April 9, 2014, Beaumont, Calif. (ISN) – Leicester City, England’s Greg Eason carded a bogey-free round of 6-under 66 at Oak Valley Golf Club on Wednesday to take the lead by one at PGA TOUR Canada’s California Qualifying Tournament.
The 21-year old University of Central Florida student, playing as an amateur this week, made six birdies to take a one stroke advantage over Deauville, France’s Alexis Anghert and Cardiff, California’s Peter Campbell with two rounds to go. 33 players are under par through two rounds of the 72-hole competition that will see 18 players earn exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2014, with the rest of the top 40 plus ties earning conditional status.
Eason, who has seven individual collegiate wins at the University of Central Florida – including one this past weekend at the 3M Augusta Invitational – is looking to wrap up his NCAA career later this year, but not before attempting to secure status on PGA TOUR Canada. Players can compete in Qualifying School as amateurs and defer joining as members until they turn professional.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t been to Tour School or anything like that before, so I’ve just tried to take it as it comes,” said Eason. “I’ve played some smart golf and luckily holed a few putts, so it’s mostly gone all right so far.”
Eason is looking to follow the footsteps of Josh Anderson in 2013 and Nate McCoy in 2012 as amateurs to earn status on PGA TOUR Canada through Q-School, and said he’s looking forward to completing his last few weeks in college before taking on the professional ranks.
“I’ve still got finals in three weeks’ time,” said Eason. “And then, conference championships and [NCAA] Regionals and Nationals, so there are a still a few weeks left. This Tour is a stepping stone Tour for the Web.com Tour, so hopefully this will be a nice step to go do something for the summer and see where this leads to. This is a lovely position to be in.”
One shot behind Eason are Anghert, the first round leader, and Campbell at 8-under. A group of three players – Charlie Winegardner, Clayton Rask and Seth Fair – are a shot further behind at 7-under. Hamilton, Ontario’s Justin Kim remained the low Canadian at 3-under after carding a 72, tied for 18th place.
Campbell takes relaxed outlook for final two rounds
After cruising along for 27 holes with few mistakes, Peter Campbell suddenly found himself reeling with two bogeys in three holes to start his back nine Wednesday. But the 29-year old took it in stride and recovered beautifully with birdies on his final three holes to post a 3-under 69 and an 8-under total.
“I just told myself ‘we’re not even halfway done,’ and just to relax, take it easy and remind myself how many par-5s and birdie holes there are out there,” said Campbell. As for the final two rounds, Campbell said he hoped to maintain the same mentality in his quest to earn PGA TOUR Canada status.
“It’s still a long way to go. You just try to be patient and relax and make it stress-free.”
Anghert looks to rebound from stumble
With a 4-under 32 on his first nine Wednesday, first round leader Alexis Anghert was cruising along at 11-under par for the tournament and looking like he might run away from the field. Three incoming bogeys knocked him off course, however, leaving him back in a tie for second.
“My goal was to be double digits under par for the final round, and I was 4-under on my first nine so i was playing pretty good,” said Anghert, a graduate of Université Laval looking to join former teammate Max Gilbert on PGA TOUR Canada. “I’m pretty confident. I’m going to come back fresh tomorrow because my first 27 holes were pretty good so hopefully I’ll be right back there tomorrow.”
Q-School Card Watch
23 players were tied for 18th position after two rounds at 3-under par, while 40 players were tied for 33rd at even. The top 18 players this week earn exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada, while the rest of the top-40 and ties earn non-exempt status.