Minnesota Golf Association

Closing 65 Gets Heinen through 1st Stage of Web.com Q-School

September 30, 2018

Nick Heinen birdied the par-5 18th hole of the Firewheel at Garland Bridges Masters/Champion course in Garland, Texas, on Saturday during the final round of the First Stage of Web.com Qualifying. That gave him a 6-under-par 65 and enabled him to advance -- barely.

The former two-time Resorters champion from Edmond, Okla., made it on the number with a 72-hole total of 273 (minus 11). There were 76 players in the field, and the top 22 and ties moved on. With his closing 65, Heinen lifted himself into a four-way tie for 21st.   

Heinen shot a 3-under 33 on the front nine Saturday. He then eagled the par-5 10th and added birdies at the par-3 12th and par-4 13th, which got him to 12 under for the tournament. A double bogey at the par-3 16th nearly ruined his prospects for advancement, but the birdie at the 545-yard finishing hole saved the day. The 22-year-old Oklahoma State alumnus (he concluded his college career this spring) will now go on to the Second Stage of Web.com Q-School, which begins Oct. 30. 

Before turning pro this year, Heinen was a regular at the Resorters. He claimed his first title when he won the Junior Division in 2011 and repeated as the Junior champ the following year. In 2013, he moved up to the Championship Flight, finishing second that year and again in 2014. The long-hitting Oklahoman (he routinely hit short-iron second shots to the par-5's at Alexandria CC and could drive four the of par-4's) won the Championship Flight in 2015 and '16.     

The Final Stage of Web.com Qualifying will be played in Chandler, Ariz., in December. From there, the top 45 players and ties will gain full status for the start of the 2019 Web.com season. (The higher you finish in the Final Stage, the longer you are guaranteed to retain your full status, and the medalist will have full status for the entire season.)

Franklin Corpening, a 33-year-old mini-tour veteran from Aledo, Texas, was the medalist in Garland He, too, shot a final-round 65 and came from three strokes behind to post a cumulative 264.

His fellow Texan Andrew Lister and Englishman Brandon Thompson were one shot behind in second place at 265. 

The most nobable casualty of the Masters/Champion course was Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who is now the lead anlalyst for CBS telecasts of NFL games. Romo started off well enough with a par and a birdie, but he made a quadruple bogey 8 at the third hole and also made a double in his first round on the way to a 79. He made another quad in the second round, but rallied for a 73, then went 73-72 for a 297. 

It is a measure of just how tough Web.com Q-School is that the 38-year-old Romo averaged a respectable 74.25 strokes per round for the tournament on a fairly tough course -- and missed advancing by 24 strokes.

By contrast, Heinen averaged 68.25 strokes per round, and he barely squeaked through. 

There was one other First Stage Q-School tournament last week (there will be another 10 during the next two weeks). It was played at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz. One Minnesotan was in the field. That was Robert Bell, the former MGA Junior Player of the Year -- and state high school champion -- from Pierz. He closed with a 3-under 69 on Friday and finished at even-par 288 but missed by nine. 

Canadian Jamie Sadlowski, the two-time World Long Drive champ, shot a 3-under 69 on the last day and finished with a 272 (minus 16). That earned him a three-way tie for first, along with Norman Xiong of Las Vegas and Yannik Paul of Boulder, Colo.  


First Stage

Garland, Texas

At Firewheel at Garland Bridges -- Masters/Champion Course

Par 71

The top 22 finishers & ties advance to the Second Stage of Q-School, at various sites, beginning Oct. 30

1. Franklin Corpening, Aledo, Texas                66-66-67-65--264

T2. Brandon Thompson, England                    64-70-62-69--265

T2. Andrew Lister, College Station, Texas       64-71-63-67--265

T21. Nick Heinen, Edmond, Okla.                 70-66-72-65--273

What it took: 273 (4-way tie for 21st)

Maricopa, Ariz.

At Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

Par 72

The top 21 finishers & ties advance

T1. Norman Xiong, Las Vegas                         67-69-70-66--272

T1. Jamie Sadlowski, Canada                         65-68-70-69--272

T1. Yanik Paul, Boulder, Colo.                         66-66-67-73--272

What it took: 279 (2-way tie for 20th) 

T49. Robert Bell, Pierz                                 72-75-72-69--288




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