Kingston golfer Matt McQuillan did exactly what was necessary today in his quest for a PGA Tour card.
The 29 year-old put up an impressive 66 in his 5th of 6th rounds at PGA Tour final qualifying near Orlando, Florida.
He sits at 10 under par and is positioned well heading into the final round Monday. In a tie for 16th he will still need a solid last round if he is to stay within the top 25 players and ties that will earn a PGA Tour card. Any way you look at it, it certainly creates a lot more possibilities than the 40th place tie he was in after four rounds. If he fails to stay in that top tier tomorrow he most certainly is in a strong position to gain full Nationwide Tour status, a big upgrade over his steady diet of the eGolf and Canadian Tour’s.
McQuillan got his day off to the perfect start with a solid drive and hybrid approach to about 15 feet. He would make that putt, just one of his 7 birdies on the day. He now leads the field with 28 birdies this week.
After complaining yesterday that he was not making any birdie putts of length, he certainly made up for it today.
“I made some adjustments on the practice green last night and they seemed to work today. My speed and line was much better today,” he told Flagstick after the round.
With rain and wind coming into play on Sunday another thing was also apparent; the advantage of having a great caddy.
McQuillan is employing Gary Matthews this week, the regular caddy for Sergio Garcia, and that seems to be paying off. “Tank” as he is known on tour, is providing great support for his man. “He really knows his stuff. He is a real professional and is really into helping me get the most out of every round.”
McQuillan will finish his Q-School on the Crooked Cat course tomorrow, what is considered the easier of the two layouts at the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge. With flatter greens and fewer hazards encroaching fairways and greens it has coughed up the lowest rounds this week. Several players posted 7 under par on it on Sunday while McQuillan’s 5 under on Panther Lake tied the low round of the day on that layout.
In other Canadian news, Chris Baryla slipped further away from his opportunity to improve on his PGA Tour status for 2011. The Vernon, B.C. native posted a 74 on Sunday, dropping him from a tie for 14th to a tie for 36th.
Jon Mills (Belleville) and Richard T. Lee (Vancoluver jumped up the board courtesy off their respective rounds of 67. Mills heads into the last round in a tie for 52nd while Lee has a share of 61st.
The only other Canadian in the field, Ted Brown of Peterborough, shot 70 on Sunday and shares 124th place with one round to play.