Wednesday, November 20, 2013


By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona– Wes Short, junior, Jeff Freeman, Doug Garwood and Bill Glasson all carded 7-under 64s to share the first-round lead at the 2013 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament at TPC Scottsdale.
With conditions ideal for scoring, Short started the event with a five-foot eagle putt on his first hole (par-5 10th) and then added five more birdies on his next 10 holes. The Austin, Texas resident then posted seven consecutive pars to close his round. A winner of the 2005 Michelin Championship at Las Vegas on the PGA TOUR, Short has had lingering back problems over the last three years and played on the 2013 PGA TOUR on a Major Medical Extension. He made the cut at the 2013 Shell Houston Open, his first on the PGA TOUR since 2007.
“I hit it close four times over the first eight holes and it was nice to start off with an eagle," said Short, who turns 50 on Dec. 4. "I then made a 30-footer for birdie at No. 18 and another 30-footer for birdie at the second hole. It was just a perfect day to play and if you kept the ball in play off the tee, you were going to have short irons into these holes. It’s a four-day event and I need to keep playing like I did today.”
Garwood, who played just five tournaments on the Champions Tour this year after turning 50 in late March, finished T2 at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and T7 in his debut on the circuit at The Principal Charity Classic. He came in to the event nursing an injury to his rib cage, but it didn’t seem to bother him on Tuesday. The two-time All-America selection from Fresno State who played three full seasons on the Tour, made eight birdies and also had a three-putt bogey on his round.

“I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to play today, but I took three Advils this morning and was good," Garwood said. "When you have conditions like this, you can make lots of birdies and I was able to do that. It was nice to get off to this kind of a start, especially how I was feeling coming in here.”
Glasson, a winner of seven PGA TOUR titles, used a pair of eagles on both of the par-5s on the back nine to also get in at 7-under for the day. He’s trying to achieve fully exempt status for next season after finishing 33rd on the 2013 money list with $459,277. Like Glasson, Freeman, the 2011 Q-School medalist and a conditionally-exempt player in 2013 after a T8 performance at last fall’s National Qualifying Tournament, went bogey-free on his round, opening his day with birdies on four of his first five holes.
There will be no cut in the 72-hole qualifier. At the end of four rounds, the top-five finishers earn fully-exempt status through the re-order in the 2014 season, while the next seven players will be conditionally exempt. In addition, the top-30 finishers and ties will be eligible to compete for spots in open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events on the Champions Tour in 2014.

Q-School Notes:
A total of 23 former PGA TOUR/Champions Tour winners are entered in this year’s 78-man field, including 1996 U.S Open champion Steve Jones as well as both Joe Daley and Eduardo Romero, past major championship winners on the Champions Tour…Gene Jones, the 2012 Champions Tour Q-School medalist and a co-medalist at the 2007 Q-School, shot a three-under-par 68 and is T20… Robert Thompson, who was the medalist at this tournament in 2008, was a late addition into the field as the only alternate on site when Pat Stephens was unable to play due to gout. Thompson shot a one-under 70 and is T42… Steen Tinning of Denmark, who is second on the 2013 European Senior Tour Order of Merit, opened with an even-par 71. Tinning played last week in Taiwan at the Fubon Senior Open



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