Once the final putt dropped, U.S.-born players had claimed all 22 playing cards for the 2005 season, a statistic not overly surprising considering 74 of the 95 competitors hailed from south of the border. Thirteen of the 22 call the Golden State home.
Californians John Mallinger and Peter Tomasulo, close friends on and off the golf course, shared medalist honors, finishing four trips around Los Serranos CC with an 8-under 280 total. Michael Beard of Palm Desert, Calif. was third, one shot back of the co-leaders.
John Ellis, who led for the first three rounds of the tournament, fired a final-round 73 to place fifth.
Steve Frier of Richmond, B.C. was the top Canadian, closing in 27th spot at 6-over 294.
Perhaps it was only fitting that Mallinger and Tomasulo were in a dead heat after 72 holes. The friends came to Q-School looking for Tour playing privileges and plan to travel to Texas together for the 2005 Canadian Tour curtain-lifter next weekend in Austin, Tex.
On Friday, Tomasulo took the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole while Mallinger struggled to a bogey. On the very next hole, the tables were turned when the 25-year old Mallinger canned a 40-foot birdie putt. With both players staring down 12-footers for birdie on the final hole, bragging rights were on the line. Mallinger left his attempt short while Tomasulo made his to pull even.
These two guys even share the same swing coach in Jamie Mulligan, as fitting a name as there can be in golf.
It is a running joke that every time we do something in golf, we seem to tie, laughed Mallinger. It was a lot of fun out there today. We had a good time, but now it starts for real.
Tomasulo, an All-American on the NCAA national champion University of California squad last year, said he and Mallinger often have putting contests that inevitably end tied.
Were really good friends, so it should make our first year on Tour a little easier, reasoned Tomasulo. 'Its almost like it (tying) was meant to be. It works out well for both of us.
Mallinger, now entering his third season as a pro, birdied his first two holes of the day and turned at 4-under 32. Entering the day with a share of the lead, Mallinger wasnt taking anything for granted and played as though he was on the bubble en route to a final-round 70.
My goal going into today was to win the golf tournament, he said. I got off to a quick start and just kept it going. I didnt want to take a chance and play conservative. That could have hurt in the long run. I wanted to play the same way I have all week.