Thirty-Four eGolf Tour Players Advance to Second Stage; Host of Others Wait to Make Final-Round Move on Saturday
By Stewart Moore
Charlotte, N.C. – With four sites still to be completed on Saturday afternoon, 34 eGolf Tour players punched their respective tickets to PGA TOUR Q-School’s second stage, set to begin in just two-and-a-half weeks at various warm-weather sites across the country.
At Pensacola Country Club in Pensacola, FL, 11 eGolf Tour players successfully advanced to the second stage of PGA TOUR Q-School, with Erik Flores leading the way at 14-under 266, T2. Longtime eGolf Tour member Brett Stegmaier of Vero Beach, FL made one of the day’s premier moves, posting six birdies en route to a closing 65 that pushed the former University of Florida golfer from outside the number into a tie for 12th at 11-under 269. The day’s most dramatic finish, however, came down to that of former University of Minnesota golfer Josh Persons of Fargo, ND. Cruising along on the heels of a 65-67-68 start to his week, Persons was well inside the cut line entering Friday’s final round at 10-under par. Two birdies and two bogeys in his first 11 holes kept him at even par for the day, but a birdie at the par-5 12th gave him breathing room at 11-under for the week. Persons took his closing round further into the red with a birdie at No. 16, but watched as disaster his at No. 17 when he posted a late-round triple-bogey that dropped him to 1-over on the day, one shot outside the cut number at 9-under par. In true closer fashion, however, Persons posted a dramatic birdie at the par-3 18th to notch a final-round 70 and a 10-under 270 total – good for an on-the-number T14 finish. Persons, a recent Web.com Tour standout, rode a final-round 63 at the eGolf Tour’s Olde Sycamore Open three weeks ago to a career-best finish, then Monday qualified for the Web.com Tour’s Neediest Kids Championship – an event he led through 54 holes before finishing T8 on the week. That top-25 effort led to a start at the following week’s Miccosukee Championship, where he finished T13 to earn yet another start at last week’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open. Persons finished T41 in North Florida, and has yet to slow down as he heads off to the second stage of Q-School.
Pensacola Country Club
|T4|| Yohan Benson
|T7|| Ty Harris
|T14|| Bryce Ledford
|T14|| Josh Persons
|T14|| Kyle McCarthy
Seven eGolf Tour players successfully advanced to second stage at Deerwood Golf Club in Kingwood, TX, including current members Jerry Richardson of Cary, NC and Brian Duncan of Mt. Pleasant, SC. Former eGolf Tour members Paul Cormack and James Sacheck finished 14th and T15, respectively, while 2010 Grand Harbor Open winner Scott Weatherly posted a T17 finish – in turn making it through on the number. Richardson, a former N.C. State golfer and winner of the eGolf Tour’s 2011 Willow Creek Open, entered the final round with shots to spare after a 68-69-69 start to his week put him at 10-under 278. An early double-bogey at the par-3 third led to a front-nine 39, which forced the Burlington, NC native to scramble on the closing nine at Deerwood. Birdies on Nos. 10 and 16 gave Richardson a back-nine 35, which left him with a final-round 74 and an 8-under 280 total, good for a T10 finish. Duncan, a longtime eGolf Tour member and one of 20 players to earn the tour’s Q-School bonus in 2012, posted final-round birdies at 14 and 15 to move well inside the cut line at 7-under par, but closed with a double-bogey at the par-4 18th that left him with just one shot to spare. A final-round 72 left the former Clemson standout at 5-under 283 on the week. Cormack, a Scotland native who recently advanced to the second stage of European Tour Q-School, birdied four of his first nine holes on Friday for a front-nine 33, which enabled him to hit cruise control on the closing nine, posting four bogeys on his final seven holes for a final-round 73 that left him in solo-14th place for the week.
Deerwood Golf Club
|T10|| Jerry Richardson
|14|| Paul Cormack
Nine eGolf Tour players made it through in Lewisville, TX, including 2012 members Henrik Norlander of Sweden and Mikel Martinson of Lubbock, TX, who posted T2 and T4 finishes, respectively, at The Lakes at Castle Hills. Norlander, a three-time “All America” selection as a member of Augusta State University’s back-to-back NCAA Championship teams in 2010-2011, posted rounds of 72-73-66-74—285 for a 3-under total on the week. Norlander, who played the eGolf Tour full time in 2012, won his first professional title at the Olde Sycamore Open in September – a win that put him inside the top 20 on the tour’s money list, which in turn left him with a free Q-School entry per the tour’s annual season-ending bonus. Martinson, who has played the eGolf Tour full time over the past two seasons, posted the second-lowest round on Friday with a 1-under 71 to vault inside the top five at 2-under 286. Longtime eGolf Tour member and former University of North Carolina golfer Fernando Figueroa of El Salvador breezed through at even-par 288, while Nathan Stamey of Canton, NC overcame a double-bogey, bogey finish to his final round to post a 4-over 76, matching Figueroa at even par on the week.
The Lakes at Castle Hills
|T4|| Jason Schultz
|T4|| Derek Tolan
|T15|| Jesse Speirs
At San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister, CA, former No. 1-ranked amateur Nick Taylor of Canada paced all eGolf Tour players with a final-round 65 and a 15-under 273 tally to finish in solo-third place, in turn advancing to the second stage of PGA TOUR Q-School. Taylor held a share of the 54-hole lead in the eGolf Tour’s Columbia Open this past May, but closed with a 2-under 70 to fall one-shot shy of winner Jack Fields. eGolf Tour rookie Vaita Guillaume, making his first Q-School appearance after a successful college career at Campbell University, posted the low round of the day on Friday, carding an amazing eight birdies in his final 11 holes to come from nowhere for a 9-under 63 that left him at 14-under 274, tied for fourth. All told, seven eGolf Tour players advanced from the Hollister, CA site.
San Juan Oaks Golf Club
|T6|| Creighton Honeck
|T12|| Andrew Putnam
Four sites across the country began on Wednesday morning, and will conclude on Saturday afternoon – one day later than the first four sites of stage one’s second week.
In Florence, SC at Florence Country Club, 15 eGolf Tour players are inside the cut line with 18 holes to play, including 2012 members David Sanchez (T7), Sam Beach (T7), David Robinson (T7), Adam Hart (T7), Jon Curran (T7), Chris Baker (T14) and Chris Gallagher (T17). Also included in that group is past champions Brent Delahoussaye (T14) and Matt Davidson (T17) – both members of the Web.com Tour this past year.
Former eGolf Tour player David Skinns of England is tied for first through 54 holes at Callaway Gardens Resort in Pine Mountain, GA. Current eGolf Tour members inside the number at Callaway Gardens’ Mountain Course include Bobby MacWhinnie (T3), Adam Mitchell (T7), Chesson Hadley (T11) and Peter Malnati (T16). Former NCAA Champion Jonathan Moore, who won the eGolf Tour’s 2008 Walnut Creek Classic, is T16, while recent eGolf Tour winner Corbin Mills of Easley, SC is T18 at 6-under par. Mills, the 2011 U.S. Public Links Championship winner, was a participant in this year’s Masters Tournament, then notched his first professional title at the tour’s Cabarrus Classic in September.
Due to weather related to Hurricane Sandy, third-round play at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, FL was postponed until Saturday.Check the eGolf Tour website daily for updates from all first stage sites in week two. For live scoring results from each site on PGATOUR.com, please click here.