Nov. 20, 2002
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Former University of Virginia star golfer Cameron Yancey (Blackstone, Va.) has aced his first two exams and is ready to take the final.
Considered the toughest test in all of golf, the PGA Tour Qualifying "School" spans two months, three tournaments in three different states, and a total of 14 rounds of golf.
Yancey qualified for the Tour's Final Stage, set for December 4-9 at the PGA West Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course in La Quinta, Calif., by finishing tied for eighth last week at the PGA Tour Qualifying Second Stage in Kingwood, Texas. Yancey's 72 hole total of 5-under par (69-71-73-70-283) placed him two strokes below the cut which came at 3-under par, 285.
Notable players failing to advance to the final stage include former tour players Jim Gallagher, Brian Henninger, and David Edwards, former U.S. Amateur Champion Chris Patton, and former NCAA Player of the Year Bryce Molder.
"It's a huge accomplishment for Cameron," said Virginia head coach Mike Moraghan. "When you look at the list of players who are trying to earn, or keep their tour cards, the competition is fierce. They're all either former tour players, first team All-Americans or Walker Cuppers. But Cameron has proven many times that he belongs in that crowd. He is a great player who always rises to the occasion."
The 2001 Virginia graduate has been on a roll since earning his first paycheck as a professional at the Canadian Tour's Lewis Chitengwa Memorial last May. Yancey joined the Golden Bear Tour in the summer and won $49,180, including $28,177 for his victory in the St. Andrews Challenge in September.
His quest for PGA Tour playing privileges began at the First Stage in Pinehurst in October, when his six-under par total for 72 holes earned him third place of 81 players and a trip to stage two in Texas. A total of 156 players will battle it out over six rounds in La Quinta, with the low 35 earning their PGA Tour cards for 2003.
Yancey was one of six former Virginia golfers to enter the PGA Tour Qualifier this fall. James Driscoll ( 1997-00), Steve Marino (1999-02), Tom McKnight (1973-75), and Brian Quackenbush all missed the cut at the first stage. The 1996 ACC Player of the Year, Simon Cooke (1992-95) survived the first stage with a ninth-place finish in Pinehurst, but missed the cut at the second stage. Cooke will likely compete on the South African Tour, while Driscoll may compete in Australia. Marino, who recently won two tournaments on the Tar Heel Tour, McKnight and Quackenbush will compete on various winter tours in Florida.