On a day when 30 MPH winds sent scores skyrocketing, Jones posted a 2-over 73 to win the 72-hole qualifier with an even-par 284 total. Bryce Molder and Will Moore were one shot back, while Eddie Maunder of managed a final round 71 to wind up alone in fourth. Texan Richard Woodson held off Antonio Maldonado and Paul Danielson in a five-hole playoff to grab the final exempt card awarded.
Maldonado, Danielson and eight others who were 9-over or better earned non-exempt status for the 2004 season. Austin native JJ Wall, the only competitor under par Thursday with a 1-under 70, was one of the players that earned a non-exempt card by finishing right on the 9-over number.
Aussie Ben Bunny won the California Q-School by seven shots last week, while American Rob Labritz finished atop the leaderboard at the Florida school earlier this month.
This season marked the first time the Canadian Tour has staged three consecutive Winter Qualifying Schools. The initial WQS was held in Myrtle Beach, S.C. back in 2001, with Orlando, Fla., playing host to the event for the next two years. Last season, Swedens Anders Hultman won Q-School by a record ten shots before winning the TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic in his first Tour start. Hultman would go on to win the Tours International Rookie of the Year Award.
Later this year, Spring Q-School will be held in Kamloops, BC with Fall Q-School closing out the season this September.
The Canadian Tour will stay in Austin for the first two official events of 2004. The Barton Creek Classic will be held next week, with opening round action set for Thursday. The Barton Creek Challenge will be held the week of March 1-7.
Earned exempt card:
1. Jones, Marcus Graham, TX 70 70 71 73 284
2. Molder, Bryce Conway, AR 67 71 71 76 285
2. Moore, Will Dallas, TX 70 67 76 72 285
4. Maunder, Eddie Whitby, ON 74 74 68 71 287
X-5. Woodson, Richard Sachse, TX 73 71 70 75 289
(X-earned exempt card on fifth playoff hole)