Five With USGA Ties Earn PGA Tour Cards

By David Shefter
December 4, 2012

Past Walker Cup participant Billy Horschel, who carded a USGA-record score of 60 at the Chaska (Minn.) Town Course during stroke-play qualifying at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, is headed back to the PGA Tour in 2013. (John Mummert/USGA)

La Quinta, Calif. – Two past Walker Cup Team members, a U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, an APL runner-up and a U.S. Open low amateur were among the 26 golfers to earn 2013 PGA Tour cards on Monday at the PGA Tour Final Qualifying Tournament at PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium Course).

The low 25 golfers and ties received playing privileges for next season at the 108-hole event. The next 50 scorers earned full-time Tour status, while the remaining players earn conditional Tour status.

This was the last Q-School to offer immediate spots on the PGA Tour. In 2013, Q-School will serve as a qualifying event for the Tour only.

A final-round, 4-under-par 68 on the Stadium Course gave 2007 USA Walker Cup player Billy Horschel a share of fourth place at 23-under 409. The 25-year-old from Grant, Fla., made 15 of 17 cuts on the PGA Tour in 2012, but was forced back to Q-School, where he advanced for the third time in four attempts. At the 2006 U.S. Amateur, Horschel carded a USGA-record 60 at the Chaska (Minn.) Town Course during stroke-play qualifying en route to medalist honors.

Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, a member of the 2001 Walker Cup Team, fired a 67 on the Stadium Course to tie for seventh. The 33-year-old from Miami had just one top-25 finish during his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour in 2012.

“…This is hell week,” Compton told of Q-School. “Maybe I make it look easy, but it’s not. The mental part of what it does to you is different.”

Chez Reavie, the 2001 APL champion, was among five golfers to grab the final qualifying spots. The 31-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., resident fired a final-round 70 on the Stadium Course for a six-round total of 17-under 415. Reavie is only the second golfer in the FedEx Cup era to go from the Tour Championship in 2011 to Q-School the following season, having fallen from 10th in the final FedEx Cup standings in 2011 to 132nd in 2012.

Scott Langley, 23, of Manchester, Mo., needed a final-round 68 on the Stadium Course to earn his card. The 2010 NCAA Division I champion and co-low amateur at the 2010 U.S. Open tied for 17th at 19-under 413. The left-hander also represented the USA at the 2010 World Amateur Team Championship.

Derek Ernst, the runner-up at the 2011 APL and a semifinalist in 2012, was one of four golfers to earn a 2013 PGA Tour card after advancing through all four stages of 2012 Q-School. The 22-year-old from Clovis, Calif., who is partially blind in his right eye from a childhood accident, shot a 2-over 74 on the Stadium Course to tie for 17th.

As always, Q-School had its share of heartbreak for several golfers, including 1999 Walker Cup member Edward Loar, who double-bogeyed No. 17 and bogeyed 18 on the Stadium to miss by two strokes. Loar, a 2012 PGA Tour member, was safely inside the top 25 until a second-nine 41 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard.

“We all know how cruel the game is,” Loar told after his final-round 78. “Hopefully I can learn from it. Thirteen years [as a professional], hopefully this won’t set me back too much.”

Missing by one stroke were 2008 U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee and 2005 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup member Oliver Fisher.

Nicholas Thompson, a 2005 USA Walker Cup player, missed by two strokes, but he had already earned 2013 PGA Tour status by finishing among the top 25 on this year’s Tour. Two-time Walker Cup member Lee Williams (2003 and 2005) and 2009 Walker Cup member Morgan Hoffmann were also looking to improve their priority status among those exempt golfers in 2013.

Camilo Villegas, the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, and 2009 USGA Men’s State Team low individual scorer Mark Anderson were among the group who missed by two strokes. Villegas will have conditional status in 2013 based on finishing between 125 and 150 on the 2012 PGA Tour money list (No 144).

Patrick Cantlay, the 2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up and low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open, carded a final-round 67 on the Nicklaus Tournament course, but missed earning his PGA Tour card by nine strokes. Cantlay was the world’s No. 1 amateur before turning pro after this year’s U.S. Open at The Olympic Club.

Kelly Kraft, who beat Cantlay in the 2011 U.S. Amateur final at Erin Hills, shot a final-round 72 on the Nicklaus Tournament course and missed by 18 strokes. Kraft turned professional following the Masters in April.

Other notables who had to settle for Tour status in 2013 were 2005 Walker Cup members Michael Putnam, Kyle Reifers and Billy Hurley III; 2009 U.S. Amateur runner-up Ben Martin; 1987 Walker Cup member Len Mattiace; 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up Richard Scott; 1993 Walker Cup member Todd Demsey; and 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Kevin Tway.

Like Villegas, two-time USGA champion Billy Mayfair (1986 APL and 1987 Amateur) will have conditional status in 2013 after finishing 128th on the money list.

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