PREVIEW: PGA Tour Q-School Final Stage

PREVIEW: PGA Tour Q-School Final Stage

168 players will tee it up from Dec. 14 to Dec. 17 at Dye’s Valley and Sawgrass Country Club, the East and West courses, for the chance to earn a spot on the PGA Tour for the 2024 season.

Seventy-nine players advanced to the Final Stage via the Second Stage, while the remainder of the field earned direct access to the Final Stage through various exemption categories. Of the 521 players who started at Pre-Qualifying (there were eight sites), only two made it to the Final Stage – Caleb Hicks, a 2023 graduate of the University of Texas Arlington, and 39-year-old journeyman Wes Homan.

The 168-player field will play two rounds at Dye’s Valley and two rounds at Sawgrass Country Club. Golfers will play in the same groups for the first two rounds before being re-paired for the third (and fourth) rounds.The top half of the field will play the third round at Sawgrass Country Club and the fourth at Dye’s Valley, while the bottom half will play the opposite layouts.

PGA TOUR cards are up for grabs at Q-School for the first time in a decade.

Notable players

PGA Tour winners Austin Cook, Patton Kizzire, Brice Garnett, Adam Long, and Richy Werenski will be teeing it up.

Wesley Bryan heads to Final Stage after getting into the field after his finish at The RSM Classic. Bryan, who made the cut at the Bermuda Championship alongside his brother George, in his PGA TOUR debut, was the last player to win three times on the Korn Ferry Tour. The duo are also golf YouTube stars as “The Bryan Brothers.”

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Braden Thornberry is in the field. The former Ole Miss star represented the United States at the 2017 Walker Cup at Los Angeles Country Club alongside Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, and Will Zalatoris. Thornberry secured two singles victories to help secure the win.

As a junior, he collected four victories throughout the season to increase his career total to a school-record 11. He was a Ben Hogan Award finalist, a Haskins Award finalist for the second consecutive season, and a semi-finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the best NCAA Division I golfer. He tied for 61st at the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, where he shot a 64 in the second round, and placed 22nd at the Web.com Tour’s North Mississippi Classic.[4]Thornberry qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open, where he missed the cut by one stroke, and tied for 26th at the 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic. He represented the United States in the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup at Evian Resort Golf Club and shot a round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Thornberry earned the Mark H. McCormack Medal in August 2018, given to the world’s highest-ranked amateur after the U.S. Amateur. He turned professional in December 2018 and decided to forgo the second half of his senior season. He forfeited his 2019 U.S. Open and 2019 Open Championship exemptions by becoming professional.

Three of the top five from the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking are in action, including Ross Steelman, Fred Biondi, and Sam Bennett. Bennett earned Low Amateur honors at the 2023 Masters.

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What the finishers get

Top five finishers (and ties) will earn PGA TOUR cardsThe next 40 finishers (and ties) will earn exempt status through multiple reshuffles of the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour seasonThe first 25 finishers and ties are subject to the third reshuffle (12 guaranteed starts), and any remaining finishers within the category are subject to the second reshuffle (eight guaranteed starts)The next 20 finishers (and ties) at the Final Stage will earn exempt status for the Latin America Swing of the 2024 PGA TOUR Americas season while also earning conditional Korn Ferry Tour membershipAll remaining finishers at the Final Stage will have conditional Korn Ferry Tour membership and conditional PGA TOUR Americas membership for the 2024 seasonFinal Stage medalists of the past include Major champions Mike Weir, Paul Azinger, Fuzzy Zoeller, and Ben Crenshaw were all past winners.

There were five qualifying sites during the second stage of qualifying. The respective medalists were Aldrich Potgieter (Valdosta, Ga.), Jeffrey Kang (Valencia, Calif.), Bryson Nimmer (Savannah, Ga.), K.K. Limbhasut and Danny Walker (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), and Connor Burgess and Mark Goetz (Dothan, Ala.)

Courses

Sawgrass Country Club hosted THE PLAYERS Championship on its East/West Course from 1977-1981.Dye’s Valley – designed by Pete Dye, Bobby Weed and player consultant Jerry Pate (who won THE PLAYERS in 1982), it opened in 1987 and has been a multi-time event host of the Korn Ferry Tour. Expect plenty of water and plenty of Pete Dye’s trademarks to challenge the game’s best in the Final Stage pressure cooker.Last Time

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Bo Hoag topped overnight leader Chan Kim by one shot to earn fully exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour as medalist at Final Stage in 2022. Hoag birdied each of his first five holes in his final round a year ago and shot a 6-under 30 for his opening nine holes. Chris Gotterup also got out of the gates quickly in 2022, birdied five of his first six holes in the final round. He couldn’t push Hoag any further on the back nine, however, and a double bogey on the par-5 No. 15 was his eventual undoing in terms of trying to win medalist. Still, he earned guaranteed starts in the first 12 events via his top-10 finish. Gotterup finished T3with Chase Seiffert. Thomas Rosenmueller of Germany rounded out the top five.TV Schedule

Saturday: 12:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Peacock), 2:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)Sunday: 12:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Peacock), 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)