Killpack goes low to advance to Stage 2
DAYTON – A year ago, Utah’s Nick Killpack eagled the final hole at Dayton Valley Golf Club to advance to the second stage of the PGA’s Q School.
On Friday, Killpack worked some more final-round magic, shooting a 7-under-par 65 to finish at 8-under-par 280 and advance to the second stage for the second consecutive year.
Richard Lee shot a final-round 69, including an eagle 3 on the 72nd hole, to win medalist honors at 14-under 274.
Lee overtook third-round co-leaders Gregor Main and last year’s medalist Ryan Yip. Main slumped to a 3-over-par 75 to finish in a tie for ninth at 279, while Yip shot an even-par 72 to finish tied for second at 276.
A total of 22 players moved on, and it took 7-under-par 281 to advance. Nathan Tyler (276), Nick Mason (277), Michael Baird (277), John Lepak (277), Benoit Beisser (278), Thomas Bliefnick (278), Derek Berg (279), Derek Tolan (279), Killpack (280), Matt Marshall (280), Jeff Rangel (280), Kevin Kim (280), Richard Saferan (280), Paul Imondi (280), Josh Warthen (281), Liam Kendregan (281), Nick Delio (281), Eddie Olson (281) and first-round leader Stephen Hale ( 281).
Killpack’s 65, which included a bogey on No. 9, his finishing hole, was his best score at Dayton. The 280 matched what he shot a year ago.
“The greens were about two-feet faster this year,” Killpack said. “The greens were so fast, 20-footers were difficult; 15 footers were difficult.
“The firmness was about the same. The set-up was perfect.”
Starting on the back nine, Killpack parred No. 10, but birdied the par-5 11th and the par-4 12th. His birdie putt on No. 12 was from 25 feet. After pars on Nos. 13 and 14, he birdied Nos. 15 and 18.
He got it to 6-under with an eagle-3 on the par-5 3rd, and after pars at Nos. 4 and 5, he birdied Nos. 6 and 8. His only bogey came on No. 9.
“On No. 3, the pin was in the back, so you could land it on the front third,” Killpack said. “On No. 9, I had to lay up. I hit a 3-wood and hit it well but it kicked right. I just used a 9-iron to lay up and then used a wedge to get to about 15 feet. As soon as I hit that tee shot I was thinking 5.”
Lee had four birdies and an eagle to go along with a double-bogey and bogey.
He birdied Nos. 3, 9, 11, 15 and eagled the par-5 18th by sinking a 50-foot putt. He reached No. 18 with a 5-iron from 199 yards.
“I wasn’t playing against other players, just playing against the course,” Lee said. “I wasn’t worried about being the medalist. I was just trying to shoot 2 or 3 under.
“The greens were rock hard. You had to land the ball about 15 yards short and let it roll up. If you hit good putts here, they’re in.”
Marshall rebounded from a third-round 74 to shoot a 69 to also finish 8-under. Marshall was suffering from food poisoning late Wednesday night and struggled on Thursday.
Marshall knocked in birdie putts on Nos. 3, 11, 14 and 16. He bogeyed the par-3 6th.
Imondi also finished at 8-under. He shot 38 on his front nine, including a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 9. He came back with a 32 on the back side, including a birdie on No. 18 to make the cut by one shot.
Former Carson High golfer J.T. Cockerill shot his second 74 of the tournament and finished at 3-over-par 291 which put him in a tie for 52nd place.
Despite a lackluster four days, Cockerill believes he belongs out here.
“I know I’m good enough,” he said. “I threw away so many shots doing dumb things. I’ll play something (some other Tour). I may play the National Pro Tour or go to the Canadian Tour Q-School in the spring. I play some in Arizona or California. I’m going to be out there playing.”
Cockerill opened on the back nine and parred the par-4 10th, but ran into trouble on the par-5 11th and bogeyed what is usually a pretty easy hole.
“I hit in the right rough and then chunked it out,” Cockerill said. “I still had 190 to go and didn’t make I to the green.”
After four straight pars, Cockerill bogeyed the 234-yard par-3 16th to go 2-over-par.
His first birdie came on the par-5 3rd hole, and another birdie on the par-4 5th got him back to even par. He ran into trouble on the par-3 6th with a double bogey.
“I didn’t hit it into the water,” Cockerill said. “I was being dumb. You can’t hit it left of the pin and that’s what I did.”