Minnesota Golf Association

Miller Breezes through 1st Stage of Korn Ferry Q-School

October 5, 2019

Two weeks ago,  Ross Miller was in the process of winning the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am for the second year in a row. He claimed the title with an 8-under-par 63 at Southview Country Club in the final round on Sept. 22.

On Friday, Miller shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 67 at Arbor Links in Nebraska City, Neb. With that, the 27-year-old former Minnesota State (Mankato) star from Osseo posted a 72-hole aggregate of 274 (10 under), good for a tie for third place in the First Stage of qualifying for the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour. As a result, Miller easily advanced to the Second Stage, which will begin Oct. 29 at various sites.

The top 21 finishers and ties (24 players in all) made it through the Nebraska City qualifier to the Second Stage. 

Arbor Links was one of 12 sites being used for the First Stage of Korn Ferry Q-School. Six of those qualifying tournaments were held Sept. 24-27. Four more were held this week, and the last two are scheduled for next week, Tuesday through Friday. Among those who are scheduled to be playing next week at Dayton Valley GC in Dayton Valley, Nevada, is Robert Bell, the former Minnesota state high school champion -- and MGA Junior Player of the Year from Pierz. He finished third at the Tapemark this year, two shots behind Miller and one behind Don Berry.

Last year, Bell, who played college golf at the University of Minnesota, and Berry lost a playoff to Miller at the Tapemark.  

Also signed up for Dayton Valley are former Gustavus Adolphus Division III All-American Neil Johnson and Ben Polland. Polland, who played high school golf for Bloomington Jefferson, finished second in the 2015 National Club Pro Championship and then won the National Assistant Club Pro title in 2016. He made it to the Final Stage of Q-School last year -- when it was called Web.com Q-School, before Korn Ferry took over as the tour's primary sponsor this summer -- and tied for 51st. That got him into 21 Web.com/Korn Ferry tournaments this year, but he earned only a little more than $31,000 and finished 138th on the regular season money list, which is why he's back in Q-School this fall.

Bell isn't the only ex-Gopher playing in a First Stage qualifier next week. Jon Trasamar, a former state high school tournament runner-up from Blue Earth, will be at Sun River GC in St. George, Utah.   

The Final Stage of Korn Ferry Q-School will be held Dec. 12-15 in Winter Garden, Fla.  

From there, the top 40 finishers and ties will be guaranteed exempt status for at least the first part of next year's Korn Ferry schedule. The goal for everyone competing in Q-School is to play on the Korn Ferry Tour and finish the 2020 season in the top 25 on the money list, and thereby earn a promotion to the PGA Tour for the 2021-22 season.    

Miller came within a stroke of claiming medalist honors at Arbor Links. Chris Naegel of Wildwood, Md., and Stephen Stallings Jr. of Louisville tied for first with totals of 273.  Naegel closed with a 67 to get his share of first, Stallings with a 68. 

Having opened the tournament with a 68, Miller was never out of the top 10 at the end of any round. In his final round, he birdied the 558-yard, par-5 first hole for the third time in four tries, and added birdies at the 413-yard, par-4 seventh hole and the 455-yard, par-4 ninth. He was essentially on cruise control from there, making eight pars on the back nine, plus a birdie at the 140-yard, par-3 11th hole. 

Derek Chang is a former Gopher who has already adavanced. He finished fifth in Garland, Texas, at the Bridges at Firewheel, with a total of 272 (16 under). Andrew McCain, the former two-time Minnesota State Open champ with multiple addresses -- Minneapolis and Knoxville, Tenn., among them -- barely got out of Mobile, Ala., with a ticket to the next stage. He put together a four-day aggregate of 280 (8 under) at Magnolia Grove Crossing and made it on the number, part of a five-way tie for 20th.  


First Stage

Nebraska City, Neb. 

Arbor Links (par 71)

Oct. 1-4

Final results (the top 21 finishers plus ties advance to the Second Stage, which will begin Oct. 29)

T`1. Chris Naegel, Wildwood, Md.                66-70-70-67--273

T1. Stephen Stallings Jr., Louisville             71-69-65-68--273

T3. Ross Miller, Osseo                               68-70-69-67--274

T3. Thomas Walsh, High Point, N.C.           72-67-69-66--274

T5. Peyton Wilhout, North Little Rock, Ark. 67-70-69-70--276

T5. Ryan Stachler, Milton, Ga.                    70-68-69-69--276

T5. Ryan Lenahan, New Hudson, Mich.     68-70-68-70--276

What it took: 283 (4-way tie for 21st)

Mobile, Ala. 

Magnolia Grove Crossing (par 72)

Sept. 24-27

Final results (the top 21 & ties advance)

1. Jacob Solomon, Auburn, Ala.            70-64-67-66--267

T2. Will Cannon, Hoover, Ala.                68-67-66-69--270

T2. Taylor Eyster, Birmingham, Ala.       66-69-71-64-270

T2. Patrick Sullivan, Maumelle, Ark.      71-69-64-66--270

5. David Holmes, Knoxville, Tenn.          69-69-65-70--271

T20. Andrew McCain, Mpls.                   67-72-70-71--280

What it took: 280 (5-way tie for 20th) 

Garland, Texas

Bridges at Firewheel (par 72)

Sept. 24-27

Final results (the top 21 & ties advance)

1. Mikel Martinson, Fort Worth, Texas            67-70-63-67--267

2. Hunter Richardson, Clarksville, Tenn.        64-67-70-68--269

3. Sebastian Vazquez, Mexico                       71-66-66-67--270

4. Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City, Okla.  70-68-69-64--271

5. Derek Chang, Atlanta                                 69-67-66-70--272

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

Maricopa, Ariz.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes GC (par 72)

Sept. 24-27

Final results (the top 22 & ties advance)

1. KK Limbhasut, Scottsdale, Ariz.            69-62-69-71--271

2. Mark Baldwin, Mesa, Ariz.                     65-70-68-69--272

T3. Kyle Kochevar, Glen Ellyn, Ill.              68-69-71-68--276

T3. Jamie Sadlowski, Canada                   69-70-68-69--276

T7. Andre Metzger, Sioux Falls               69-68-72-69--278

What it took: 282 (5-way tie for 19th) 

Woodlands, Texas

At The Woodlands CC (par 72)

Sept. 24-27

Final results (the top 21 & ties advance)

1. Braden Bailey, Groves, Texas                 68-70-69-65--272

T2. Derek Oland, Plano, Texas                   69-69-71-65--273

T2. MJ Daffue, Kingwood, Texas                65-73-68-67--273

4. Chris Korte, Littleton, Colo.                     68-65-72-69--274

5. Grant Schroeder, Montgomery, Texas    67-69-68-72--276

What it took: 283 (5-way tie for 21st) 

T46. David Schultz, Fargo                          78-68-71-72----289


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