The Duda Report: 2014 Q-School Finals, Part #8

PGA West TPC Stadium Course Hole 17


For me, Round 4 of the 2014 Q-School Finals was a pressure-packed day filled with stretches of brilliant play and 180-degree swings of emotion.

PGA West TPC Stadium Course Hole 17Jake Scott played great for 13 holes. He was 5-under par on the day on the Stadium Course, putting for birdie on the 14 green. He had worked his way to -8 for the tournament. He got a tad bit aggressive on his birdie putt and missed the short par putt resulting in bogey 5. He followed that up with a sloppy double-bogey on 15 after pulling a 7 iron left. Jake rebounded by blasting a big drive and solid 3 wood to 10 yards short of the green at the 549 yard par-5 16th hole. It was a difficult pitch up a hill and over a mound to the front hole location. Jake’s pitch ran 15 feet above the hole. He got a little careless with his birdie putt down the hill and then rushed his 5 foot par putt and made a bogey 6. He managed to secure a par 3 at the ‘Alcatraz Island Green’ 17th (shown at left). His tee shot found the right rough at the tough 18. He stuck a solid 5 iron which came up 10 yards short of the green. He pitch ran 6 feet past the hole and he missed the putt for par finishing with an level par 72.

That round could only be described as an emotional roller coaster. We were both speechless and completely drained afterwards. We literally sat in the car silent for 10 minutes, shaking our heads in disbelief over what just occurred.

Could the mounting pressure of Q-School have something to do with his finish? I am not sure, but perhaps it did. Having caddied for Jake in events the past 7 years, it was extremely difficult to watch. Jake scratched and clawed his way to 6 birdies in the first 12 holes at the Stadium Course, only to have all of the shots he made up vanish into the California desert over the next 5 holes.

As a caddie, I felt helpless as there is nothing you can physically do to assist your player. I could only try to get him in the proper state of mind to hit his next shot. I feel that some of the burden of this finish falls upon my shoulders for being a poor excuse of a psychologist.

Hopefully we can learn from this experience and come back strong the final two rounds. I have no question in my mind that Jake will bounce back strong today, as he is quite resilient. We are over at the Nicklaus Tournament Course today and are paired with our good friend Adam Mitchell at 9:50 am. We just need to limit our mistakes and capitalize on many of the birdie putts that will be available.

The other NEOH boys are right in the thick of things too. Justin Lower made a whopping seven birdies and one bogey in route to a 66 (-6) on the Stadium Course. Shooting 66 on the Stadium Course is phenomenal play! He advanced himself 41 spots and now sits just one shot outside the number in 49th place at -7.

Ryan Armour, playing the Nicklaus Tournament course, made 3 birdies and 4 bogeys posting a round of 73, for a four-round total of 10-under par. He is inside the number in 23rd place.

Low scores are out there on both courses, as was evidenced by the 64 shot in our group by Sam Saunders in Round 4 (Arnold Palmer’s grandson is a nice guy and he can really play). Plus there was the brilliant 66 shot by Justin.

Every player in the Q-School Finals earns some kind of exemption onto the Tour. But the higher a player finishes, the more starts he is likely to make and the more time he has during the 2014 season to solidify that status (complete details below). So the grind continues!




– Medalist and ties of the Tour Qualifying Tournament: exempt for the 2014 season and from periodic re-order.

– Finishers in 2nd through 10th Place and Ties: exempt until the third periodic re-order of the 2014 season.

– Finishers in 11th through 45th Place and Ties: exempt until the second periodic re-order of the 2014 season.

– Finishers in 46th Place and up: conditional status for the 2014 season, alternating with seventy-sixth through one hundredth (76-100) positions from the Tour Regular Season.


Follow Round 5 action here.


Derek DudaNortheast Ohio Golf contributor Derek Duda is working as professional caddie and greens reader for Jacob Scott this week in La Quinta, CA at the Finals of the 2014 PGA Tour Q-School. Derek will provide daily updates on his man plus Northeast Ohio natives Ryan Armour and Justin Lower as they make their way through six rounds of qualifying.

Watch Northeast Ohio Golf (or Twitter / Facebook) for these stories each day. Follow Derek on Twitter @GougeNCheque

Previous The Duda Report: 2014 Q-School Finals, Part #7
Next The Duda Report: 2014 Q-School Finals, Part #9