Lovemark, the former NCAA champ from USC, is among more than 420 players teeing it up Tuesday at six first-stage qualifiers around the country. It’s the second wave of the first stage with seven events played last week. About 130 or so players from this week’s events will advance to the second stage, scheduled at six sites around the country Nov. 18-21. Competition stiffens there with PGA Tour members who aren’t among the top 150 in money joining the mix.
Ty Tryon, who was 17 when he made it through the final stage of Q-School, is 25 and looking for a return to the PGA Tour. He’s among 70 players teeing it up at Grasslands Country Club in Lakeland, Fla. Manuel Villegas, younger brother to Colombian star Camilo Villegas, is trying to make it through Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta, Ga. Mike Van Sickle, the Marquette University standout and son of long-time Sports Illustrated golf writer Gary Van Sickle, also is in the field there.
Better than one in four players advance from the first stage, but nothing is certain there, as Danny Lee showed last week. The 2008 U.S. Amateur champ, who won the European Tour’s Johnnie Walker Classic earlier this season, failed to advance.