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Jay Busbee

Q-School Quest: A timely 61 is always a good thing

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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For the next few days, we'll be updating you on how PGA Tour Q-School is going. Our focus will be on some of the big names, but we will be sure to tell you who made a big move up the leaderboard each day, and who struggled to keep it going. Join us, and the golfers, as we try to keep our wits about this whole process as 162 golfers battle for 25 coveted spots.

There are rounds you'll remember for the rest of your life. The day you shot an ace. The day you broke a milestone. The day you beat your father straight up for the first time. And the day you shot 61 in Q School.

Maybe you haven't had the joy of that last one, but Chris Baryla now has. After an opening-round 72 that left him tied for 65th, Baryla, pictured above just chillin', put on a shooting clinic, firing an 11-birdie, zero-bogey 11-under 61 to vault into the lead by one stroke over Ben Martin.

If Baryla's name doesn't ring any bells, don't worry. He's played only 13 PGA Tour events in his life, seven of those in 2010. His best finish last year was a tie for 29th at the Soboba Golf Classic on the Nationwide Tour, and he pocketed less than $31,000 total on both tours. So, yeah, he's got a bit to play for here.

It's way too early for him to start thinking about the future, though. The top 25 and ties make it through to the PGA Tour, and currently, that line sits just seven strokes behind Baryla, at 3-under with four rounds left to play.

Other notable stories:

• Round 1 leader Kyle Stanley shot a 70 to drop two strokes off the lead, but still sits in a tie for third.

• Brett Waldman, Camilo Villegas' caddy, sits at T24. Don't tell him; he's surely nervous enough already.

Richard Lee is tied for 30th, while Richard T. Lee is tied for 40th. That's not going to be confusing at all.

Erik Compton is tied for 40th, two strokes on the wrong side of the top-25 cut line. Ty Tryon is one stroke behind him. Still time for the tournament's two best-known stories to make a run.

Briny Baird, he of skyscraper-driving fame, and Scott McCarron, he of Phil Mickelson-bashing fame, sit five and six strokes outside the top 25, respectively.

• The good news for Wednesday's last-place finisher, Jason Hill? He shaved four strokes off his opening-round 79. Bad news? He's still in last place.

Q School continues for four more rounds.

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