Six of the twelve first-stage Q-School sites wrapped up play today. In all, a total of 138 players (top 23 at each site), plus ties, have qualified for second stage. Six more first-stage sites crank up in the next week or so, followed by second stage in mid-November.
A few of the players and stories, both positive and negative, that grabbed my attention during first stage.
Bryant Odom: Bryant (we call him “Boogie”) Odom is a good friend. We grew up playing golf on a goat track in Cartersville, Georgia, otherwise known as Green Valley Greens. But he’s doing well these days.
He lit up Florence C.C. to the tune of a 66-67-66-67 (-14) to tie for medalist honors with John Elliot and Stephen Poole. Qualifying never seemed in doubt for Bryant this week, as he was never out of the top six. But his stellar play isn’t a surprise. He won the Georgia Open this summer and has several top 10s this season on the Hooters and Tarheel Tours. The boy can play. Game Under Repair plans to do a Q&A with Bryant before he leaves for second stage.
Erik Compton: A former teammate of Odom at the University of Georgia, Compton is one of the major stories this week– a story I posted about on Wednesday. After a second heart transplant five months ago, it’s amazing Compton is even playing right now. Things looked bleak after three rounds (76-75-77), but he fired a 68 today–the low round of the day–to gain seven shots and qualify on the number (+8) at the Crandon Park site.
In miserable conditions–gusty wind and rain–Compton finished early and sat back and watched while the rest of the field dropped shots. If this guy somehow manages to qualify for the PGA Tour, even if it’s not in 2008, this is Hollywood material. What a story. Read more about Compton’s day here.
Ty Tryon: He used to be a teen prodigy after blitzing through Q School and qualifying for the PGA Tour at age 18. Sponsorship money and a feature in the Tiger Woods video game followed, but Tryon never did anything on Tour, and he’s struggled since losing his card.
Nothing changed this week. He finished T63 out of 76 golfers at Crandon Park. His lowlight was a third round 87–which sticks out like a sore thumb compared to his three other respectable rounds of 74, 72, 74. Will Tryon give it up or continue his pursuit to get back on Tour?
Robert Floyd: Back in February, Floyd was one shot out of the lead after two rounds of the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Big time tournament. Big time stage. But Floyd, the son of hall-of-famer Raymond Floyd, closed with a disappointing 74-76, finished T48, then missed the cut in the next two Tour events. Floyd got a sponsor’s exemption into the AT&T event. But sponsor’s exemptions don’t mean much at Q-School.
This week, he shot 81-81and promptly withdrew from first stage after two rounds at Crandon Park. I never presume why a guy withdrew, maybe Floyd was injured, but let’s hope it wasn’t just because he was pissed off about playing bad. It looks like Robert will need to go the sponsor’s exemption route to ever make it on Tour, because Q-School just doesn’t look doable for the former Florida standout these days.
Come back to Game Under Repair on Sunday morning for the second part of my recap of Q School’s first stage.