Date: November 15, 2007
Author: Bren O'Brien

US Q-School reaches second stage

The second stage of US PGA Tour Q-School has begun across the United States with over 450 golfers bidding to get through to the final qualifying stage in a fortnight. Over 20 Australasians are among those competing for a spot among the 156 at the qualifying event at Orange County National in Florida which starts on November 28 and sees the aspiring tour golfers play 108 holes. The top 25 plus ties at the end of that marathon earn a PGA Tour card for 2008. The second stage qualifying is taking place at six different golf courses in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas, with around the top 15 from each earning a spot at Orange County National. Paul Gow made a strong start in his bid to get back on the tour, with a four-under-par opening round of 67 at the Hombre Golf Club in Florida to be five off the lead. There are three New Zealanders playing at that same course at Panama City Beach with Tim Wilkinson faring one shot better than Gow with a 66. Doug Holloway shot an even par opening round, while Josh Carmichael carded a three-over-par 74. Aussies Brad Hughes and Steve Dartnell also had 74s, while Bronson La Cassie is one-over-par. At Dade City, Florida, New Zealand&aposs Grant Waite had a four-under-par round of 68, but is five off the pace. Australia&aposs Scott Hend is two-under-par, while Kiwi Brad Heaven had a one-under-par 71. Compatriot Mike Hendry is six-over-par. In Texas, at TPC Craig Ranch, Cameron Percy started brightly with an opening 66 to be one off the lead. David Lutterus is just two shots back after a three-under-par 68, while Steven Bowditch (77), Phil Tataurangi (74) and Kane Webber (74) battled. Andrew Bonhomme is faring reasonably at The Woodlands in Kingwood, Texas, and his one-over-par round of 73 has him seven off the pace and in a tie for 35th. Ben Ferguson shot a four-over-par 76. Michael Sim is performing the best of the two Australians at Royal Dunes Golf Club in Arizona with a five-under-par 67 putting him in a tie for 14th and two shots clear of Brad Lamb. New Zealand&aposs Brad Iles kicked off his week with a one-under-par round of 71, There are nine Australians in action at the Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, California, with Greg Chalmers leading the way. Chalmers posted a five-under-par round of 67 to be just one off the pace, while Steve Jeffress is one-under-par. Victorians Marc Leishman and Andrew Tschudin are even with the card, Kurt Barnes one-over-par, Aaron Pike and Aaron Townsend two-over-par, Luke Hickmott five-over-par and David Diaz six-over-par.