The PGA Tour Champions had five tour cards for 2024 up for grabs at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course this week.
The final stage of Q School for the senior circuit provided 78 golfers 72 holes to snag status for next season.
By Friday, 73 of those golfers came up short, including Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz (dead last by eight shots at 22 over), 72-year-old Dick Mast (who shot or beat his age two times this week), Notah Begay, Shaun Micheel, Ted Purdy, Carlos Franco and Bryan Hoops, the lone amateur in the field who missed out on a playoff by a stroke.
All is not lost for those who finished sixth through 30th, as they will be eligible to apply for PGA Tour Champions Associate Membership for 2024, which would then get them into qualifiers.
But for those lucky top five, they are now fully exempt into all open, full-field events for the 2024 season on the PGA Tour Champions.
Here’s a closer look at what turned out to be an Aussie takeover, with Australian golfers earning four of the five cards.
Percy shot 65-66-66-67, finishing the week at 20 under and winning by five shots to leave no doubt. The victory earned him $30,000. Percy will turn 50 on May 5, 2024.
Australia’s Michael Wright shot a third-round 63 to get into 10th place after 54 holes. On his final hole in the final round Friday, he holed out from a dirt lie for an all-world birdie, closing with a 66 and vaulting to solo second.
Last hole of Champions Q-school, Michael Wright was tied for second. Hit it into a bad spot in desert and chipped out to here.
Then this happened…. pic.twitter.com/88QsJmWR1j
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) December 8, 2023
He won $20,000 for his work this week at Q School.
Steve Allan, like Percy and Wright a native of Australia, shot 68-66-65-71 to finish 14-under 203 and tie for third.
Allan hasn’t played a full schedule of pro golf since 2017 when he entered 20 tournaments on the Korn Ferry Tour. He played 17 events in 2009 on the PGA Tour. He’s yet to play a Champions event as he turned 50 in October.
Shane Bertsch shot 65-66-70-69 for a four day total of 14-under 270 to finish tied for third. Bertsch has 82 starts on the Champions tour with one victory, the 2020 Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge. He was 39th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings in 2023 with just two top-10s.
David Bransdon outlasted Wes Short, Jr., of the U.S. and Raphael Jacquelin of France in a 3-for-1 playoff to nab the fifth and final tour card for 2024. He also gives Australia four of the five card-winners from this year’s Q School.
Bransdon has only appeared in two PGA Tour events and nine Korn Ferry Tour events. He’s never played in a Champions event. He does have 114 starts on the DP World Tour, where he has just four top-10s. At Q School, he posted scores of 69-70-65-67 to get into the playoff.