Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting to Know Your 2009 Q-School Attendees

Starting Wednesday, 170 elite golfers will be playing the final stage of the PGA Tour's Qualifying School, arguably the most grueling and mind-screwing act in sports. These guys will be trying to earn their PGA Tour cards for 2010 by finishing in the low-25 and ties at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. Here is a list of all the golfers involved, including some facts about a few of the golfers. If you know something about any of them and want to add it, drop it in the comments, and I'll fill it in with a credit to you. Read all about the players, after the jump.

Exempt Into Final Stage

Brendon de Jonge -- A fairly consistent golfer in his short time on the PGA Tour, de Jonge has finished in the top-25 in 12 percent of his career starts with the big boys. Also has a degree in Career Studies from Virginia Tech.
Chris Baryla
Shane Bertsch
Adam Bland
Andrew Buckle
Gavin Coles
Bubba Dickerson -- In 2001, the red-headed Dickerson blew up the amateur ranks, winning both the Western Amateur and the U.S. Amateur in the same season. Bubba is also his nickname, coming from his brother Robert's inability to pronounce the word "brother."
David Duval -- Was once one of the greatest golfers of the Tiger generation. Now, he's the greatest golfer of the Tiger generation competing in this year's PGA Tour Qualifying School.
Rickie Fowler -- Nearly earned his PGA Tour card in just three starts, by going t-7, t-2 and t-40 as a pro. Also, tends to make the ladies scream.
Robert Garrigus
Fabian Gomez
Mathias Gronberg
Todd Hamilton -- Created the "hybrid bump-and-run shot" in his win of the '04 British Open, defeating Ernie Els. Since the end of the '04 season, Hamilton has a total of two top-10s in five seasons.
Tim Herron -- A perfect example of how cruel the PGA Tour really can be. He's won four times on tour.
Matt Jones -- Currently a free agent, Jones was picked in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in '05 out of Arkansas. He has 15 touchdowns in his career.
Cliff Kresge
Spencer Levin -- I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Levin doesn't like you. Or me, for that matter.
Jeff Maggert -- Seriously?
Troy Merritt
Joe Ogilvie -- He has made 171 cuts on the PGA Tour in his career, being edged only by the number of times he's been called "Geoff," which currently ranks 4,503.
Jesper Parnevik -- Is basically the reason every European golfer you know dresses like he's about to go yachting. Also, is part of the reason for all this Tiger Woods-Elin-Car smashing fun (he set the two up).
Tom Pernice Jr.
Martin Piller
Ewan Porter
Alistair Presnell -- Wins award for "most Scottish sounding name when they are really from Australia."
Aron Price -- Blames his parents for continually have to tell people his first name only has one "A."
Chris Riley
Dustin Risdon
Dave Schultz
Patrick Sheehan
Brian Smock
Darron Stiles
Brian Stuard
Esteban Toledo -- Was the inspiration for the book, "Tin Cup Dreams."
Vance Veazey
Charles Warren -- Most commonly know as "Sir Charles Warren," he was, according to Wikipedia, "an officer in the British Royal Engineers, and in later life was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, the head of the London Metropolitan Police, from 1886 to 1888, during the period of the Jack the Ripper murders.
Matt Weibring
Steve Wheatcroft

Got Through Second Stage

Joe Affrunti
Tyler Aldridge
Mark Anderson
Jamie Arnold

Arjun Atwal -- Atwal, 36, was the first Indian golfer to ever join the PGA Tour. Three European Tour wins and a Nationwide win later, he's back trying to earn his card.
Daniel Barbetti
Ben Bates
Nick Beach
Ray Beaufils
Travis Bertoni

Kris Blanks -- From the PGATour.com media guide -- "Is named for actor/singer Kris Kristofferson. "My mom thought he was cute, and the movie 'The Rose' was coming out at the time she was pregnant. That's where my name came from."
Mark Borchert
Keegan Bradley
Jeff Brehaut
D.J. Brigman

Josh Broadaway -- Think golf is a game of feel? Broadaway swings every shot cross-handed (right over left) and putts left-handed even though he's righty.
Scott Brown
Ted Brown
Dan Buchner
Gary Christian
Michael Connell

