Three local players earn 2012 PGA Tour cards

Will Claxton, Kevin Kisner and Vaughn Taylor each earned their PGA Tour cards for the 2012 season with their play today in the final round of the final stage of Q-School in La Quinta, Calif.


For Kisner and Taylor, earning fully-exempt status for next season is a bit of redemption. Each player fell outside of the top 125 on the money list this year and lost their tour card.

"Once you're out there and get a taste of it, you don't want to give it up," Kisner said by cell phone. "I'm looking forward to going out there next year and hanging out with a few friends."

Kisner of Aiken rebounded from a fourth-round 75 with 69 on Sunday and found himself just inside the cut line in a tie for 24th to start the final round. Kisner shot 5-under on the front nine and carded 67 to climb into a tie for 11th.

Taylor of Evans fired an opening 65 and followed with rounds of 72-69-73-70-69. At 14-under, Taylor finished tied for fifth, three shots behind winner Brendon Todd. Kisner and Todd represented half of the Georgia Bulldog contingent to earn 2012 PGA Tour cards, along with Brian Harman and Harris English.

Claxton, a Swainsboro High graduate who played collegiate golf at Auburn, entered as a six-year veteran of the NGA Pro Golf Tour. He opened the final stage of Q-School with 64 and led after each of the first four rounds. Claxton fell into a tie for fifth after carding 75 on Sunday. In the final round, he posted 73 to tie for 18th place.

Because Roberto Castro and Mark Anderson earned their PGA Tour cards by finishing in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list  - they entered Q-School looking to improve their respective status - they did not count among the top 27 players and ties receiving PGA Tour cards for next season.

Augusta's Scott Parel finished tied for 30th after carding 74 in windy conditions. He missed getting his PGA Tour card by 1 shot. Parel will have fully-exempt status on the Nationwide Tour.

Aiken native Matt Hendrix finished tied for 129th. He will have conditional status on the Nationwide Tour next season.