One player with Eastern Ontario ties is all that is remaining as Web.com Tour Qualifying wraps up their second stage.
Matt McQuillan of Kingston, a member of the PGA Tour in 2011-2012, ended four rounds of play with total of 283 (-5) to advance to the final qualifying tournament.
“It was a tough test,” McQuillan related from California after completing play on the Oak Valley Golf Course in Beaumont. “The greens were small and rock hard poa annua.”
Scoring for the site seemed to get much tighter as the week went on (he opened with 69 and 71 and followed with 70 and 73) and the former MacKenzie Tour winner says it all had to do with conditions. “The winds were down the first couple days and the greens were receptive. I don’t think they watered them all week so when the wind came up a bit the course had a bit of defence. My ball striking was a little cold for the last 27 holes but thankfully my short game bailed me out.”
Playing in the middle of the pack, when McQuillan completed his final round, despite being over par for the day, he had some good news waiting for him. “They told me that -4 was on the edge but -5 was likely good so that felt great.”
He would ultimately finish in a share of 15th place with the players in the top 20 and ties moving on.
Having missed advancing to final stage by just a stroke last year, relegating him to another season on the mini-tours, the 34 year-old is relieved that he is another step closer to being back playing on PGA Tour-sanctioned circuit once again.
“I’ve got my foot in the door now,” said McQuillan of his entry secured into final stage. “I just have to prepare myself for the next step. Hopefully my short game stays sharp and and I have a good tee to green game (at final stage) and I can put up some good scores.”
The final stage of qualifying will be contested on December 10-13 at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
McQuillan will take a few days to play some casual golf with friends in the California desert before packing up for travel to south Florida.
During his two years on the PGA Tour he was not able to get into the Honda Classic,the event held annually at PGA National, so he will give himself ample time to get to know the courses and get in tune with Bermuda grass surfaces again.
“You know, I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself and I’ll try and do that at finals again. I’ll just try and play my best and see what happens.”
Having made it to the final stage of qualifying McQuillan has technically earned conditional status on the Web.com Tour for 2016. That said, he is among a 156 player field that will be fighting for ranking position, along with a number of other Canadians. 15 in total, in fact.
The final stage will rank those players accordingly to provide what level of status they are eligible for in 2016.
In 2015 Canadian Brad Fritsch won Web.com Tour final qualifying and the coveted all-exempt status that comes with it. Players who finish in 2nd-10th (and ties) at finals are exempt until the third periodic re-ordering (or reshuffle), while those in 11th through 45th (and ties) are exempt through the second reshuffle.
That top 45 is the “sweet spot” to guarantee any level of a predictable schedule on the Web.com Tour.
Players who finish lower than that at finals have confessional status and alternate position with players who ranked 76-100 from the Web.com Tour regular season money list, and the players who finishes 2nd through 5th on the official money lists for the the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, MacKenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.