Q School kicks off this week — seven Canadians in the field

My interview with Adam Hadwin a week or so ago was quite intriguing. Hadwin says he’s not trying to put too much pressure on himself as he knows he has a place to play — the Tour — regardless of whether he makes it through this week. It is an interesting way of coping with the immense pressure that comes with six rounds for PGA Tour playing privileges — especially since it is clear where Hadwin would rather be heading a week from now. I figure it is more of a mechanism to keep him from building the whole week up too much.

That said, he really thought third stage was the grind, considering you could finish outside of the Top 100 and not really end up with much of anything, which is where he was at the end of last year (though his spot on the PGA Tour’s money list and partial privileges on the got him into plenty of events).

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a breakthrough this week by the likes of Richard Scott, who had a solid year on the Tour, or perhaps someone like Roger Sloan or Ryan Yip. Will Matt Hill finally meet the expectations placed on him? Even having six new bodies on the Tour (Brad Fritsch is heading to the PGA Tour regardless), would be interesting.

I always found Q School to be really intriguing. The mix of faded successes — Todd Hamilton and Shaun Micheel for example — and surprises (Camilo Villegas anyone?), as well as the stories that inevitably come from qualifying school really makes it intriguing. It doesn’t look like Golf Channel is televising the final round — that’s too bad — but I’ll check the leaderboard each day for sure. And yes, Hadwin is correct when he says the new system that’ll see 50 golfers go from the Tour to the PGA Tour likely produces more talent, but I doubt too much attention will be paid to Q School after this year.

Here’s a taste of my piece for Sports this week — you can see the full piece here. 

It is golf’s version of Rocky. Every year at the PGA Tour’s qualifying school –and starting on Wednesday in LaQuinta, Calif. – a group of golfers will try to persevere through six rounds. There are all sorts in the mix. Aging veterans trying to find their form – like Dean Wilson, who very nearly won the RBC Canadian Open in 2010 or Todd Hamilton, who once triumphed over Ernie Els to win the British Open – and recognizable names like Camilo Villegas, who is coming off a miserable season that even Spiderman couldn’t climb out of. There’s also a group of dreamers, golfers who toiled in obscurity on mini-tours and now realize they are six rounds away from playing alongside Tiger Woods. These guys aren’t likely from Philly (they probably spend their winters in Arizona), but there are few that recognize their names and one day they hope to go mano-a-mano with Rory McIlroy and win. In the mix are seven Canadians, all trying to follow in the footsteps of David Hearn and Graham DeLaet. One of those Canucks – Manotick’s Brad Fritsch – already has a PGA Tour card and is trying to improve his status.

Abbotsford, BC’s Adam Hadwin is another Canadian in the group. After narrowly missing obtaining a card that is awarded to the Top 25 on the Tour, Hadwin finds himself among those fighting for 25 spots in the final stage of qualifying school. Some, like fellow Canadian Ryan Yip, have already played two tournaments just to get to the final stage of qualifying school.

“You know how important every shot is at qualifying school,” says Hadwin. “Every shot is an emotional rollercoaster and it is so hard to keep yourself level.”



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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Just wondering if you only cover men’s golf? If you type in LPGA.COM in your browser you will realize that there were a number of Canadians at the LPGA qualifier too. As a matter of fact, the low qualifier was a Canadian. You will also discover that she is from Toronto. Maybe you should have be more descriptive and reference male Canadians in your article. Maybe your byline should refer to comments, criticism and on the world of male golf? Anyway, the website is LPGA.COM…I spell it for you if you wish.

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