JARROD LYLE and Nathan Green have earned coveted entry to the 2012 US PGA Tour after six rounds of the dreaded Q-School in California.
Lyle put in the best performance finishing tied for fifth and that will no doubt make his marriage to local girl Briony Harper in Shepparton this Saturday all the sweeter.
Green, on the tour for the past two years thanks to his win on the 2009 Canadian Open, was nowhere after five rounds with seemingly no hope of reaching the needed top 25.
However, his equal low round of the final session 6-under 66 saw him sneak in at 27th because of ties.
”I can’t believe I am where I am to be honest,” Green said. ”It’s a bit of a miracle. I played the way I used to play and I played desperate and came up good. I haven’t had that feeling for a long while. It’s good to know there is still the competitive drive inside me.”
Green is threatening to join the ranks of the bellied putters next year in an attempt to overcome his problems on the greens.
Bitterly disappointed this week were Stephen Bowditch and Matt Jones, with the latter looking good early but collapsing with a final-round 75 to finish three shots short of the cut-off at six under while Bowditch closed with a 71 to also close at that score.
Other Australians missing out at Q-School included Steve Allan, Bronson La’Cassie, Craig Hocknull and James Nitties, whose only consolation might be that they were joined by some pretty impressive talent on the wrong side of the cut, including Major winners David Duval (once the world No.1), Lee Janzen, Rich Beem and Shaun Michael.
Sam Saunders, the grandson of golfing great Arnold Palmer, also missed out.
Bowditch and Jones will at least have limited status on the tour – around 16-18 tournaments – for finishing in the 126 to 150 bracket on last year’s money list. Steve Elkington will also receive invites to several tournaments thanks to his 1995 PGA Championship win. Greg Norman could also sneak the odd start should he so desire.
That leaves 15 Australians on the 2012 US PGA Tour will full playing status – Jason Day, Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley, John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby, Marc Leishman, Nick O’Hern, Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling and Stuart Appleby; along with Mathew Goggin and Gavin Coles who qualified by finishing in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour.