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5 storylines to watch during the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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TyTryonQSchool

This is it, folks: We've reached the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School. For a lucky few, six grueling rounds of golf will culminate with a tour card and spot back in the big leagues next year. For the rest? Well, this is where the road ends.

Of course, there are a bunch of big names in the field this week -- Lee Janzen, David Duval and Boo Weekley come to mind -- but as we've seen in the past, Q-School doesn't play favorites.

It doesn't matter if you have a major championship or haven't played in a PGA Tour event before; you'll have to grind it out for 108 holes for your card. It's just one of the reasons to love Q-School.

With that in mind, here are a couple storylines to watch over the next six days.

Can Bobby Gates get past the heartache? Finishing No. 126 on the PGA Tour's Money List is rough. Sure, you still make a nice chunk of money, but for everyone outside the top 125 cutoff, you lose full-time status for the following year on tour.

Bobby Gates learned a tough lesson in his first year on tour, coming up one putt short of securing the 125th spot. All of the guys on tour are mentally strong, but you have to wonder if Gates can push through the late season heartache and make a return in 2012.

Ty Tryon gives it another go: The rush of teeing it up at the final stage of Q-School is nothing new for Tryon. He became the youngest player, at the age of 17, in the tour's history to earn his card via Q-School back in 2001.

He was supposed to be a phenom. But instead of making his mark, his career fell into a tailspin that saw him fall off the golf map. After bouncing between the Gateway Tour and NGA Hooters Tour, he finally has a second chance staring him in the face.

Can major champs make a comeback? Rich Beem, David Duval and Lee Janzen are just three of the golfers teeing it up this week at PGA West. The only difference between them and the rest of the guys in the field is that each has a major championship trophy sitting in their home.

Q-School is the only event where even the major champions get treated like regular joes for six days. After years of getting the royal treatment, all three will have to earn their way back onto the PGA Tour.

Arnold Palmer will be watching this week: "The King" will be keeping a close eye on the Q-School leader board, as Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, will be vying for an exempt spot.

Saunders made eight starts on tour this past year, making the cut in two of them. There's been a lot of talk recently about Saunders getting exemptions due to his connection with Palmer. Finding a way to secure his card would validate those exemptions, and make the tour chatter disappear.

Keep an eye on Adam Hadwin: Want to know something incredible? Adam Hadwin is the highest ranked Canadian golfer in the world. Forget Mike Weir, Hadwin, at No. 238 in the World Rankings, is the guy. And he just barely made it into the Q-School field.

Thanks to a change in the tour's rules, Hadwin was able to secure a spot in the final stage of Q-School. You have to look out for the guys with luck on their side, and based on the way things have gone for Hadwin, nobody would be surprised if he made some noise over the next six days.

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