Tyler Weworski (Carlsbad, Calif.) fired a 4-under 68 in the final round to finish low qualifier by five shots at 14-under par 274 in the final round of Stage One Web.com Qualifying at Dayton Valley Golf Club.
Tony Finau (Lehi, Utah) shot even-par 72 to finish second at 9-under. John Catlin (Gold River, Calif.) and Chris Gilman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) finished in a tie for third at 8-under 280.
“It was fun and I have lots of positive vibes going forward,” said Weworski who held the lead for the final three rounds. “I felt good, confident and comfortable and I was able to take more aggressive lines into the greens because I had more room to work with in where I stood on the leader board.”
Weworski will head to TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, again for second stage qualifying. He missed getting to the finals there last year by one shot.
“My game has been really good all year and it’s good to see the results getting me where I want to be going — get through to finals and play on the Web.com next year.”
Former Fallon High School and Nevada Wolf Pack golfer Scott Smith shot a 1-over par 73 to finish at 1-over par 289 in 22nd place to qualify and advance to the second stage for the first time.
“I felt a lot of pressure out there, it’s been a long tough year,” Smith said. “I felt I could have controlled my nerves better but that’s part of the learning process. It’s just a grind in these qualifiers and you know you have to play well.”
Smith was inside the qualifying number last year but shot 3-over in the final round to miss advancing from Dayton.
Smith spent a lot of time playing the Dayton course in weeks leading up to the event, and obviously the course knowledge he gained paid big dividends.
Matt Marshall (Marana, Ariz.) made six consecutive threes on holes 2 through 7 to card a 5-under 67 that tied for the low round of the day. The Reno-born Marshall had a 5-under total of 283 to finish in a tie for 10th place.
“I’m glad it’s over, because this thing is a test,” said Marshall after playing in his fourth qualifier at Dayton. “It’s a school, a q-school, and it seems like it is never easy. After that bad first round (78), I just focused on improving each round and it got me where I wanted to be — going to second stage for the fifth time.”
There were 33 winners in the field of 75 who will move on to 72-hole Stage Two qualifying tournaments at one of six sites on Nov. 12-22. Eleven players tied for the final qualifying spot at 2-over and the battle for the final qualifying places was where the drama played out.
Jake Itzen (Pomona, Calif.) made the biggest move to get in on the number by shooting a 4-under 68. He moved up 17 places from a tie for 40th after three rounds.
It took a birdie on the 18th and final hole for Jake Johnson (Cameron Park, Calif.) and Clayton Rask (Elk River, Minn.) to get in on the number.
“I had to go for 18 again,” said Rask who hit a 5-iron to the fringe 15 feet from the hole. “I wasn’t real aggressive with the eagle putt because I wanted to be sure to make birdie.”
Rask faced the same situation in the 2009 Dayton qualifier when he also finished on the number to advance. It may be a good omen for him as that year he played in the final stage and spent the 2010 season playing the then Nationwide Tour.
“I know what I’ve got to work on to get there again, the putter, because I hit so many putts that lipped-out or just wouldn’t go in,” he said. “But this is the best I’ve swung the golf club in a long time ...”