B.C. Golf Notes: Tough finish for B.C. trio at Q school
It’s probably little consolation to Ryan Williams, Brad Clapp and Seann Harlingten, but they have lots of company.
Every fall, qualifying school crushes the dreams — or at least puts them on hold for another year — of scores of promising professional golfers.
The British Columbia trio joined that long list Friday when they failed to advance at a second-stage Web.com Tour Q school site in Beaumont, Calif.
They were close, but of course this is golf, not horseshoes.
The top 20 and ties from the field of 76 players advanced to final stage next month in Palm Beach, Fla. It took a 72-hole score of four-under par to crack the top 20 at Oak Valley Golf Club. Williams and Harlingten missed by two shots and Clapp was three shots short.
Williams, a Vancouver resident, began the day in good shape but was done in by a three-over 75 on Friday. West Vancouver’s Harlingten closed with a one-under 71, while Chilliwack’s Clapp fired a even-par 72.
All three players compete on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit and figure to be back there next summer chasing their dream.
Williams and Clapp had advanced to second stage of Q school by finishing in the top 20 on the PGA Tour Canada money list. Harlingten had successfully played his way through first stage qualifying to get to Oak Valley.
B.C. will still be well represented at final stage, which goes Dec. 10-13. Surrey’s Devin Carrey has played his way through first and second stage qualifying and Adam Svensson of Surrey and Kevin Spooner of West Vancouver earned a pass to final stage by finishing in the top 10 on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada money list.
North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong and Justin Shin of Maple Ridge also figure to be there by virtue of their strong play this year on the PGA Tour China circuit, where both are currently inside the top five on the money list.
MISSES CUT: Svensson missed the cut at the the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic in Sea Island, Ga., on Friday. Svensson, who Monday qualified his way into the event, fired his second straight even-par round on Friday to miss the 36-hole cut by two shots.
SCHOOL’S IN: Crown Isle Golf Club in Courtenay has signed a deal to hold the annual Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada qualifying school through 2020.
The 2016 Q school is scheduled for May 2-6. The 2016 season tees off May 26-29 with the newly named Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey Golf & Country Club.
ANOTHER B.C. HUSKY: Coquitlam’s Henry Lee will join a long list of British Columbians to play their collegiate golf at the University of Washington. The Grade 11 student at Gleneagle Secondary has committed to join the Huskies for the 2016-17 season.
PGA Tour winner Nick Taylor and former NCAA champion James Lepp, both of Abbotsford, are among a large group of B.C. Husky alumni.
Rory McIlroy climbs closer to two PGA European Tour titles
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy shot the best round of the day to move within one shot of leader Andy Sullivan after the third round of the PGA European Tour’s World Tour Championship on Saturday, which also put him closer to the Race to Dubai title.
McIlroy shot 7-under 65 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to make up three shots on second-round leader Sullivan (68) and go four strokes clear of Danny Willett, his closest challenger for the season-long Race to Dubai crown. Willett made two birdies and an eagle over his last five holes for 67.
Sullivan made two birdies over his last four to maintain the lead in the tour’s season finale with a total of 16-under 200.
Despite making eight birdies in the swirling wind, McIlroy was left ruing some the chances he missed.
“I guess you can’t really walk off this golf course, especially in these conditions, and shoot 7 under and not feel good about yourself. But at the same time, I feel like it could have been a lot better,” McIlroy said.
“The good thing is, there’s still one round of golf left. If it had been the final day, I’d be kicking myself with some of the chances I missed. I am playing lovely, so bodes well for (today).”
Patrick Reed shot a 68 that gave him sole possession of third place, two shots behind McIlroy.
LPGA: Cristie Kerr and Ha Na Jang shared the lead going into the final round of the season-ending Tour Championship at Naples, and Lydia Ko remained in control of the biggest year-end awards and a $1 million bonus.
Kerr shot 6-under 66 to match second-round leader Jang (69) at 13-under 203 at Tiburon Golf Club. Ko (69) and Gerina Piller (67) were two shots back at 11 under. Another shot back were Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome (68), Lexi Thompson (67) and Karine Icher (68).
Ko is trying to take the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus for the second consecutive year. A win also would lock up for her the world No. 1 ranking to end the year, along with player of the year honors and the money title.
PGA: Kevin Kisner shot 6-under 64 to build a three-shot lead in the RSM Classic at St. Simons Island, Ga., as he goes for his first win on the tour. Kisner was at 16-under 196, a record 54-hole score at Sea Island. Second-round leader Kevin Chappell (68) was three shots back.
Graeme McDowell (65) survived a mental blunder on the opening hole and was four shots back with a chance for back-to-back wins. On the first fairway, he lifted his ball to clean it when he realized that for the first time in the tournament, conditions no longer allowed for lift, clean and place. McDowell was penalized one shot and made a 10-foot putt that became a par with the penalty.
Justin Rose posts season-worst 78 at the DP World Tour Championship
Justin Rose’s hopes of Race to Dubai victory are over after carding the worst round of his European Tour season during the third day of the DP World Tour Championship.
The world No 5 needed a solo second finish or better in this week’s season-finale to have any chance of ending the year as European No 1 for a second time, but plummeted down the leaderboard after a six-over 78 on Saturday.
Rose had felt his game was showing signs of improvement after a second-round 66 kept him in contention, but the recent Hong Kong Open champion lost ground after cancelling out an early birdie at the second with three bogeys on the front nine.