Stories abound from final day of Q-School


PGA Tour (75x100)As a tough-around-the-edges guard for Washburn (Kan.) University, Gary Woodland learned how debilitating pressure could be. As an untested PGA Tour-rookie-in-waiting, the 24-year-old learned that the best way to deal with pressure was with a solid performance.
And for 107 holes at the PGA Tour Qualifying School Tournament, the former college hoopster dealt with all the pressure the game's most intense pass-fail endeavor had to offer. That 108th, however, was another story.
'I was doing real good all day long. Right up until the 18th tee,' said Woodland, who gave up his college basketball career for golf after a season. 'I had to take a couple of extra breaths walking up that last hole. I asked my caddie if I had to hole the putt and he said, 'No.' There was no way I was getting that 5-footer into the hole.'
Woodland parred his final, nervous hole for a closing 69 and a 20-under 412 total to earn his first trip to the PGA Tour. It was an accomplishment that reminded him of his days running the floor with the Washburn back court.
'Today was the best way for me to turn basketball into golf,' said Woodland, who left Washburn after one year to play college golf at Kansas and has spent the last year playing the mini-tours and Monday qualifying. 'It was just like the pressure you feel when you have to make a free throw.'
For some, like Brian Stuard, who bogeyed two of his three final holes to miss earning his card by a shot, Q-School must have felt like a technical foul. But for Harrison Frazar, the Fall Classic must have had an All-Star Game feel to it.
The Tour veteran was 10 strokes off his record-setting, fourth-round pace on Sunday, carding a 69 that still gave him a comfortable lead going into Monday's finale. He cruised to medalist honors, playing his first 11 holes in 7 under to easily retain his card.
Frazar's closing 67, which featured a double bogey at the last, left him eight strokes ahead of Australian James Nitties (70) and Derek Fathauer (70).
Among those who will be joining Frazar on Tour in 2009 were veterans Robert Garrigus, Chris Stroud, Glen Day, Notah Begay, Chris Riley and Jay Williamson.
Williamson dropped outside the top 25 with a double bogey at the 13th, but he rebounded with birdies at three of his next four holes to finish tied for 18th.
'I'm just really, really thankful it's over. This has been the longest week of my life,' Williamson said. 'The problem is I'm too emotional and I know the difference between getting through and not getting through.'
Despite a career year that included a playoff loss to Kenny Perry at the John Deere Classic, his first trip to the British Open and a start in the BMW Championship which was played in his home town of St. Louis, Williamson finished 137th in earnings.
'It's not so much a mental thing. It's an emotional thing,' said the endearing veteran who was slowed late in the season by a back injury and missed his last six cuts. 'I know too much. I need to get dumb for a little bit because the last two days were brutal.'
Like Stuard, Bryce Molder dropped out of the top 25 on Monday, but Molder had already secured his status on Tour with his top-25 finish on the 2009 Nationwide Tour money list.

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