The Journey to the PGA Tour: Q School and the Quest for a Card

The PGA Tour Q School Golf Leaderboard

The goal of becoming a professional golfer lies somewhere between inspiring hopes and unattainable dreams. It requires an enormous investment in time, travel and money.

Harrison Endycott earned the top prize at PGA Tour Q-School’s Final Stage. He led a group of five players who earned fully exempt status on the 2024 PGA Tour. Trace Crowe finished runner-up, while Blaine Hale Jr. was third.

1. J.T. Griffin

The final stage of PGA Tour qualifying school offers fully exempt PGA Tour cards to the top five and ties. Those who finish in the top 10 and ties at each qualifying stage earn conditional Korn Ferry Tour status.

A player can also gain a tour card through an in-the-money performance at a major or a series of events. However, it is important to note that a player can lose their card by finishing outside the top 125 at the end of the season.

The field at the Final Stage is comprised of players who advance through the Pre-Qualifying, First and Second stages, as well as those who qualify automatically by meeting one exemption category. The winner of the Final Stage will be awarded a PGA Tour card for the 2024 season.

Georgia Tech All-American J.T. Griffin is among the players in the field at the Final Stage after tying for 25th place at the first stage at Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta, Georgia. The Yellow Jackets’ Luke Schniederjans and Tyler Strafaci are also in the tournament.

2. Stuart Macdonald

Taking on the notoriously grueling PGA Tour Q-School tournament is one of the most nerve-wracking job interviews you can ever face. It’s a yearly event that features four stages and can offer you a shot at PGA Tour membership. It’s a journey that takes time, money and plenty of skill.

Macdonald clinched a spot in the final stage by finishing tied for second at pre-qualifying in Valdosta, Ga. He’s been making a steady rise in the ranks, having won the 2022 Amateur Championship at age 17 and competing as an amateur at the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open.

Players in the final stage earn varying levels of Korn Ferry Tour status, and that includes PGA Tour cards. The top five and ties will receive those cards, while everyone else must play another full year on the tour to keep their card. It’s a high stakes game that only the best can survive. For many of them, it’s the last step on their road to Ponte Vedra Beach.

3. Micah Rudosky

Micah Rudosky, the PGA head professional at Conquistador Golf Course in Westminster, CO, made a remarkable three-peat in qualifying for the Senior PGA Championship. The 2023 PGA Championship takes place at Fields Ranch in Frisco, Texas, and the winner of that tournament earns a full card for next year on the PGA Tour.

Rudosky held off Matt Schalk on the final round to win the Colorado PGA Championship at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale by two strokes. Rudosky started off strongly with a five-under 67 to take the lead, and he added birdies on the 16th and 17th to retain it for good.

The victory adds to Rudosky’s list of accomplishments, and he becomes the fourth player to win four titles in this event (following Ron Vlosich, Doug Rohrbaugh, and Geoff Keffer). He also qualifies for the 2023 U.S. Senior Open and the 2024 PGA Championship. He will join a list of players that includes the likes of Ken Krieger, Blaine Hale, and Hayden Springer.

4. Jonathan Kaye

Jonathan Kaye is a Denver, Colorado native who was a standout for the University of Colorado golf team. He was a solid finisher for the Buffaloes and has had a good start to his professional career. He won a couple of times as an amateur and has also played on the PGA Tour in the past.

He’s in the final stage of Q school this week at TPC Sawgrass and the Dye and Sawgrass Country Clubs. It’s the first time in a decade that PGA Tour cards will be on the line at this event. Harrison Endycott won the final stage with a 15-under total and earned a full card.

Kaye will play with a field of players who have advanced through the pre-qualifying, first qualifying and second qualifying stages. They will compete in four rounds over two courses — the Dye and the Sawgrass Country Club. The top five and ties will earn a PGA Tour card for 2024.

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