|11/28/2012 12:42:00 AM|
Martin, Hatfield begin play in Q-School final
Ben Martin, who qualified for the 2011 PGA Tour, is nearing a return trip for 2013. And this time, former Greenwood High School and Clemson University teammate Vince Hatfield could be along for the ride.
Both of them begin play today in the six-round final of PGA Tour Q-School in LaQuinta, Calif. Hatfield tees off at 11:30 a.m., and Martin tees off at noon. The top 25 players, plus ties, earn their Tour cards for next season. Martin, a former U.S. Amateur runner-up, finished second in the 2010 Q-School final in Winter Garden, Fla.
After Martin showed occasional glimpses of potential in 2011 with a top-10 performance (T-6th at Reno, Nev.) and three finishes among the top 25, it was not enough to stay on golf's grandest stage. In his first-ever PGA Tour round, Martin was tied for second in Hawaii. In what became a reoccurring theme to his 2011 season, though, Martin struggled after that and missed the cut. Later in the year, in the Northern Trust Open, Martin was tied for the lead, but did not play into the weekend because of a second-round 80.
Martin had his share of ups and downs during last season's Web.com Tour, but perhaps played his best golf at season's end with a third-place finish at Jacksonville, Fla., and a tie for 13th at the Web.com Tour Championship.
"I guess, being here once before, it definitely helps out because I know more what to expect," Martin said. "But it's going to be a long six days, 108 holes of golf."
And, Martin might have to do it with possible flu-like symptoms.
"I woke up (Sunday) with that, and I didn't even practice (Monday)," said Martin, who finished tied for 15th in the second stage of Q-School in Brookville, Fla. "Hopefully, I'm starting to rebound. A big part for me is managing my energy over the next few days."
SEE MORE IN WEDNESDAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL.
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