Norman Xiong of Lake Elsinore finished second in the Web.Com Tour Qualifying Tournament, but the most impressive display in the final round came from Cody Blick.
The 25-year-old Blick (pictured), from Danville and San Jose State, woke up in the morning to find his golf clubs had been stolen, then went out with a unfamiliar set and shot 9-under-par 63 to finish 25th at Whirlwind Golf Club https://whirlwindgolf.com in Chandler, Ariz.
The top 10 players earned 12 guaranteed starts on the Web.com Tour in 2019, while players who finished Nos. 11-40 (and ties) will have eight guaranteed starts on the PGA Tour’s triple-A circuit next season.
“When I woke up this morning, the garage door was open and the clubs weren’t there,” said Blick, who finished 12th on the MacKenzie-PGA Tour Canada money list this year. “I kind of panicked and got on the phone with Titleist, and two hours later they came through. … I don’t even know where the putter came from, but I had a set that was good enough, I guess.
“I got off to a pretty decent start. I was proud of how I stayed patient all day. I just stuck with it. I didn’t do anything different, just stuck with it. Swing at the target and hopefully the clubs were close enough to match the swing.
“There was so much hard work that finally paid off.”
Danny Walker of Bradenton, Fla., and the University of Virginia, who led the PGA Tour Canada money list this season, finished first with a score of 67-65-66-63—261, 27-under, while Xiong, who was in or near the lead all the way, finished one stroke back at 65-63-65-69—262.
“Other than an unplayable after a wayward drive on the first hole, I played the front nine pretty well in the final round,” said Xiong, 20, who won the Jack Nicklaus Award and Fred Haskins Award as the best college player in the nation this year while playing at Oregon.
“I lost my swing a little bit (on the back nine). I had some poor swings and a couple bad breaks, but that happens at some point over 72 holes, so I think overall it was pretty solid and I’ll take where I got.”
Xinjun Zhang of China shot 66-63-69-65—263 to tie for third with Doug Ghim of Arlington, Ill., who finished at 64-68-66-675—263, Timothy Madigan of Las Cruces, N.M., at 66-65-63-69—263, Michael Kellerman of Sterling, Kan., at 72-60-63-68—263, and Jimmy Stanger of Tampa, Fla., at 67-63-63-70—263.
Other Californians who finished in the top 40 were Kevin Lucas of Folsom in a tie for eighth at 68-62-65-69—264; Austin Smotherman of Loomis in a tie for 16th at 70-66-66-65—267; T.J. Vogel of Cooper City, Fla., and USC in a tie for 16th at 68-67-66-66—267; Byron Meth of San Diego and University of the Pacific in a tie for 22nd at 69-64-66-69—268; Rick Lamb of South Bend, Ariz., and the University of Santa Clara in a tie for 25th at 66-67-66-70—269; Paul Imondi of Tustin in a tie for 34th at 65-6571-69—270, and Todd Baek of New Zealand and San Diego State in a tie for 34th at 68-70-67-65—270.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/webcom/leaderboard.html