As careers blow in the wind over a 3-foot putt, 'choking' a real possibility
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- And so the stage is set for the only tournament in golf for which winning is an afterthought.
Back To School
In an effort to give ESPN.com readers insight into different golfers at various stages in their careers, we will select one player from each of the three categories listed below each day during PGA Tour Q-school and delve into the stories of how they got here and where they are headed.The categories are: 1. PGA Tour veterans trying to hold on to their cards in the final years before they are old enough to attempt to play on the Champions Tour. 2. Players in the middle of their careers trying to revive a derailed PGA Tour dream or reach the tour after past failed attempts. 3. Rising stars seemingly destined for success who are trying to reach the tour for the first time.
Check back daily during Q-school for the latest news and results from one of the most grueling tests in golf.
Veteran: Neal Lancaster
Career revival: Notah Begay
Rising star: Tommy Gainey
-- Peter Yoon
"Guys start thinking about what's going on here," said Lancaster, 47, a former PGA Tour winner. "These kids don't know what they're getting ready to go out there and do. You can see it in guys' faces -- they're choking."Guys near the top have room to choke. Frazar, for instance, is 13 shots clear of the cut line, and it would take an unlikely collapse for him not to earn a tour card. But the players teetering on the edge of the cut line need every possible stroke. So while a 5-under 67 on Sunday by James Nitties was a nice round that moved him into second place, it moved him 8 shots inside the cut line and became far less important than a 9-under 63 by Notah Begay that moved Begay from 95th place to 21st. "I pulled a rabbit out of a hat there," said Begay, who had rather pedestrian rounds of 72-70-69-71 to open the tournament.
PGA Tour Q-school
1. Frazar (-27)
T-2. Nitties (-22)
T-2. Fathauer (-22)
T-4. Huston (-19)
T-4. Glen Day (-19)
• Complete scores
Peter Yoon is a contributor to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
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2008 PGA TOUR Q-SCHOOL FINALS
Harrison Frazar rode a magical 59 to become the 2008 Q-school medalist, winning by 8 shots. The "other" magic number? Nineteen under: the score needed to earn a 2009 PGA Tour card.
What: PGA Tour Q-school final stage
When: Dec. 3-8
Courses: PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course (par 72, 7,204 yards) and TPC Stadium Course (par 72, 7,266 yards)
Location: La Quinta, Calif.
At stake: Top 25 and ties earn 2009 PGA Tour card.
Field: 163 golfers, 6 rounds, 108 holes
Day 6• Frazar, 27 others earn Tour cards | Scores
• Sobel: Grading the 28 Q-school graduates
• Yoon: Vranesh a true Cinderella story at Q-school
Day 5• Yoon: Expect a little tightening up at Q-school
• Frazar increases lead to 5 | Scores
Day 4• Yoon: After 59, Frazar keeps it in perspective
• After 59, Frazar leads by 4 strokes
• Yoon: Slow start doesn't damper hopes for some
Day 3• Yoon: Sometimes green is good at Q-school
• Day, Nitties share PGA Q-school lead
Day 2• Yoon: For many at Q-school, it's all about status
• Nitties grabs lead after 36 holes of Q-school
Day 1• Yoon: Brooks, Han find own forms of inspiration
• Kanada part of 3-way tie for lead in Q-school
Preview• Kaddy Korner: Here's how to survive Q-school
• Yoon: Q-school a true litmus test
• 13 players to watch at PGA Tour Q-school finals
• Yoon: It's back to class for Q-school vet Tidland
LPGA Tour Q-school• Wie earns her LPGA card; Lewis wins Q-school
• Watch: Wie discusses earning her Tour card