Auburn Sends Five Former Golfers To Final Stage Of PGA Tour Q-School
Nov. 20, 2011
AUBURN - The Auburn men's golf program saw five former golfers advance to the final stage of the 2011 PGA Q-School as the second stage of qualifying wrapped up this weekend.
Lee Williams, Reid Edstrom and Will Claxton advanced Friday from Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, while Glenn Northcutt and Jimmy Brandt qualified at Hombre Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Fla., on Saturday.
"It's unbelievable," said Williams. "Auburn having five players advancing is a pretty good amount from one college. Will, Reid and I all advanced on Friday, then when I saw Glenn and Jimmy making it out of Panama City, I was like 'good grief.'"
The group will compete Nov. 30 through Dec. 5 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., where roughly 150 players will vie for PGA and Nationwide Tour cards, as well as professional exemptions.
Williams tied for 10th at Redstone after a clutch showing on Sunday's back nine, reminiscent of Edstrom's final round 62 in the 2007 second stage. Knowing he had to go low to advance, Williams dropped six birdies in his final nine holes to clear the cut line by two strokes.
"I was in kind of in a bad position after the first round, five shots out of the top 20," said Williams. "I started hitting it well on Wednesday but my putter was a little off and not doing me any favors. On Friday, I told my wife I needed to get to 5-under for us to have a good shot. After nine holes, I was still even par.
"I birdied 10 and 11 and got to 3-under after 13. I looked at my wife again and said I have a couple good opportunities coming up. I ended up birdying 15, 16 and 17 to shoot 29 on the back and get in by two strokes. It was a pretty sweet back nine."
The final round 66 moved Williams from 29th and into the top 10, sending him to Q-School finals for the first time since 2006. While in Auburn, the Alex City, Ala., native set the school record for career scoring average at 72.38.
Edstrom and Claxton each tied for 19th at 5-under as the pair were in the top 20 all week. Edstrom was tied for sixth after Wednesday, following with an even-par Thursday that carded three birdies, three bogeys, an eagle and a double bogey. Although the Auburn resident slipped in Saturday's leaderboards with a final round 74, he still held on for a spot in La Quinta.
Claxton didn't budge on Saturday, carding a final round 71 to maintain his tie for 19th and make the Q-School finals for the second-consecutive year.
Down in Panama City Beach, Northcutt fired a final round 69 to tie for 19th with Brandt who shot a final round 71. The pair tied at 2-over par.
"I've really been working hard to get to this point," said Northcutt. "It's been quite a challenge. I had to make it through pre-qualifying on top of the first and second stages. It's been a long road and I'm looking forward to getting out to California."
While the other four Tigers going to La Quinta have played in a Q-School final before, Northcutt will be making his first trip in just his second attempt at Q-School. The Dothan, Ala., native played his senior year in 2009, finishing with the seventh lowest career scoring average in school history.
"I had a couple horrible holes in the middle of Friday's round but played out the rest of the day at 2-under," said Northcutt. "Going into Saturday, I knew I had to shoot 2-under to have a shot of qualifying. I went out and tried to stay patient and just let it happen."
"It's exciting to send this many Auburn guys to the final stage. I'll be going out there with four other guys that are great players."
The event will be played on two of PGA West's courses - the Nicklaus Course and TPC Stadium.
"I played the 2006 finals at PGA West and played both course," said Williams. "They are great courses. The Stadium course is tough and while the Nicklaus course isn't easy, but people always seem to shoot very well there. It's a nice area and the weather is normally really good out there."
Complete PGA Tour Q-School information and results can be accessed via www.PGATour.com/QSchool.
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