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2012 PGA Tour Q-School graduate capsules

PGA Tour Q-School
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LA QUINTA, Calif. – The final PGA Tour Q-School concluded Monday at PGA West with 26 players earning full exempt status in 2013.

Some have played in hundreds of Tour events, others have never before teed it up in the Big Leagues. Here is a detailed look at the players, in order of finish, who successfully earned 2013 PGA Tour cards at Q-School:

Dong-Hwan Lee in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundDong-hwan Lee

Age: 25

Residence: Yong In, South Korea

Comment: After two years of mandatory military service in Korea he’s picked up where he left off and will be part of what is turning into an Asian invasion on the PGA Tour.

Ross FisherRoss Fisher

Age: 32

Residence: Cheam, England

Comment: One of two former European Ryder Cup players, along with Robert Karlsson, to advance out of the final Q-School with direct access to the PGA Tour. Now comes the hard part, devising a schedule to meet the minimum number of starts on both tours within next year’s condensed schedule.

Steve LebrunSteve LeBrun

Age: 34

Residence: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Comment: Longtime mini-tour staple earns his first trip to the Tour. Despite a lack of experience (he has three career starts on the Tour) he has the game to become a top-10 machine.

Richard H. Lee in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundRichard H. Lee

Age: 25

Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: Talked with his swing coach following his third-round 74 and fixed the problem at a lighted driving range late Friday. He did the same thing on Sunday, on the eve of final round, and his moonlighting paid off.

Billy HorschelBilly Horschel

Age: 25

Residence: Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Comment: Made 15 of 17 cuts on Tour in 2012 and yet still found himself back at Q-School. The answer is simple: improve his final-round scoring average.

Kris BlanksKris Blanks

Age: 40

Residence: Jupiter, Fla.

Comment: Estimated he was 70-percent healthy and may have learned a valuable lesson at his fourth Q-School. Sometimes the answer is not in the dirt on the practice range.

Erik ComptonErik Compton

Age: 33

Residence: Coral Gables, Fla.

Comment: Despite all the talk about his medical history, said this week he’s as strong as he’s ever been and his ability to close strong at PGA West (he carded rounds of 67-67 to finish his week) is a good sign for next season.

Brad FritschBrad Fritsch

Age: 35

Residence: Holly Springs, N.C.

Comment: One of seven Tour graduates in the final-stage field looking to improve their status for next year. The native Canadian’s tie for seventh may land him one extra start on the West Coast next year which made the Fall Classic worth the effort.

Jin ParkJin Park

Age: 33

Residence: Phoenix, Ariz.

Comment: After five seasons on the Tour and a fourth trip to final stage, the South Korean gets another crack at the Big Leagues, but he will need to perform this time because there will be no Q-School safety net next year.

Fabian Gomez in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundFabian Gomez

Age: 34

Residence: Chaco, Argentina

Comment: Big finishing weekend (66-66) lifted the Argentine back to the PGA Tour, but he will need to improve driving (109th in driving accuracy and 74th in distance on the Tour in 2012) to avoid a demotion.

Michael Letzig in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundMichael Letzig

Age: 32

Residence: Kansas City, Mo.

Comment: Humbling few years for Letzig, but his recent work with a sports psychologist helped make the game fun again and a steady week at PGA West will make 2013 profitable.

Jeff Gove at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentJeff Gove

Age: 41

Residence: San Marcos, Calif.

Comment: It was the journeyman’s first successful trip through Q-School in nine attempts and he called his tie for 10th “a life changer.”

Steven BowditchSteve Bowditch

Age: 29

Residence: Perigian Beach, Queensland, Australia

Comment: Played last year’s Q-School with a broken hand but avoided a Monday crack up at PGA West. If his putting ever catches up with his ball-striking he could be a threat on Tour.

Matt Jones at the 2012 Puerto Rico OpenMatt Jones

Age: 32

Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: Australian earned his sixth trip back to the Tour, but will need to find more consistency after missing 10 of 19 cuts in 2012.

Robert KarlssonRobert Karlsson

Age: 43

Residence: Charlotte, N.C.

Comment: Tough to consider a two-time European Ryder Cup player a Cinderella story, but considering the Swede withdrew from the British Open in July with the yips, his week at PGA West was a success by any measure.

Eric Meierdierks in the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament final roundEric Meierdierks

Age: 27

Residence: Wilmette, Ill.

Comment: Endured an emotional trip through Q-School following the death of his father before first stage, but the late bloomer used the loss to focus and will be a rookie in 2013.

Scott Langley at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentScott Langley

Age: 23

Residence: Jupiter, Fla.

Comment: Completed a dream season, that included qualifying for the U.S. Open, with five consecutive rounds in the 60s to earn his first trip to the Tour.

Aaron Watkins at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentAaron Watkins

Age: 30

Residence: Mesa, Calif.

Comment: Back on Tour after losing his card in 2009. After three steady seasons on the Tour he may have the game to stay this time.

Derek ErnstDerek Ernst

Age: 22

Residence: Fresno, Calif.

Comment: One of six players from this year’s class with one or fewer Tour starts, but, like many in the bottom end of this year’s class, he may struggle to get enough starts early.

Si Woo Kim at the 2012 PGA Tour Final Qualifying TournamentSi Woo Kim

Age: 17

Residence: Seoul, South Korea

Comment: Tour regulations will severely limit the teen’s starts next. He cannot become a member until his 18th birthday on June 28 and will have roughly four or five starts to keep his card and qualify for the playoffs.

Tag Ridings at the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying TournamentTag Ridings

Age: 38

Residence: Keller, Texas

Comment: This will be the veteran’s eighth trip to the Tour, but in his seven previous attempts he finished inside the top 125 in earnings just twice.

Donald ConstableDonald Constable

Age: 23

Residence: Deephaven, Minn.

Comment: One of four players to advance to the Tour all the way from pre-qualifying, but he’s never played a Tour event and may be overwhelmed.

Bobby GatesBobby Gates

Age: 27

Residence: The Woodlands, Texas

Comment: Second consecutive year through Q-School, but he previously failed to finish inside the top 125 and will struggle to get starts in the condensed schedule.

Patrick ReedPatrick Reed

Age: 22

Residence: Spring, Texas

Comment:  He was 6-for-8 in Monday qualifiers on the PGA Tour this year, but now can start focusing on the weekend as a first-year Tour member.

Henrik NorlanderHenrik Norlander

Age: 25

Residence: Augusta, Ga.

Comment: Made transition from the eGolf Tour to the Big Leagues with a solid week at PGA West with the help of his former golf coach at Augusta State on the bag.

Chez ReavieChez Reavie

Age: 31

LA QUINTA, Calif. –Residence: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Comment: The only graduating member with a Tour win to his credit, Reavie is just the second player to participate in the Tour Championship and end up at Q-School the next season. He seemed to find an answer for his putting woes in 2012. Unfortunately, that answer is a belly putter.