Keoke Cotner -- His mother once won the Miss Kauai contest. Seriously.
Jess Daley
Robert Damron -- Won the Bryon Nelson in 2001.
Matt Davidson
Marco Dawson
Glen Day
Graham DeLaet

Brent Delayhoussaye -- Rumored to scream, "Brent is Delay-in you - Houseeee" when he walks into parties.
John Douma -- I played my practice round this year with Douma for the U.S. Open qualifier. Hits it dead straight with every club. Never gets in trouble. Just like everyone else here, will need the putter to show up. (Oh, and in my first ever professional start, Douma shot 61 and won the event.)
Andrew Dresser -- Another qualifying buddy! Dresser and I were paired together a couple of years back for the Byron Nelson qualifier in Dallas. Solid player that I grew up hacking it around with in junior golf. He is at third stage of Q-School. I'm writing about it. /swings whiskey
Ken Duke
Brian Duncan
Tod Fischer

Martin Flores
Keven Fortin-Simard

Carlos Franco -- 22 professional wins to his name, and no place to play. Crazy game.
Tommy Gainey -- Best known as "Tommy Two Gloves" to you Big Break Freaks, Gainey wears two gloves when he plays.
Brice Garnett
Robert Gates
Rafael Gomez

Jason Gore -- Since there is no other forum for this to be discussed, I wanted to just write it so someone would eventually read it and agree or disagree. So, when Gore was playing well in 2005 (three Nationwide wins and a PGA Tour win to boot), I thought Nike had a killer ad campaign if they wanted. Show Gore, who appears to be a hometown boy with the big grin, waking up next to his non-supermodel wife, eating some Fruity Pebbles or something unhealthy, lounging around before he grabs his clubs and tosses them in the back of his truck. At the same time, you're split-screening to Tiger, who wakes up next to supermodel, goes and works out (Sweaty, lifting, etc.), eating some sort of egg whites on wheat and a chicken breast, and taking his clubs out to his Lexus/Cadillac/Mercedes. Have them both pull up to the same course, walk out to the range, and both hit two shots at the same time, to within a foot of the cup, on the same green. They both look at each other, grin, and it cuts to "Nike Golf: Good For Just About Anyone." Tell me you wouldn't have loved this commercial.
Kelly Grunewald
Bret Guetz
Scott Gutschewski
Robert Gwin

Hunter Haas
James Hahn

Jarett Hamamoto -- Wins for "name no sportswriter wants in the hunt at the Masters so we don't have to keep looking at it wondering if we misspelled it or not," an award previously held by Padraig.
Alex Hamilton
Ty Harris
J.P. Hayes
David Hearn

Mark Hensby -- Won the 2004 John Deere Classic. Enjoys wearing the visor even though he isn't 70.
Steve Holmes
Billy Horschel
Jesse Hutchins
Brad Iles
Barrett Jarosch
Brandt Jobe
Won Joon Lee

Chris Kamin -- A Gateway Tour veteran who was the leading money earner during the Summer Series. A funny experience I once had with Kamin. Playing my first round ever on the Gateway, I finished birdie-birdie to post 68. I was on cloud 47, and went to the putting green to roll a few putts before I left. Kamin was there messing with some putting tool, and we started bullshitting about the round/course/putting tool. He asked how I played, and I said pretty well, "Shot 68." I asked him and he said he played alright. I went home that night, checked the computer, and saw that Kamin had shot 66. /takes second pull of whiskey
Sunghoon Kang
Jonathan Kaye -- Will forever be known as a jerk because he once clipped his player's badge to his zipper after a security guard wouldn't let him in without it. Also, this was a month after 9/11, when security was rougher than Tiger's Thanksgiving.
Troy Kelly
Skip Kendall
J.J. Kileen
Sunny Kim
Chris Kirk
Kevin Kisner

Colt Knost -- The new age argument for "why golf isn't a sport."
Bronson La'Cassie
Neal Lancaster
Grant Leaver
Brett Lederer
Hugo Leon
Luke List
David Lutterus
Bobby MacWhinnie
Nick Malinowski

