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South Korean Wins PGA Tour's Final Q-School
Dong-hwan Lee, a 25-year-old from South Korea, closed with a 5-under 67 to win the PGA Tour's Qualifying Tournament. The grueling six-round endurance test took place for the last time at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
Next year, instead of the top-25 finishers in the traditional Q-School automatically getting a ticket to the big show, the new batch of "graduates" will come exclusively from the PGA Tour's developmental circuit, the Web.com Tour.
Lee, a two-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour who played in the 2012 U.S. Open but didn't make the cut, finished at 25-under 407, one stroke ahead of England's Ross Fisher and Steve LeBrun of Florida. The 32-year-old Fisher shot a 66 in Monday's final round while LeBrun had a 69.
Also securing a spot at the "big dance" are: Richard H. Lee, Billy Horschel, Kris Blanks, Erik Compton, Brad Fritsch, Jin Park, Fabian Gomez, Michael Letzig, Jeff Gove, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Robert Karlsson, Eric Meierdierks, Scott Langley, Aaron Watkins, Derek Ernst, Si Woo Kim, Tag Ridings, Donald Constable, Bobby Gates, Patrick Reed, Henrik Norlander and Chez Reavie.
Kim, at 17 years, five months and six days old, is the youngest player ever to qualify for the PGA Tour, supplanting Ty Tyron, who earned his card in 2001 at 17 years, six months and one day old. But the native of South Korea won't be able to play in any Tour events until June 28, 2013, when he turns 18. Therefore, Kim will be a non-member and can play in no more than 12 events on sponsor exemptions (with a maximum of seven), top-10 finishes or special exemptions.
Kim's manager has said Kim plans to play in the U.S. next year, either on the PGA or Web.com tours, but may request a hardship exemption for the 2013 season.
Among those who didn't qualify for next year are 2008 U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee of New Zealand; three-time Tour winner Camilo Villegas of Colombia; four-time winner Heath Slocum; former UCLA All-American Patrick Cantlay; 2003 PGA champion Shaun Micheel; and veterans Paul Stankowski, Tim Petrovic, Billy Hurley III, Daniel Chopra, Billy Mayfair, Glen Day and Rod Pampling.
For all the scoring details, visit http://www.pgatour.com/qschool/leaderboard/.