DAYTON -- After not advancing from the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School the past two years, James Drew is hoping the third time is a charm this week at Dayton Valley Country Club.
Cliche? Of course it is, but Drew is a man of cliches.
"I can't control what anybody else does, only what I can do. I know it's the biggest cliche out there but it's true," said Drew, who missed qualifying the past two years by one stroke each time. "The first time (trying to qualify) I was green, green as a cucumber. I just looked at the field the whole time. I know now that it doesn't matter what other guys do. I mean I could shoot 137 and be 10 shots out of it. You just never know. All you can do is play the best you can."
Drew, a 28-year-old Las Vegas resident, has done exactly that.
The former Cal State-Stanislaus star shot a 5-under 67 during Wednesday's second round at Dayton Valley and is in a three-way tie with Brian Cooper and Brad Sutterfield at 7-under (137) heading into today's third round.
The final round is on Friday and the top 21 qualifying scores and ties will advance to the second stage. The final stage is Dec. 4-9 at PGA West Stadium and Nicklaus Courses in La Quinta, Calif., where the top 35 scores will earn players their tour card for the following year.
Sutterfield, who earned his tour card in 1997 via first-stage qualifying at Dayton Valley, thinks he's put himself to advance. Sutterfield, Cooper and Drew are six shots in front of the current cut off number of 143 (1-under).
"This is a whole different animal, this Q-school," said Sutterfield, who shot 67 on Tuesday. "It's not like tournament golf. Obviously I want to shoot as low as I can. But I don't need to take any chances. It's a love-hate thing here. I hate it because you can get the wrong end of the tee times here, with the wind and all. And I love it because I know the course."
Sutterfield, who's qualifying at Dayton Valley for the sixth time, thinks his course knowledge will get him through once again. Unfortunately the same can't be said for Billy Harvey, who had played six previous rounds at Dayton at 31-under before the former Las Vegas Bonanza High star stumbled to a 5-over 77 on Wednesday. Harvey, who was tied with Sutterfield for the first-round lead, has a two-day total of 144, which wouldn't advance him to the second stage.
Washoe Valley's Steve Sear, though, would be in. Sear, who shot even par in the first round, came back to shoot a 1-under 71 on Wednesday for a two-day total of 143. Last year, Sear advanced to the second stage of Q-school out of Dayton Valley with a 15-under 273, which tied him for the second best score.
Las Vegas' Michael Kirk, who qualified for the second stage out of Dayton Valley last year, is in contention again. He has a two-day score of 142 after shooting a 4-under 68 on Wednesday. Once again, the winds picked up and the course played tough. But the wind wasn't nearly as bad as on Tuesday, when only 25 players shot under par. Thirty-seven players shot under par on Wednesday.
"The golf course is playing tough," Drew said. "But I hit 16 greens today and one of the ones I didn't was an inch short of the green. So when you hit 16 greens, it can't be that tough. But I don't even care about the scores. I don't even look at the leader board. I just try to hit the best shot I can. If I play good, I'll make it."
The same can't be said for Tony Krampel and Tyler Thompson. Krampel withdrew on Wednesday after shooting an 81 on Tuesday and Thompson was disqualified, apparently because of a scoring dispute.
Brothers Bobby and Tom Kalinowski, both Buy.com Tour players, are in position to advance. Bobby shot his second consecutive 3-under 69 and is one shot back of the leaders. Tom is at 141 after shooting even par on Wednesday. The first tee time today is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.