Nevadans advance in PGA qualifying |

Nevadans advance in PGA qualifying

It’s an excruiating wait for those waiting on the top players to finish. For Billy Harvey, quite honestly, it’s been something he hasn’t expected to go through the last two years.

For the second straight year, Harvey, a former BYU star who lives in Las Vegas, found himself on the bubble when it came to advancing from the first stage of the PGA qualifier at Dayton Valley Golf Club on Friday.

Harvey had finished at 2-under-par 286 after a long day on Friday in which players had to finish the suspended third round and then play the fourth and final round. Harvey and several other players had to wait to see if 286 would be good enough to finish among the top 23 players plus ties to advance to the second stage of qualifying. Harvey made it as 286 was the cutoff score to move on to the next stage.

Will Collins meanwhile – who wasn’t even in the top 23 after the first round – shot a 7-under 65 in the final round to win the Dayton qualifier, finishing at 12-under 276. Chris Kamin of Phoenix, who led after the first, second and third rounds, finished in a tie for second with Parker McLachlin of Scottsdale, Ariz., as both had a score of 278.

Two former University of Nevada players advanced to the second stage. Ian Hagen fired a 67 in the third round and finished with a 285 to move on. In addition, Brett Bingham finished in a tie for ninth with Tom Johnson of San Francisco at 282.

Carson High graduate T.J. Duncan withdrew following the third round after posting a score of 231 through three rounds. Other top finishers were Brett Wayment (279), Matthew Zions and Ben Portie (280) and Tom Kalinowski and Steven Young (281).

It was an odyssey for Harvey just to make it through. “I’ve never struggled on this course until the last two years,” Harvey said.

This is Harvey’s fourth year at the Dayton qualifier and he easily moved on in his first two years and also won the Nevada State Amateur title at Dayton. But last year, Harvey was on the bubble, but didn’t advance after shooting a 73 in the final round.

Harvey saved a par-72 round with a birdie on the 18th hole. The final round begin OK when Harvey was 2-under after three holes. But a bad break on the par-5 eighth when his shot bounced off the cart path into the water led to a bogey.

He then bogeyed No. 9. “Then I made a couple og good birdies on 10 and 11,” Harvey said.

Heading to the 17th, Harvey thought he was at 1-under when he was actually at even-par. He bogeyed 17 after landing in the bunker. “I could barely get it out of the bunker,” he said

He went to 18 thinking he was even when he was 1-over. “I just forgot the bogey on eight I guess,” Harvey said.

Harvey figured he needed to be at 3-under to advance, but was obviously glad 2-under was good enough. “It was a good thing that I hit to a foot-and-half of the hole on 18,” he said.

“Playing about as lousy as I could, still making it, it feels good. “I was really shaky off the tee.”

Ironically, Harvey played solid through the event’s worst weather during the first part of the week, shooting 3-under through two rounds.

Even though Johnson didn’t have to struggle to advance, he expressed the same feelings as Harvey after finishing with a 72 in the final round. Harvey graduated from Northwestern this past summer and is a former teammate of Galena High graduate Bryson Young, who’s still at Northwestern.

“It could have been better but that’s the way it always is,” Johnson said. “But I got through. I’m happy – that’s an understatement.”

The cold, windy and rainy conditions that plagued the first 2 1/2 days of the event and the course’s higher rough and faster greens definitely had an impact on the scores. Last year a score of 8-under was needed to advance.