Ellis sets Dayton Q-school record
For the Appeal
DAYTON — John Ellis of San Jose, Calif., held the lead for all four rounds and set a new 72-hole scoring record in the Stage One Web.com Tour Qualifying tournament at Dayton Valley Golf Club. Ellis fired a final round 6-under par 66 for a 26-under total of 262 that betters the old record by 4 strokes and was 7 shots better than the next lowest total on the day.
“Does that get me on the PGA Tour,” said Ellis jokingly when informed he set the new record. “Seriously, I really like that because it gives me a nice confidence boost going forward in qualifying. I‘m playing so well right now that I wish the next stage (of qualifying) would start next week instead of in November.”
Ellis took advantage of being first off the tee in the first round and playing only three holes in gusty winds.
“Yeah, that was a good break to get me started and then I just putted extremely well all four days,” explained the 35-year old veteran of tour qualifying. “I hit the ball extremely well and gave myself a lot of good chances and capitalized on many of them. It was all good.
“This week proves to myself what I can do against a very good field. I haven’t made it to the big show yet so maybe this is my year.”
Sean Einhaus of Germany shot a final round 4-under 68 to finish second low qualifier at 19-under 269. Erick Justesen of San Jose, Calif., was another shot back at 18-under 270 with a final round 67. Nick Delio of Valencia, Calif., and Canadians Darren Wallace and Cory Renfrew tied for fourth at 17-under 271.
Einhaus may have played his way into the second stage of Web.com Tour qualifying and might not be able to continue.
“Yes, I played really good here and I’m very happy with my game,” said the former Oklahoma State All-American. “But I go to Spain in two weeks for second stage European Tour qualifying and if I make it in Europe the next stages will collide. Right now I think I will choose to continue qualifying in Europe.”
T.J Bordeaux of Tacoma, Wash., had the shot of the tournament when he holed an 8-iron from 177 yards on the 4th hole in the final round. “That shot capped off back-to-back birdies and really finally got me going,” said the former University of Pacific golfer who finished with a 6-under 66 to easily qualify with a 9-under 279 total. “I played well in the first three rounds but just couldn’t make any putts, so that really helped.”
Thirty players qualified from this field to move on to 72-hole Stage Two Web.com Tour qualifying tournaments at one of six sites on Nov. 11-21. Since all 30 players achieved the goal of qualifying, there are also interesting stories from the other end of the scale.
Paul Imondi of Tustin, Calif., fired a final round 7-under 65 to get in on the last qualifying number at 5-under 283. He tied for the last spot with former PGA Tour player Scott Gordon of Fair Oaks, Calif., who survived a final round 1-over 73. Trevor Young of Carlsbad, Calif., shot an 8-over par 80 in the windy first round but battled back to play the last three rounds in 14-under par to qualify with a 6-under 282 total.
“I was playing well in the first round but then the wind came up and I had to hit shots that you never practice,” said Young a former club pro at The Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego playing in his first tour qualifier. “I just decided to stick with my game plan and I really executed all parts of my game very well in the last three rounds.”
Players had to complete 9 holes of the third round Friday morning before turning right around to play the 18-hole final round. Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove, Calif., capped off the low round of the day in the morning with an 8-under 64. He survived a final round 2-over 74 to qualify at 7-under 281.
Former Nevada Wolf Pack golfer Scott Smith shot a 2-under par 70 to finish at 3-under par 285 in 32nd place to miss qualifying by 2 strokes. “I felt like I played well enough to get there but I just made too many bogeys” said Smith. “It’s pretty frustrating right now but I’ll get out there and start over for next year.”
Trent Virden of Reno shot a final round 1-over 73 for a disappointing total of 7-over 295 to miss qualifying by 7 strokes.
• The previous 72-hole scoring record in a Dayton Tour qualifying tournament was 22-under par 266 set by Jim Rutledge in 2003 and matched by Marc Lawless in 2008.
• Despite the windy first round and split day 54-hole third and fourth rounds, the field shot a collective average score of 71.90 for the 72-hole tournament.
For complete results and individual player scorecards visit the web link: http://pgatq.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/pgatq14/event/pgatq1420/contest/1/leaderboard.htm.