PLANTATION, Fla. – Curtis Thompson grew up around Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club in South Florida, where he and his uncle would have a weekly game. Thompson, who holds full Korn Ferry Tour status in 2023, he has played an estimated 300-400 rounds there.
So when it came time for Second Stage of Q-School, and his good friend Patrick Newcomb asked if he was available to caddie, it was an easy answer.
Thompson is no stranger to the Q-School gauntlet, most recently in 2019, where he advanced from First Stage and ultimately shared medalist honors at Final Stage.
The duo proved effective this week, as Newcomb carded a four-round total of 17 under at Plantation Preserve, comfortably advancing to Final Stage next month in Savannah. Newcomb finished four strokes clear of the number to advance.
“It’s tough when you make that turn, you’re right there around the number, you hit one bad shot, and your mind, if you don’t keep it on the tournament, immediately goes to, ‘What am I going to do for the next 365 days?'” Thompson summed up the pressures on the final day at Second Stage.
In all, 43 players survived the gauntlet of Second Stage on Friday afternoon, punching their tickets to Final Stage next month at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club in Savannah. Players not otherwise holding status will earn 2023 Korn Ferry Tour membership upon hitting one tee shot at Final Stage.
Here’s a look at how some notables fared at this week’s Second Stage sites in Plantation, Florida and Murrieta, California.
Plantation, Florida (Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club)
Seventy-five players competed for 18 spots and ties, with the cut line falling in a seven-way T14 at 13 under. Julian Etulain and Curtis Luck shared medalist honors at 19 under. Both are Korn Ferry Tour winners, Etulain at the 2018 Chitimacha Louisiana Open and Luck at the 2020 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Both have previously held PGA TOUR membership and will aim to return via the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour.
Notables to advance: Jack Maguire carded a final-round, 10-under 61 to fly past the cut line and finish T3 at 18 under. The Florida State alum matched fellow Seminole Daniel Berger’s course record at Plantation Preserve … Charles Wang finished T12 at 14 under. The China native first earned Korn Ferry Tour membership via 2015 Q-School as an 18-year-old, and he has spent three seasons on PGA TOUR Canada in the interim … Abel Gallegos finished T14 at 13 under, on the number to advance. The Argentina native won the 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship at age 17, earning a spot in that year’s Masters and The Open … Willie Mack III finished T14 at 13 under, on the number to advance. The two-time APGA Player of the Year also won the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship earlier this month to earn a spot in next week’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship on TOUR.
Notables to miss: Penn State alum Charles Huntzinger finished T21 at 12 under. He carded a course record-tying, 10-under 61 in the final round at Plantation Preserve, only to fall one shot away from advancing. He also missed by one stroke at the same site in 2019 … Erik Compton finished T26 at 11 under. The two-time heart transplant recipient has spent 21 years as a pro, mostly mixed between the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour … Sunny Kim finished T49 at 5 under. He has accrued 85 titles on the Minor League Golf Tour.
Murrieta, California (Bear Creek Golf Club)
Seventy-five players competed for 18 spots and ties, with the cut line falling in a six-way T18 at 6 under. Medalist honors went to Cody Blick, who carded a four-round total of 16 under. The California native, 28, carded four rounds in the 60s to finish one stroke clear of Jared Sawada. Blick has made 26 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, highlighted by a T27 at this year’s Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation. He’ll return to Final Stage with memories of 2018, where he carded a closing 9-under 63 at Whirlwind GC in Arizona to earn guaranteed starts for the first time, despite having his clubs stolen the night before the final round.
Notables to advance: Stuart Macdonald finished T3 at 14 under. The Canada native and Purdue alum has made 74 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, highlighted by a third-place finish at the 2021 REX Hospital Open … Brady Calkins finished T6 at 11 under. The Dakotas Tour legend qualified for this year’s U.S. Open and has yet to make a Korn Ferry Tour start … Spencer Levin finished T18 at 6 under. The longtime PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour veteran carded a final-round, 5-under 67 at Bear Creek to dramatically advance to Final Stage on the number.
Notables to miss: Charlie Saxon, longtime Korn Ferry Tour pro and former roommate of Scottie Scheffler, finished T31 at 3 under … Three-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Andrew Svoboda finished T38 at 2 under, gamely rallying with a final-round 67 but finishing four off the pace.