After striping a perfect drive down the 18th fairway, Henrik Norlander turned to his former Augusta State golf coach, Josh Gregory, his Q-School caddie, and asked where he stood.
Norlander was on the cut line, needing to avoid bogey to secure his PGA Tour card for 2013. With Norlander facing a 7-foot par putt, Gregory couldn’t watch.
He didn’t have anything to fear.
Norlander and Patrick Reed, former Jaguar All-Americans who helped lead Augusta State to back-to-back national titles in 2010-11 under Gregory’s guidance, came through in the clutch once again Monday. Norlander and Reed each shot 5-under-par 67 to finish tied for 22nd place in the final round of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The top 26 players received PGA Tour cards for 2013, while the next 60 received full status on the Web.com Tour.
“Selfishly, it’s as gratifying a moment in my career as I’ve ever had,” Gregory said. “It’s a pretty cool day for the Jaguars.”
Aiken’s Kevin Kisner shot 72 and finished tied for 27th, while Evans’ Vaughn Taylor, who has PGA Tour conditional status, posted 74 and tied for 43rd. Stephen Poole, of Aiken, finished tied for 114th, while Augusta’s Scott Parel (who is fully-exempt on the Web.com Tour for 2013) and North Augusta’s Scott Brown tied for 156th.
Reed, who played in 11 PGA Tour events in 2012 through a mix of sponsor’s exemptions and Monday qualifiers, delivered on another Monday. He opened his round with four birdies on the first five holes and climbed 24 spots to earn his card.
In his first full season in the pro ranks, Norlander finished 15th on the eGolf Tour’s money list with more than $45,000. Norlander matched Reed with closing rounds of 68-67 to join his teammate on the PGA Tour.
After their round, Norlander and Reed high-fived and embraced each other, a familiar sight for Gregory.
“They saw this week as an opportunity,” Gregory said. “Patrick had nothing to lose. And Henrik, in his mind, everything was a bonus. This is unbelievably incredible.”