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Tour Report: Bowditch ahead as pressure mounts

PGATOUR.com

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Greenwood/Getty Images A stellar Sunday 64 has Steven Bowditch on top after 90 holes of the 108-hole marathon that is q-school.

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By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

One round is all that’s left to decide the fate of some when it comes to a PGA TOUR card for next season.

Steve Bowditch leads by a stroke at 23 under through five rounds of the final stage of q-school following an 8-under 64 Sunday, but the more important number is further down the leaderboard.

Only the top 25 players and ties after Monday’s final round from PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. will receive full playing status next year.

That’s good news for Chez Reavie, who is the last of 29 players currently inside the magic number, and not so good for Camilo Villegas, who tumbled to 46th following a 73 on Sunday.

This year’s final stage of q-school is particularly important. It is the last one in which players will be granted TOUR cards. Beginning in 2013, players will receive Web.com Tour status via q-school.

A few notables on the right side of the number going into the last day include Kris Blanks, who despite a nagging shoulder injury, is alone in second after a Sunday 66, and Billy Horschel, who is tied for ninth at 19 under following a fifth-round 69.

Horschel was a four-time All-American at the University of Florida but has had an up-and-down career since injuring his wrist in his first full year on TOUR in 2010.

Robert Karlsson, who earlier this year overcame a case of the yips, is also poised to get his card. He’s tied for 11th, along with Ross Fisher and Matt Jones.

Erik Compton and Nicholas Thompson are another stroke back.

Tom Pernice Jr., 53 and the oldest player in the field, is one of seven players tied for 17th. Six others, including four-time TOUR winner Heath Slocum, are another stroke back and tied for 24th.

Meanwhile, the youngest player in the field still has a chance to make history.

Si Woo Kim, 17, is tied for 30th following a 70 on Sunday that has him just one stroke outside the top 25. Should he get his card, he would be the youngest player to receive a TOUR card via q-school, eclipsing Ty Tryon’s record.

Others also looking to make up ground include Danny Lee, 20-year-old Meen Whee Kim, who led halfway through the week before carding rounds of 73-75 the last two days, Tim Petrovic, Bobby Gates, Patrick Reed and Villegas.

No matter what happens, one thing is for certain: A lot could change on the final day. Twenty-five players are within three strokes of the final spot to earn a card.


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