Lee, Wilkinson face Q-school nerve test
Six rounds, 172 players, 25 golden tickets to the PGA Tour in 2013.
They say qualifying school is the toughest mental test a professional golfer can face and Kiwis Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson will be subjected to that examination when they play the high stakes final stage PGA Tour event in California, starting tomorrow (NZT).
Lee, the New Zealand No 1, and Wilkinson were the only Kiwis to progress past the second stage event after entering the race at that point; Lee following a disappointing rookie campaign on the PGA Tour this year and Wilkinson after a middling effort on the second-tier Web.com Tour.
They are among a field of 172 golfers at PGA West in LaQuinta - where the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses co-host the six-round event, which is one of the few tournaments where winning isn't really what the week is about. In fact, the winner receives $50,000, peanuts in the world of golf.
More important is finishing in the top 25 and ties; those players earn what everyone is after - a PGA Tour card for 2013, the chance to play alongside the world's best players in the world's biggest tournaments, and win big money.
Lee has been forced to fight his way through Q-school after finishing 167th on the PGA Tour money list this year, well outside the top 125 who kept their cards.
It was surprising, given his abundance of talent and the consistent form he showed on the Web.com Tour last year.
Wilkinson also failed to automatically gain a card by finishing outside the top-25 on the Web.com Tour - he was 57th - but he has form when it comes to PGA Q-school, having finished inside the top-25 at the 2007 tournament.