The first round of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, aka “Q-school,” remained fluid Wednesday as 15 players from South Carolina took their shots at earning exempt status on the PGA Tour for 2010.
As of 4 p.m., three players – former Columbia resident, Clemson All-American and PGA Tour veteran Charles Warren, ex-Tiger Brian Duncan and Charleston resident Bronson La’Cassie – were in the best shape through the first of six rounds at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. All finished at 1-over-par 73 and are tied for 35th; the top 25 players and ties after Monday’s final round earn PGA Tour cards.
Another shot back at 2-over are former USC player Mark Anderson of Beaufort (through 16 holes), Bishopville native Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey (17 holes), plus Greenville’s Brent Delahoussaye and Aiken’s Kevin Kisner, who each shot 74 on Bear Lakes’ Lakes Course. Anderson was competing on the Links Course.
At 3-over (tied for 86th) were Greenwood native Emmett Turner and former Clemson player Stephen Poole. Former Furman player Matt Davidson is at 4-over, while North Augusta’s Scott Brown and former Bluffton resident Kris Blanks were at 5-over.
A trio of S.C. players – ex-USC All-American Kyle Thompson, former Wofford player William McGirt and ex-USC player Alex Hamilton – are at 6-over, tied for 141st. A total of 170 players are competing for the top 25 spots.
Troy Merritt leads with a 5-under 67, with PGA Tour regular Jay Williamson second at 4-under.
-- Bob Gillespie