In what is considered one of the most grueling tests in all of professional golf, former Clemson All-Americans Ben Martin and Kyle Stanley both earned 2011 PGA Tour cards Monday at the sixth and final round of Q-School in Orlando, FL. The two were teammates together at Clemson from 2007-09, and both will be PGA Tour rookies in 2011.
With Martin and Stanley’s performances, five former Clemson golfers have now earned full PGA Tour status for 2011. Former Tiger greats D.J. Trahan, Jonathan Byrd and Lucas Glover all qualified for the 2011 PGA Tour by finishing in the top 125 of the money list in 2010. Trahan finished 47th, Byrd was 55th and Glover was 57th.
Martin advanced through all three stages of Q-School. The 2009 U.S. Amateur runner-up had a steady final round 71, with three birdies and a pair of bogeys. He posted four rounds in the 60s, followed by 71 in each of the final two rounds to earn his tour card. Martin tied for second among the 153 players with a 17-under par total of 412.
Stanley fired a final round 68, which included a crucial eagle on the par-four ninth hole to give him momentum heading into the back nine. He nearly drove the green, and then sank a long putt from the fringe to secure the eagle. He was three-under and in good position on the 18th hole, but chipped in for good measure from just off the fringe with a sand wedge to card the birdie and solidify his position on the PGA Tour for 2011. Stanley rallied over the final two days following a three-over 75 in the fourth round Saturday. He tied for ninth with a six-round total of 416 (13-under par).
“That was probably the best finish of my life, when I saw the ball go in the hole on the 18th,” Stanley said. “It’s surreal right now, but I’m sure it will hit me before long that I’m on the PGA Tour. Spending a year on the Nationwide Tour was good for me, but this week I put myself in position to accomplish a lot of things I want to in my career. My preparation leading up to this week was really good, and I was able to come out and compete today.”
Tommy Biershenk finished in a tie for 30th place with an eight-under, 421 total over the six rounds. He shot 71 or better in all six of his rounds and was a model of consistency. Biershenk was just one shot shy of earning his PGA Tour card, but due to his finish he earned priority status on the Nationwide Tour for 2011.
Charles Warren, the most recent member of Clemson’s Ring of Honor, was unable to recover from a 74 on Sunday and finished tied for 41st with a six-round, four-under par total of 423. Warren shot an even par 72 on Monday. He finished 149th on the money list for the PGA Tour in 2010 and will actually be able to play a partial schedule again in 2011.
Two other former Clemson players, Elliot Gealy and Brent Delahoussaye, also completed play at Q-School on Monday. Gealy shot a one-under 71 Monday at the Panther Lake Course and finished in a tie for 59th. Like Biershenk, he also earned priority status for the 2011 Nationwide Tour with his performance. Delahoussaye shot 72 on Monday and finished the six-round event with a two-over total of 431. He tied for 109th out of the 153 players at Q-School.