26 qualifiers advance from Dayton

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

DAYTON - After two rounds at the PGA Stage I Qualifying Tournament, you would have thought that Cody Slover's chance to advance were slim and none.

Slover sat 2-under par 142, trailed the leaders by 10 shots and was seven strokes in back of the projected cut line of 9-under.

Slover shot 13-under over his final 36 holes, including a final-round 65, to get to 15-under par 273 and advance to the second stage for the first time. The Visalia, Calif., golfer wore an ear-to-ear smile after turning in his scorecard.

Ted Oh was the medalist with a 20-under-par 268, edging Derek Berg 70-269 by one shot, Andrew Dodt 69-271 by three shots and Benoit Bessier 72-272. Slover and James Drew were next at 273. Twenty-six players advanced to the next stage.

"I didn't play well last year (2-under 286) and I wanted to make sure I didn't do that again this year," said Slover, who plays on the Canadian Tour. "I needed a good round."

Slover had seven birdies and no bogeys. He hunted pins all day, as his longest birdie putt was a 15-footer on No. 5. He went from 24th to fifth on the final day.

Another guy that was breathing easier after the final round was Jason D'Amore. He was just 1-under after 36 holes, but rebounded with rounds of 64 and 68 to finish tied for 13th.

"After the second round, I figured I would need to shoot 12-under par on the weekend to make it, and I was able to do that," D'Amore said.

Clayton Rask let out an audible sigh of relief after he shot a 3-over 75, but managed to qualify at 11-under 277. He was one of seven players at 11-under, and it took a birdie on the tough par-5 18th to achieve that.

Rask started the final round knowing that par or better would be enough to advance to Stage II. And, even after shooting even-par for his first nine, he was still in control of his own destiny.

His game started to unravel on the back side. He double-bogeyed No. 11, a 546-yard par-5. After a par on No.12, Rask bogeyed Nos. 13 (219-yard par-3) and 14 (453-yard par-4). All of a sudden, moving on wasn't a sure thing.

Rask didn't know what he needed when he stepped to the tee at No. 18, a hole he had eagled the first two days of the tournament. After a big tee shot, Rask decided to go against his own game plan and go for the green in two. He didn't make it, but was able to get up and down for a birdie to complete a disappointing round.

"It's a different feeling from last year," said Rask.

Oh was solid throughout the entire four days, though he said he didn't putt as well as he had in previous rounds.

"I think I missed four or five putts under 10 feet. I missed some easy ones," he said.

By winning the qualifier, Oh will get to play Stage II in Southern California. The course is located 90 minutes from his home instead of having to fly to Texas or Florida.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment