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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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."
Esteban Toledo -- Was the inspiration for the book, "Tin Cup Dreams."
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.
Got Through Second Stage
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.
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."
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.
Keoke Cotner -- His mother once won the Miss Kauai contest. Seriously.
Robert Damron -- Won the Bryon Nelson in 2001.
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
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.
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.
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.
Mark Hensby -- Won the 2004 John Deere Classic. Enjoys wearing the visor even though he isn't 70.
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
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.
Colt Knost -- The new age argument for "why golf isn't a sport."
Major Manning -- The forgotten grandfather of Peyton and Eli.
William McGirt -- Missing a simple "h" at the end of his name to be the king of all fraternity nicknames ever and ever.
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.
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.
Ted Potter, Jr.
David Robinson -- 1995 NBA MVP.
Chris Sessler -- U of A, U of A!
Paul Stankowski -- Won two PGA Tour events.
Tyrone Van Aswegen
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.