Williams Lake golfer Mitch Gillis missed advancing to stage two of the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School by a mere one stroke last week in California.
The 28-year-old Web.com Tour pro fired rounds of 73, 70, 77 and 71 over four rounds of golf during the first qualifying stage at the Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, CA. to finish tied for 20th in the field.
The top 18 players advanced to stage two.
Players who advance through all three stages of the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School earn their PGA professional cards for the following year.
“My short game is what held me back from scoring better during my first two rounds,” Gillis told the Tribune.
“I shot 73, 70 in good conditions but failed to make putts and capitalize on my opportunities while each of my mistakes cost me.
“It was a bad combination and put me four strokes out of qualifying after two rounds.”
Round three, Gillis said, was pounded by 65-kilometre-per-hour winds.
“I am normally a great wind player and I did strike the ball well but again I failed to make a few key par putts and missed the few birdie opportunities I had,” he said.
Heading into the final day Gillis sat about four strokes back of a qualifying spot and needed to put a strong fourth round together.
“I played very solid all day and found a way to roll in five birdie putts but an untimely bogey on 17 dropped me back to one under par for the round and I intimately missed qualifying,” he said.
“I can’t blame my 17th hole on the final round as the reason for not qualifying.
“But instead it was the missed putts and missed birdies during my early rounds that put me too far behind the field.”