2012 PGA Tour Q-School graduate capsules

By Rex HoggardDecember 4, 2012, 5:46 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. – The final PGA Tour Q-School concluded Monday at PGA West with 26 players earning full exempt status in 2013.

Some have played in hundreds of Tour events, others have never before teed it up in the Big Leagues. Here is a detailed look at the players, in order of finish, who successfully earned 2013 PGA Tour cards at Q-School:

Dong-Hwan Lee in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundDong-hwan Lee

Age: 25

Residence: Yong In, South Korea

Comment: After two years of mandatory military service in Korea he’s picked up where he left off and will be part of what is turning into an Asian invasion on the PGA Tour.

Ross FisherRoss Fisher

Age: 32

Residence: Cheam, England

Comment: One of two former European Ryder Cup players, along with Robert Karlsson, to advance out of the final Q-School with direct access to the PGA Tour. Now comes the hard part, devising a schedule to meet the minimum number of starts on both tours within next year’s condensed schedule.

Steve LebrunSteve LeBrun

Age: 34

Residence: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Comment: Longtime mini-tour staple earns his first trip to the Tour. Despite a lack of experience (he has three career starts on the Tour) he has the game to become a top-10 machine.

Richard H. Lee in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundRichard H. Lee

Age: 25

Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: Talked with his swing coach following his third-round 74 and fixed the problem at a lighted driving range late Friday. He did the same thing on Sunday, on the eve of final round, and his moonlighting paid off.

Billy HorschelBilly Horschel

Age: 25

Residence: Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Comment: Made 15 of 17 cuts on Tour in 2012 and yet still found himself back at Q-School. The answer is simple: improve his final-round scoring average.

Kris BlanksKris Blanks

Age: 40

Residence: Jupiter, Fla.

Comment: Estimated he was 70-percent healthy and may have learned a valuable lesson at his fourth Q-School. Sometimes the answer is not in the dirt on the practice range.

Erik ComptonErik Compton

Age: 33

Residence: Coral Gables, Fla.

Comment: Despite all the talk about his medical history, said this week he’s as strong as he’s ever been and his ability to close strong at PGA West (he carded rounds of 67-67 to finish his week) is a good sign for next season.

Brad FritschBrad Fritsch

Age: 35

Residence: Holly Springs, N.C.

Comment: One of seven Web.com Tour graduates in the final-stage field looking to improve their status for next year. The native Canadian’s tie for seventh may land him one extra start on the West Coast next year which made the Fall Classic worth the effort.

Jin ParkJin Park

Age: 33

Residence: Phoenix, Ariz.

Comment: After five seasons on the Web.com Tour and a fourth trip to final stage, the South Korean gets another crack at the Big Leagues, but he will need to perform this time because there will be no Q-School safety net next year.

Fabian Gomez in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundFabian Gomez

Age: 34

Residence: Chaco, Argentina

Comment: Big finishing weekend (66-66) lifted the Argentine back to the PGA Tour, but he will need to improve driving (109th in driving accuracy and 74th in distance on the Web.com Tour in 2012) to avoid a demotion.

Michael Letzig in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundMichael Letzig

Age: 32

Residence: Kansas City, Mo.

Comment: Humbling few years for Letzig, but his recent work with a sports psychologist helped make the game fun again and a steady week at PGA West will make 2013 profitable.

Jeff Gove at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentJeff Gove

Age: 41

Residence: San Marcos, Calif.

Comment: It was the journeyman’s first successful trip through Q-School in nine attempts and he called his tie for 10th “a life changer.”

Steven BowditchSteve Bowditch

Age: 29

Residence: Perigian Beach, Queensland, Australia

Comment: Played last year’s Q-School with a broken hand but avoided a Monday crack up at PGA West. If his putting ever catches up with his ball-striking he could be a threat on Tour.

Matt Jones at the 2012 Puerto Rico OpenMatt Jones

Age: 32

Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: Australian earned his sixth trip back to the Tour, but will need to find more consistency after missing 10 of 19 cuts in 2012.

Robert KarlssonRobert Karlsson

Age: 43

Residence: Charlotte, N.C.

Comment: Tough to consider a two-time European Ryder Cup player a Cinderella story, but considering the Swede withdrew from the British Open in July with the yips, his week at PGA West was a success by any measure.

Eric Meierdierks in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundEric Meierdierks

Age: 27

Residence: Wilmette, Ill.

Comment: Endured an emotional trip through Q-School following the death of his father before first stage, but the late bloomer used the loss to focus and will be a rookie in 2013.

Scott Langley at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentScott Langley

Age: 23

Residence: Jupiter, Fla.

Comment: Completed a dream season, that included qualifying for the U.S. Open, with five consecutive rounds in the 60s to earn his first trip to the Tour.

Aaron Watkins at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentAaron Watkins

Age: 30

Residence: Mesa, Calif.

Comment: Back on Tour after losing his card in 2009. After three steady seasons on the Web.com Tour he may have the game to stay this time.

Derek ErnstDerek Ernst

Age: 22

Residence: Fresno, Calif.

Comment: One of six players from this year’s class with one or fewer Tour starts, but, like many in the bottom end of this year’s class, he may struggle to get enough starts early.

Si Woo Kim at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentSi Woo Kim

Age: 17

Residence: Seoul, South Korea

Comment: Tour regulations will severely limit the teen’s starts next. He cannot become a member until his 18th birthday on June 28 and will have roughly four or five starts to keep his card and qualify for the playoffs.

Tag Ridings at the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying TournamentTag Ridings

Age: 38

Residence: Keller, Texas

Comment: This will be the veteran’s eighth trip to the Tour, but in his seven previous attempts he finished inside the top 125 in earnings just twice.

Donald ConstableDonald Constable

Age: 23

Residence: Deephaven, Minn.

Comment: One of four players to advance to the Tour all the way from pre-qualifying, but he’s never played a Tour event and may be overwhelmed.

Bobby GatesBobby Gates

Age: 27

Residence: The Woodlands, Texas

Comment: Second consecutive year through Q-School, but he previously failed to finish inside the top 125 and will struggle to get starts in the condensed schedule.

Patrick ReedPatrick Reed

Age: 22

Residence: Spring, Texas

Comment:  He was 6-for-8 in Monday qualifiers on the PGA Tour this year, but now can start focusing on the weekend as a first-year Tour member.

Henrik NorlanderHenrik Norlander

Age: 25

Residence: Augusta, Ga.

Comment: Made transition from the eGolf Tour to the Big Leagues with a solid week at PGA West with the help of his former golf coach at Augusta State on the bag.

Chez ReavieChez Reavie

Age: 31

LA QUINTA, Calif. –Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: The only graduating member with a Tour win to his credit, Reavie is just the second player to participate in the Tour Championship and end up at Q-School the next season. He seemed to find an answer for his putting woes in 2012. Unfortunately, that answer is a belly putter.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.