Rhoden in the Hunt at Champions Q-School


Champions TourCALIMESA, Calif. -- Kirk Hanefeld fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to climb to the top of the leaderboard at the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament.
Hanefeld ended 72 holes at 3-under-par 285, while there are still two more rounds before seven players can gain fully exempt status on the Champions Tour. The next eight players will earn conditional status.
Scott Masingill carded a 4-under 68 as winds that have driven up scores through the first three rounds calmed somewhat on Saturday. Masingill is alone in second place at 2-under-par 286.
Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden matched the low round of the week as he fired a 6-under 66. He moved to minus-1 and shares third place with Norm Jarvis (69).
Hanefeld, who had the low round to the week before today with Friday's 68, jumped out of the gate with a birdie on No. 2 on the Champions Course at PGA Southern California Golf Club.
He got to even-par for the tournament with a birdie at the sixth. Hanefeld then birdied the eighth to keep rolling. He parred his next two holes.
Hanefeld birdied the par-5 11th and made it two straight as he birdied the 12th to get to 3 under. Hanefeld parred each of his last six holes to remain there.
Masingill, whose best finish on the Champions Tour is a tie for 22nd at the 2003 3M Championship, also began the day at plus-2, but birdies on the second and third got him to even-par for the event.
He jumped to minus-2 as he posted consecutive birdies from the par-4 sixth. Around the turn, Masingill birdied the 10th to take the lead at 3 under.
Masingill stayed atop the leaderboard as he birdied No. 12 to move to 4 under. However, he stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 17th to slip back to minus-2.
Second- and third-round leader Joe Ozaki managed an even-par 72 in round four. He stands at even-par 288 and shares fifth place with Bill Longmuir (70).
Chris Starkjohann was the other player to fire 66 today and that moved him to 1-over-par 289. He was joined in a tie for seventh place by Rick Karbowski, Frank Shikle, Darrell Kestner, Massy Kuramoto and Katsuysohi Tomori.
After three more players withdrew on Saturday, that meant ten players total withdrew during the first four days of the six-day event. The cut fell at 18-over-par 306 with exactly 70 players moving on to the final two rounds. Vance Haefner, who played on the Champions Tour six times in 2005, was among the 12 players that missed the cut.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Champions Tour Final Qualifying Tournament
  • Full Coverage - Champions Tour Final Qualifying Tournament