Major Manning -- The forgotten grandfather of Peyton and Eli.
David Mathis
William McGirt -- Missing a simple "h" at the end of his name to be the king of all fraternity nicknames ever and ever.
David McKenzie
Andrew McLardy
Jay McLuen
Adam Meyer

Shaun Micheel -- Hit arguably the best shot of the entire decade, when his second shot on the 72nd hole at the 2003 PGA Championship nearly went in for an eagle, leading to a tap-in birdie and a victory over Chad Campbell. Hasn't had a top-10 in two years.
Zack Miller
Jon Mills
Alan Morin
Chris Mundorf
Trevor Murphy
Madalitso Muthiya

Chris Nallen -- A true definition of streaky golfer. Nallen, playing at the University of Arizona at the time, shot a course record 58 at Arizona National the week before the Wildcats hosted their home tournament, only to shoot 63-64-68 during the week. (Here is an interview I had with Nallen after that event, when he talks about his 58.) In 2004, Nallen Monday qualified for the Gila River Classic in Phoenix, only to open with a 60 in the first round. He went on to win the event.
Rob Oppenheim
Garrett Osborn
Brenden Pappas
Jin Park
Blaine Peffley
Justin Peters
Stephen Poole
Ted Potter, Jr.

Rick Price
Dicky Pride
Kyle Reifers
John Riegger

David Robinson -- 1995 NBA MVP.
Chris Rogers
Tom Scherrer
Brady Schnell

Chris Sessler -- U of A, U of A!
Nathan Smith
Scott Stallings

Paul Stankowski -- Won two PGA Tour events.
Brendan Steele
Andrew Svoboda
Phil Tataurangi
Kyle Thompson
Cameron Tringale
Julien Trudeau
Emmett Turner
Nathan Tyler
Omar Uresti
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Mark Walker
Aaron Watkins
Dustin White
Jay Williamson
Chris Wilson

Casey Wittenberg -- A great final entry. Wittenberg is most famously known for 5-under 31 on the back nine during the final round of the 2004 Masters, the lowest back nine round by any amateur in the history of the event. It also lead to one of the more awkward exchanges in Butler Cabin history, when Phil Mickelson was told Wittenberg did that. An obviously exuberant Mickelson gave the "Great Job" big-eyed handshake-y thing, to Wittenberg's obvious astonishment.


Jeff said...

Great post Shane. Some really big names on there that I can't believe are there! Jeff Maggert, Rocco Mediate, Lumpy? Will be interesting to see who's schlumping it on the Nationwide next year or who's playing through exemptions, as I'm sure most of those big names will if they don't make it

Burdell said...

Some info on Mark Hensby, since I used to kick it around with the guy back when he played in Shreveport on the Nike Tour: Great guy and a great story. Tough childhood. His father told him he should give up on golf. Instead, Hensby moved to the US and lived out of his car for a year as he established himself in the golf world. Former winner on the PGA Tour and even though he is an Aussie, he has no idea how to throw a boomerang.

Vince Spence said...

Shane, what are thoughts on a stupid idea like this:

1. Eliminate PGA Q-School in favor of the Nationwide Q.
2. Lower 125 exempt to 110.
2. Top Forty on Nationwide regular season money list get PGA tour cards. Top ten from NW Q-School get cards.
3. All other Q school qualifiers go to Nationwide Tour.

If you look at the money list this year on the PGA tour, consider if the name players from 111-150 were forced to play the NW. You could some big names for Nationwide Tournaments

I believe Nationwide guys earn their stripes playing all year in minor cities for minor purses while a bunch of retreads continue to 126-150 the tour to death.

Shane B. said...

Nah Vince, sadly, I have to disagree. There is such much talent on mini tours that don't get a chance to play the Nationwide, much less the PGA Tour. Kevin Streelman a year ago is a great example. A Gateway Tour god, eliminating Q-School wouldn't have given him a shot to show his skills. He did, and within a month was in a final group with Tiger on Sunday. Q-School is what makes golf the best sport in the world. Eliminating it would be an absolute travesty.

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