News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

68 sends Athens golfer to second
Medley advances in PGA Tour Q-School

By Michael Wetzel · 340-2462

Andrew Medley woke up Saturday morning not too worried about counting low numbers on the golf course. The 23-year-old figured he needed to shoot par or better on the tough Trevburn Country Club Course in Durham, N.C., to have a chance at advancing to the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School.

“I wasn’t thinking about a particular number I needed,” the Athens High graduate said. “But I figured par or maybe even 1-over Saturday would get me to the next stage.”

Before the sun set Saturday, Medley’s scorecard read 68. His 283 total for 72 holes earned him fourth place overall and a step closer to fulfilling a dream of earning his PGA Tour card.

Medley entered Saturday’s play in 15th place, about three shots above the cut line. His four days of golf earned him a “handshake and a pat on the back” and that desirable invitation to the second stage.

Twenty-nine golfers from the Durham tournament advanced.

“I drove the ball great all week,” Medley said. “My irons and wedges were not so good at times, but I drove it well and was able to sink some putts, especially today.”

In the first-stage event, Medley fancied 16 birdies on his way to a 5-under total.

He practically owned the course’s No. 9 and 13 holes. Across the four-day event, the former Auburn golfer was 6 under on those two holes alone.

“No. 9 was a reachable (in two shots) par 5,” Medley said about the 504-yard hole. “I never actually got there in two but I was near the green all week and was able to get up and down for birdies.”

On the 130-yard, par-3 13th, Medley said, he hit some good wedge shots and “sank about a 60-footer there for bird” Saturday.

Carrying his bag was good friend Michael Daniels of Decatur. Medley said Daniels made a difference, especially the first day.

On the 15th hole Wednesday, Medley said, he thought his putt would break to the right. But Medley listened to his caddie’s advice.

“He told me it wouldn’t break,” Medley said. “I listened, and he was right on it. The ball didn’t break, and I sank the putt. That was huge.

“In the practice rounds, Michael got some yardage books, and he knows my game as good as anybody. It was big having him on my bag this week.”

The tournament’s third day saw golfers playing in windy conditions.

“I just tried to hit one shot at a time,” he said. “The wind was going like 20 and 30 miles per hour. Michael gave me some ideas what to do on some holes.”

Medley, who won a professional NGA/Hooters Tour event in September, finished Friday’s round with a 1-over 73.

“I was disappointed at first, but when the scores started coming in high, I was actually able to move up a few spots,” he said.

Medley said he has asked to play his second-stage Q-school at the Deerwood Golf Club
in Kingwood, Texas, on Nov. 14-17.

He said he is awaiting official word from the PGA.

Designed by Byron Nelson, the watery Deerwood par-72 course is 7,108 yards long. It is one of six sites designated for the second stage

“I’ve never played the course before, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it,” Medley said.

“But if I continue to hit the ball well, I should be able to score. Right now, for the next few days I’m planning on working on my irons and wedges. And, of course, I have to hit the putts.”

The PGA estimates 468 golfers will participate in the second stage. National qualifiers will play for their PGA Tour cards at the Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla., on Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

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