McQuillan slips in PGA Q-School

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:04 AM ET

CALGARY - Matt McQuillan's second trip to the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School isn't following the same fairytale script as the first.

The golfer from Kingston, Ont., was one of the surprise stories of Q-School's Class of 2010, but he's now a definite longshot to earn a full-time PGA Tour card for the second consecutive year.

McQuillan made three double bogeys during Thursday's second round of the 108-hole entrance exam at PGA West Resort in La Quinta, Calif., struggling to a 9-over 81 that leaves him with a two-day tally of 11-over 155.

Although he's guaranteed conditional status for the upcoming season, McQuillan is a long ways back in the battle for full-time employment on the top tour. Alabama's Will Claxton owns the lead at 10-under 134 with four rounds to go.

For golf fans in the Great White North, there's plenty of positive news, too.

A record nine Canadians advanced to the final stage of Q-School, and five of them are still under-par through two rounds at gusty PGA West, where golfers are alternating between the Nicklaus Tournament and TPC Stadium courses.

The top-25 finishers, plus ties, at the six-day event will earn PGA Tour cards for the upcoming season, and three Canucks are currently inside the magic number.

Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., fired a 5-under 67 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course during Thursday's blustery second round, equalling the best score of the day and giving the former Nationwide Tour regular a two-round total of 5-under 139 and a share of 15th spot.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C. is also at 5-under after carding a 3-under 69 in Thursday's lap of the Nicklaus Tournament Course, while Stuart Anderson of Strathmore, Alta., is 4-under after back-to-back rounds of 70 and is tied for 21st.

Calgary's James Love and Richard Scott of Kingsville, Ont., are also in contention with two-day totals of 2-under 142.

Calgary's Ryan Yip slipped to even-par after a 4-over 76 in Thursday's trek around the TPC Stadium Course, while Mitch Gillis (4-over) of Williams Lake, B.C., and Vancouver's Richard T. Lee (10-over) both have to scroll further down the leaderboard to find their names.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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