279 (9 under) on a 7,500-Yard Course Not Good Enough for Constable in Web.com Q-School; Rask Misses, too
November 9, 2018
The course at the Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla., tips out at 7,504 yards, and plays to a par of 72. Donald Constable, the former Minnesota State Amateur champion from Minnetonka, posted a 72-hole total of 279 at Southern Hills this week in the Second Stage of Web.com Qualifying. That's 9 under par. You'd think that would be good enough to advance to the Final Stage of Q-School, but it wasn't.
As it turned out, you needed to be 14 under just to make it on the number. There was a five-way tie for 14th place at 274. This was one of five Second Stage Q-School tournaments that were played during the last 11 days, and the top 18 finishers and ties advanced from each of them.
The survivors will play again, in the Final Stage of Q-School, Dec. 6-9, in Chandler, Ariz. At the end of the Final Stage, the top 45 finishers and ties will gain fully exempt status on the 2019 Web.com Tour. The higher you finish, the longer you're guaranteed to retain your fully exempt status, and the winner of the Final Stage will be fully exempt for the entire year.
Constable broke par in every round at Southern Hills, starting with a pair of 71's and adding a 68 on Thursday and a 69 on Friday.
Another former University of Minnesota star, Clayton Rask, winner of the State Open and five Minnesota Golf Champions titles (Constable has also won Golf Champions), ended up one stroke behind Constable, at 280. He opened with an even-par 72, then followed it with a downward progression -- 71-70 -- and closed impressively with a 67. That got him to 8 under overall, but it wasn't enough.
MIchael McGowan was the medalist, posting three consecutive 67's and adding a 66 for an aggregate of 267, 21 under. McGowan's father, Pat McGowan, was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1978, and his grandmother Peggy Kirk Bell is in the World Golf Hall of Fame. McGowan beat runner-up Jack McGuire by two strokes.
The only player with any real Minnesota connections to get through the Second Stage was Nick Heinen. He's from Edmond, Okla., and played college golf at Oklahoma State, but he was a regular at the Resorters for the better part of a decade. Heinen won the Resorters Junior Division, then lost in the final of the Championship Flight twice before winning the crown twice (2015 and '16) at Alexandria Country Club.
Heinen played the Second State qualifier in Plantation, Fla., at Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club (par 71, 7,290 yards). He started off with a 69 on Tuesday, followed it with a 67 and then remained comfortably into the top 18 with another 67. In that third round, Heinen made six birdies and a double. On Day 4, he was basically hanging on, making 15 pars, one birdie and two bogeys. The resulting 72 gave him a total of 275 (9 under) and enabled him to squeak through -- in a four-way tie for 16th.
There was a three-way tie for first at Plantation Preserve, among Michael Miller, Rodolfo Cazaubon and Kevin Roy, at 268. Cazaubon put together a 65 in the second round and a 67 in the fourth. Other than that, none of three of the co-medalists shot anything other than 66's and 68's. Four of the Second Stage Q-School tournaments were contested this week, and there was also one the week before. That one was held in Murrieta, Calif., and former Gustavus Adolphus All-American Neil Johnson tried his luck there. Johnson, who set the record for lowest single round in the Minnesota State Open with a 10-under 62 at Bunker Hills GC in 20015, never really got anything going at Bear Creek Golf Club (par 72, 7,157 yards), shooting 72-72-74-72--290 and tying for 45th place. He missed by eight strokes.
At Southern Hills Plantation Club
Par 72, 7,504 yards
Final results (the top 18 finishers & ties advance to the Final Stage of Q-School, which will be played Dec. 6-9 in Chandler, Ariz.)
1. Michael McGowan, Southern Pines, N.C. 67-67-67-66--267
2. Jack Maguire, St. Petersburg, Fla. 67-68-65-69--269
T3. Lee Hodges, Elkmont, Ala. 65-68-70-67--270
T3. Cooper Musselman, Louisville, Ky. 65-68-66-71--270
What it took: 274 (5-way tie for 14th)
T34. Donald Constable, Minnetonka 71-71-68-69--279
T38. Clayton Rask, Elk River 72-71-70-67--280
At Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club
Par 71, 7,290 yards
Final results (the top 18 & ties advance)
T1. Michael Miller, Brewster, N.Y. 66-66-68-68--268
T1. Rodolfo Cazaubon, Mexico 68-65-68-67--268
T1. Kevin Roy, Tampa, Fla. 66-68-66-68--268
T4. Paul Imondi, Tustin, Calif. 65-71-68-65--269
T4. Steve LeBrun, Royal Palm Beach, Fla. 67-63-68-71--269
T4. Olin Browne, Hobe Sound, Fla. 67-67-65-70--269
T16. Nick Heinen, Edmond, Okla. 69-67-67-72--275
What it took: 275 (4-way tie for 16th)
At Bear Creek Golf Club
Par 72, 7,157 yards
Final results (the top 18 & ties advance)
1. Armando Faavela, Chula Vista, Calif. 68-63-70-71--272
2. M.J. Maguire, St. Petersburg, Fla. 68-69-68-68--273
T3. David Gazzolo, Riverside, Calif. 68-70-70-67--275
T3. Cody Blick, Alamo, Calif. 72-66-66-72--275
What it took: 282 (5-way tie for 14th)
T45. Neil Johnson, River Falls 72-72-74-72--290
48. Andre Metzger, Sioux Falls 75-77-67-73--292