michael Kim. They’re looking to join fellow first-teamers Max Homa and Justin Thomas at q-school’s final stage; Homa and Thomas advanced last week.

Thomas was the 2012 NCAA player of the year. Kim, a junior at Cal, won that award this year; he is competing in second stage as an amateur. He earned an exemption into second stage by finishing 17th at this year’s U.S. Open. Kim, Homa and Thomas were teammates on this year's victorious U.S. Walker Cup squad.

Erkenbeck and Kim are competing at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, Calif. Berger, runner-up to Homa at this year’s NCAA Championship, is playing at Plantation (Fla.) Preserve. He turned pro earlier this year after his sophomore season at Cal.

Kim is not the only collegian competing at Bear Creek. University of Southern California junior Anthony Paolucci also is competing at Bear Creek; he finished 29th in the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open while still in high school. Chris Williams, who turned pro earlier this year as the world’s No. 1 amateur, also is playing at Bear Creek.

Australia’s Brady Watt, the world’s No. 8 amateur and a semifinalist at this year’s U.S. Amateur, is playing second stage in Gautier, Miss., as is Tadd Fujikawa, who made the cut in the 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii as a 16-year-old.