Q school qualifier returns to Dayton

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DAYTON - A field of 76 players will battle over 72-holes in their quest for a tour card when Stage One PGA Tour Qualifying returns today to Dayton Valley Golf Club for a record 17th consecutive year.

Tee times will be for No. 1 and No. 10, and barring frost delays, players will start at 9 a.m. Admission is free.

This year's field is comprised of many veteran Q-school combatants as well as some of the bright young pro golf stars on the horizon.

Thirty-four players in the field have previously played in a Q-school tournament at Dayton Valley and 26 of them played at Dayton in 2010.

J.T. Cockerill, former Carson High and Stanislaus State golfer, heads a list of 20 in the field that survived 2011 Pre-Qualification tournaments at seven sites in September. Cockerill, the 2011 Nevada State Amateur champion, tied for 19th place with a 6-under 54-hole total at Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.

Other notable players in the 2011 field include:

Jin Jeong - a South Korean who moved to Australia in 2006, he won the 2010 British Amateur Championship at Muirfield. He followed that up as low amateur at the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews with a tie for 14th place at 4-under, one shot ahead of Tiger Woods. The 21-year old shot 73-77-150 to finish 6-over par and missed the cut at the 2011 Masters as an amateur.

Wil Collins - playing for the ninth time in Q-school at Dayton, he was the medalist in 2004. Played on the PGA Tour in 2009 after going all the way from Dayton to the Q-school finals where he finished in an 11-way tie for 18th place and the final qualifying position. Made five cuts in 18 PGA Tour events.

Dodge Kemmer - former Stanford star on the Cardinal 2008 national runner-up team became the first American to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour on Sept. 17 at the Integral Collection Classic at Hunley Hall course in England. The previous week he missed the cut by one shot at the KLM Open on the European Tour. The following week he finished second in 2011 First Stage European Tour qualifying and qualified for Second Stage play that will be held across Spain in December. Chubby Chandler and International Sports Management whose other stars include Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and others represent him.

Richard T. Lee - originally from Vancouver, Canada, he made headlines when he turned pro at age 17. In 2007, he became the second youngest player in U.S. Open history. Now 20 and a resident of Chandler, Ariz., he has played on the Nationwide Tour in 2011 making 12 cuts in 22 starts and earning $29,266.

James Drew - veteran Las Vegas pro makes his 10th consecutive start at Dayton with two second-place finishes and has advanced to the next stage six times. Leading money winner on the 2011 Gateway Tour with $70,375.

Benoit Bessier - best known for his appearance in the Golf Channel's "Big Break: Mesquite" series. "Wah" as he is known, is now gaining increased respect as a player. In fourth place on the 2011 Gateway Tour money list with $60,012, he is making a fifth consecutive Dayton start. He has advanced to the next stage in each previous appearance and finished fourth in 2009.

David McDaniel - former University of Arizona golfer was the runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Advanced from Pre-Qualification to the Second Stage in 2010 PGA Tour Qualifying.

Jake Younan-Wise - the Australian currently living in Arizona finished tied for 50th place at the 2010 Q-school finals after beginning at Dayton. He has played in 20 Nationwide events this year making the cut four times and earning $27,781 and 124th place on the money list.

Mike Pearson - co-holder of the tournament and course 18-hole record of 10-under par 62 set in 2003. Finished in a tie for 46th at Dayton last year and failed to advance.

Warren Schutte - adds to his record for most Dayton starts with a 13th appearance in the Dayton Q-school field. Former UNLV golfer and South African Open champion.

Tom Kalinowski - Scottsdale, Ariz., pro was the 1999 Medalist at Dayton Q-school and former course and tournament 18-hole and tournament 72-hole record holder.

Ben Portie - will be playing in his ninth Q-school at Dayton. He was the 2005 Medalist at Dayton Q-school and has advanced to the next stage five times.

An undetermined number of players will advance to Stage Two Qualifying from the Dayton tournament (in 2010 the number was the low 23 scores and ties). The exact number to advance will be announced prior to the start of the first round. Those players with qualifying low scores and ties set by the PGA Tour will advance to 72-hole Stage Two qualifying tournaments at six sites on Nov. 15-19.

For more information about PGA Tour Q-School including the 2011 Dayton Valley Golf Club qualifying tournament and the other sites visit the PGA Tour web site with this link http://www.pgatour.com/qschool/index.html.


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