Ruaidhri McGee’s Korn Ferry Tour dream came to a crushing end with a disappointing final round at the Second Stage of Q-School at Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville, Florida.
The Derry man had put himself in an excellent position to potentially earn a place in the Final Stage qualifying event after a sensational seven-under 65 on day three, taking him just outside the top-19 which would progress.
But a two-over 74 on Friday ended any hopes of him producing a remarkable comeback, McGee ending the week at three-under overall and in a tie for 44th, six shots back of the cut mark.
Starting the final day at five-under, it would have needed a final round of four-under or better to get him into one of the qualifying places, which was not out of reach given McGee’s exploits on Thursday.
Seven straight pars was a solid way to start, and a birdie at the eighth suggested he was moving in the right direction moving into the back nine, but after the turn things began to go sideways.
Bogeys came at the 11th and 14th, which were cancelled out by birdies at 12 and 16 respectively, but three shots back of the cut mark playing the par-three 17th he was still in with an outside shot of making it through.
But it would be the penultimate hole that would be his ultimate downfall, a triple-bogey six consigning him to a 74, and it will be back to the drawing board for the Irishman for next season, who will now look to earn some playing rights in Europe for 2022.
The winner of the Second Stage was Ohio’s Alex Weiss, whose final round 66 gave him a three-shot victory at 20-under, although that provides him with no special privileges over any of the other 22 qualifiers that progressed from Florida.
Recognisable figures joining him in the next round include five-time PGA Tour winner Jonathan Byrd, who was second behind Weiss at 17-under, Erik Compton, Luke Guthrie and South Africa’s Brandon Stone.
Joining McGee in finishing shy of the required nine-under mark and assessing their next options are the likes of Jamie Lovemark, who started the day inside the cut mark but slumped to a closing 75 to miss out, John Merrick, Kevin Stadler and Spencer Levin.
Next week there are four more Second Stage qualifiers in Florida, New Mexico, Alabama and California, with the Final Stage to be held in Savannah, Georgia in the first week of November.
- Full scoring HERE
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