Two dozen golfers with ties to Georgia advanced from the first stage of qualifying for the 2019 Web.com Tour, with one of the qualifiers played at Callaway Gardens.
The qualifier at Callaway Gardens was played as Hurricane Michael roared through south Georgia recently, but it ended on time, unlike a qualifier in North Carolina, which ended one day late and required 54 holes to be played over the last two days.
Eight of the 24 Georgians advanced from the Callaway Gardens qualifier, led by Jimmy Beck of Columbus, who played his college golf at Kennesaw State and is a former Georgia Amateur champion and two-time Georgia Open runner-up.
Beck tied for fifth in the 73-player field, with the top 21 finishers and ties advancing to the second stage. Five second stage qualifiers will be played between Oct. Oct. 30 and Nov. 9, with the four qualifiers scheduled for Nov. 6-9 played at two sites in Florida and one each in Alabama and Texas. The Oct. 30-Nov. 2 qualifier is set for California.
The top finishers will advance to the finals, which will be played Dec. 6-9 in Arizona. The top 45 finishers and ties will earn exempt status for the 2019 Web.com Tour.
Beck shot 14-under 274, closing with scores of 68-68-66 after an opening 72. Tying for seventh at 276 were Deven Broadaway of Adairsville and recent Augusta State golfers Emmanuel Kountakis, an Augusta resident, and Broc Everett, the 2018 NCAA individual champion.
Wade Binfield of Fayetteville, who played his college golf at Clayton State, opened with a 66 and tied for 14th at 278 along with former Clemson golfer Luke Hopkins, who resides in Marietta.
Qualifying on the number at 9-under 279 were former Vanderbilt golfer Zach Jaworski of Alpharetta, who shot his third 69 of the tournament in the final round, and recent Dalton State standout S.M. Lee of Dacula, who birdied the 16th and 17th holes in the final round before a closing bogey at the 18th. Lee placed third in the 2018 Dogwood Invitational and is a back-to-back winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the top player in the NAIA.
Chris Guglielmo of Cumming, who played his college golf at Kennesaw State, had eight birdies in a final round 66, but missed by one shot at 280 after making a bogey on his 72nd hole. Missing by three at 282 was recent Michigan golfer Kyle Mueller of Watkinsville, who closed with a 69.
Others who failed to advance from the Callaway Gardens qualifier were recent Oglethorpe golfer Anthony Maccaglia (Alpharetta), Chip Deason (Evans), Ryan Elmore (Dunwoody), Travis Williamson (Brunswick), Dru Love (St. Simons Island), Mark Silvers (Savannah), P.J. Shields (Dalton), former Mercer golfer Trey Rule (Eatonton), recent Georgia Southern golfer Archer Price and former Georgia Tech golfer Drew Czuchry (Atlanta).
Four Georgians advanced from the weather-delayed North Carolina qualifier, which was played at Irish Creek in Kannapolis. Leading the way was former Georgia Tech golfer Vince Whaley of Fayetteville, who shot 65-67-67-67 for an 18-under 266 total to win by two shots.
Former Web.com Tour player Drew Weaver of Atlanta shot a final round 67 to finish 13th at 275, with recent Georgia Tech golfer Chris Petefish, who is living in Cumming, tying for 14th at 276. Duluth’s Mookie DeMoss, who played his college golf at Georgia, qualified on the number at 277, tying for 17th.
Kelby Burton of Evans, who played at Kennesaw State, shot 67-69 the final two rounds but missed by two and 279, along with former SEC football player Kane Whitehurst of Duluth, a star wide receiver on a state championship high school team at Chattahoochee. Whitehurst, who recently turned pro, came up short despite a final round 66.
Also failing to qualify was Woodstock’s Riley Davenport, Augusta’s Dykes Harbin and Jackson Heazel of Atlanta.
Former Georgia Tech golfer J.T. Griffin, who is living in Marietta, tied for 12th at 9-under 279 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Highland Oaks course in Dothan, Ala. Blake Palmer of Dawsonville, runner-up in the 2016 Georgia Open, tied for 16th at 281, with former Web.com player Chase Parker of Augusta advancing on the number at 283, tying for 20th after a closing score of 68. Also tying for 20th was former Georgia Tech golfer Paul Haley, who shot 67 in the final round.
Barrett Waters of Dallas, who played his college golf at West Georgia and was the 2018 Georgia Open runner-up, missed by two shots at 285, along with former Kennesaw State golfer Matt Nagy of Buena Vista, the 2012 Georgia Open runner-up.
Also failing to advance was recent UGA golfer Jaime Lopez Rivarola, recent Georgia tech golfer Tyler Joiner of Leesburg, Zach Caldwell (Sandy Springs) and Ted Moon (Lilburn).
Elberton native Shad Tuten, who played his college golf for the defunct program at Armstrong State, shot 18-under 270 to tie for seventh in Lakeland, Fla. Tuten, who plays on the LatinoAmerica Tour, won the 2016 Georgia Open. Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island, who played at Georgia Southern, also advanced, tying for 16th at 273.
Forsyth’s Jay McLuen, a veteran tour player with Web.com experience, shot 65 in the final round but did not advance, missing by five shots. McLuen is a two-time Georgia Open champion.
Athens native and St. Simons resident Dylan Freeman tied for eighth at 12-under 276 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Freeman, a runner-up in the 2017 Georgia Open, was a member of a national championship team at Coastal Georgia. Also advancing was recent Georgia State golfer Max Herrmann, who competed in the qualifier as an amateur. Herrmann opened with a 66 and tied for 18th at 279, qualifying on the number.
Three Georgians competed in a qualifier in Nebraska and all three advanced. Clayton Rask of Smyrna, who has played on the Web.com Tour, tied for 10th at even par 284. Dalton Ward of St. Simons, a member of the 2018 Canadian Tour, tied for 18th at 287, with former UGA golfer T.J. Mitchell of Albany advancing on the number at 288, tying for 21st.
Roswell’s Bryan Fox, who played at Georgia College, advanced on the number in San Diego, tying for 20th at 279. Fox shot 2-over 72 in the final round, surviving a poor start (4-over after 7) and a double bogey on the 11th hole thanks to four birdies over his final 11 holes. Also advancing was former Dunwoody resident Dan Woltman, a former Web.com member, who has returned to his home state of Wisconsin. Woltman tied for 13th at 277,
Players failing to qualify at other sites were former Mercer golfer Hans Reimers in Arizona; St. Simons’ Will Jones in Texas; Atlanta’s David Van Horn in Utah; and amateur A.J. Kang of Johns Creek and Atlanta resident Samuel Del Val in Nevada. Del Val, who has played two seasons on the Web.com Tour, won the 2010 Georgia Open.
Savannah’s Tim O’Neal, the 2018 Georgia Open champion and frequent contender in the event in recent years, was unsuccessful in his attempt to qualify for the European Tour. O’Neal, who did not enter Web.com Tour qualifying, has played five full seasons on the Web.com Tour during his pro career, and has three victories on the Latino America Tour.