Which potential card carrier makes best story?

By Jason SobelNovember 29, 2011, 5:00 pm

Oldies and goodies, wannabes and daydream believers, they are all duking it out for 25 PGA Tour cards this week at PGA West, during the six-round culmination of Q-School. GolfChannel.com senior writers Jason Sobel, Randall Mell and Rex Hoggard offer up who they think would make for the best story to earn full playing privileges in 2012.

David Duval

By JASON SOBEL

This isn’t supposed to be how it works for former No. 1-ranked players.

No, this small group of elite players over the past quarter-century are meant to remain at the top of their profession for years. When their games fade, they are granted unlimited special exemptions until the time they are ushered into the Hall of Fame, forever bronzed as one of the all-time greats.

David Duval has taken a much different career path, to say the least. A former No. 1, his game has taken a precipitous downturn in the past decade. Yes, there have been exemptions – season-long passes for top-25 on career money list, top-50 on career money list and even one for “family crisis” – but those have dried up.

Other than his status as past champion of 13 sanctioned events, Duval no longer has any position on the PGA Tour after finishing 152nd on the 2011 money list. Soon after the season ended, he was unsure about heading to Q-School, but eventually decided to compete in second stage, where he finished second.

And so now the former No. 1 will be battling a field filled with journeymen, up-and-comers and dreamers, each hoping to reach the level he once achieved.

It will be a terrific story if Duval retains his card through Q-School this week – and an even better one if he parlays that into more success down the road.


Ty Tryon

By RANDALL MELL

Ty Tryon must be the oldest 27-year-old in golf today.

Ten tough years have passed since he left Q-School at Bear Lakes in West Palm Beach, Fla., as the youngest player ever to win a PGA Tour card.

Once the game’s golden boy, Tryon is now identified as one of its cautionary tales. He’s pointed to as an example of what can happen when too much is heaped upon a player who’s too young to carry the weight of grand expectations.

There’s a problem with that depiction, though. Tryon is not yet 30. He’s still writing chapters to his tale, chapters that could give his story an uplifting finish. That’s why if Tryon emerges with his card come Monday at PGA West, he’s the best story there. If he earns his way back onto the PGA Tour, he keeps alive the hope that all his dreams can still be resurrected. He fuels hope that perseverance and hard work still leads to professional fulfillment.

Tryon’s all grown up now. He’s a husband and father to a 5-year-old. He plays for different reasons than he played for 10 years ago. He plays with a different purpose. He plays with the possibility of a happy ending.


Doug Barron

By REX HOGGARD

There is no shortage of feel-good tales to cheer as this year’s final stage of Q-School gets underway on Wednesday in the California desert, but based on pure cosmic justice Doug Barron represents a unique rooting interest.

Two years ago the fortysomething journeyman played a single PGA Tour event, was selected for a “random” performance-enhancing drug test and will forever be the answer to an obscure trivia question as the first, and to date only, Tour player to test positive for PEDs.

Barron – who has a lengthy history of health problems including low testosterone – had requested various “therapeutic-use exemptions” prior to 2009 and had been denied.

That he became the face of “doping” in golf was proof that not all testing programs are created equal. That he now finds himself on the doorstep to regain Tour membership is nothing short of an administrative miracle.

Barron tried to trust the system and it landed him a one-year suspension. He now trusts his attorneys, has been granted a TUE to take testosterone and has the energy, and game, to endure the six-day Q-School marathon.

Doug Barron may not be the sexiest story at this year’s Q-School, but for those with a fondness for cosmic make-goods he’s worth a cheer or two.


Catch live coverage of PGA Tour Q-School finals on Golf Channel: Saturday and Sunday - 4PM ET; Monday - 3:30PM ET

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Watch: Koepka highlights from the Travelers

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 3:30 pm

U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.


And here is the capper at the 14th

Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.


After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.


A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead.

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Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.


Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship


Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”