A total of 11 golfers with ties to Georgia advanced to the finals of qualifying for the 2019 Web.com Tour with strong showings in second stage qualifiers that wrapped up on Friday.
Six of the Georgians to advance played their second stage qualifier in Mobile at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail facility there, with the top 19 players and ties advancing from a field of 74.
Leading the way was former Georgia Tech golfer Paul Haley, who earned medalist honors at 23-under 265, one shot ahead of the runner-up. Haley shot 67-66-65-67.
Tying for seventh at 272 was former Clayton State golfer Wade Binfield of Fayetteville, and Augusta’s Emmanuel Kountakis, who played two seasons at Mercer before completing his college career at Augusta State. Binfield’s tournament highlighted by a second round 62, 10 shots lower than his opening score. He closed with back-to-back 68s. Kountakis shot four rounds in the 60s, including a final day 67.
Former Georgia Tech golfer J.T. Griffin, now living in Marietta, tied for 12th at 271 with scores of 66-69-69-67. Georgia Southern’s Scott Wolfes and Kennesaw State’s Jimmy Beck, advanced on the number at 272, tying for 16th.
Beck, a former Georgia Amateur champion and two-time Georgia Open runner-up from Columbus, posted scores of 68-65-69-70. Wolfes, who is from St. Simons Island, shot 67-69-68-68.
The five Georgians who did not advance all shot at least 12-under for the tournament. Former Clemson golfer Luke Hopkins, a Marietta resident, missed by one at 15-under 273, carding a third round 64. He shot 68 in the final round with a double bogey on the 15th hole.
Former UGA golfer T.J. Mitchell of Albany came up two shots short at 274 despite a final round 66 that included birdies on six of his last seven holes. Roswell’s Bryan Fox, who played at Georgia College, closed with a 68 but came up three shots short at 275.
Former PGA Tour winner Brendan Todd tied for 34th at 276 along with recent Georgia Tech golfer Chris Petefish, now living in Cumming, and recent Georgia State golfer Max Herrmann, who competed in the qualifier as an amateur. Todd, who played his college golf in Athens and is living in Watkinsville, came up short despite a final round 63. He was 9-under after 13 holes, but parred the last five.
All four Georgians in the field in McKinney, Tex., a suburb of Dallas, advanced. Leading the group was St. Simons resident Rick Lamb, who has experience on both the PGA and Web.com Tours. Lamb was second after 54 holes with scores of 66-69-66—201, and finished tied for fifth at 12-under 276 after a final round 75.
Atlanta resident Drew Weaver, who has also competed on the Web.com Tour, tied for eighth at 277 with scores of 68-71-69-69. Tying for 12th at 278 was Duluth’s Mookie DeMoss, who played his college at Georgia, and Dawsonville’s Blake Palmer. DeMoss matched Weaver’s final round 69 to move up from 31st after three rounds. Weaver was also outside the top 19 after 54 holes.
The only Georgia golfer to advance from the qualifier in Brooksville, Fla., was recent Georgia Tech golfer Vince Whaley, who is living in Fayetteville. Whaley tied for sixth at 16-under 272, posting three straight scores of 67 before closing with a 71.
Shad Tuten, a native of Elberton who played his college golf at Armstrong Atlantic, missed advancing by one shot, tying for 19th at 275. Tuten, the 2016 Georgia Open champion, was tied for second after 54 holes with scores of 64-69-67—200, He was 1-under after nine holes in the final round and well inside the cut line, but shot 4-over 40 coming in, with a bogey on the 18th hole knocking him out of a top-18 finish needed to advance.
Former Georgia Bulldog Grayson Sigg of Augusta shot a final round 66, but came up four strokes short of advancing at 278. Former Web.com Tour player Clayton Rask of Smyrna shot 67 in the final round for a 280 total, with recent Augusta State graduate Broc Everett, the 2018 individual NCAA champion, finishing at 282. Deven Broadaway of Adairsville also failed to advance.
All five Georgians in the field at Plantation, Fla., fell short of a top 18 finish. The low score among the five was turned in by Dacula’s S.M. Lee, who turned pro after two seasons at Dalton State. Lee, one of the country’s top players at the Division II level the last two years, tied for 43rd at 3-under 281, six shots above the number.
Others who failed to advance included Augusta’s Chase Parker (283), Dylan Freeman of St. Simons Island and Zach Jaworski of Alpharetta, both at 285, and Dalton Ward of St. Simons.
The finals of Web.com qualifying are scheduled for Dec. 6-9 in Arizona, with the top 45 finishers and ties beginning the 2019 season with exempt status.
Both Katie Burnett of Brunswick and Dori Carter of Valdosta endured the least successful seasons of their LPGA Tour careers in 2018, but both will have status for the 2019 season after solid showings in the finals of qualifying.
Burnett, who had finished in the top 100 on the money list in each of her first five seasons, made only 4 of 20 cuts and ended the season 139th in earnings. But she regained full status for 2019 by tying for 15th in the 144-hole Q series, played at the Pinehurst Resort.
Only the top 20 finishers earned exempt status for 2019, and Burnett was one of 19 players to finish at 2-over 578 or better. The 144-hole event was played over two weeks, and Burnett was outside the top 20 after shooting 292 the first week. She opened the second week with scores of 71-71-68 to move up in the standings, and held on to a top-20 finish despite a final round 76.
Carter, who has played eight seasons on the tour, was able to get into just nine tournaments in 2016 and finished 144th on the money list, making six cuts. Carter tied for 33rd in the Q series and will have similar status for 2019 as she had in 2018. Carter shot 294 over the first 72 holes and improved with a 289 total the second week, ending up at 7-over 583 in a tie for 33rd.
Also competing in the Q series was Symetra Tour veteran Jean Reynolds of Newnan and UGA golfer Bailey Tardy of Peachtree Corners.
Reynolds tied for 68th at 593, with Tardy finishing well back at 607. Both will have status on the Symetra Tour next year. Tardy tied for 13th in the second stage of qualifying in Venice, Fla., with a 3-under 285 total, while Reynolds narrowly advanced, tying for 34th at even par.
Amira Alexander of Alpharetta and Ji Eun Baik of Cumming, the 2018 Georgia Women’s Open champion, both failed to advance past second stage, and will also have Symetra Tour status for 2019.