When his day began Friday, a 69 was the magic number for John Langhoff as the Pewaukee native teed off in the final round of Mackenzie Tour/PGA Tour-Canada Qualifying School at MIssion Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida.
When it ended, a 1-under-par 71 was good enough to get the former Hartland Arrowhead golfer conditional status north of the border. And some of the fringe benefits that go with it.
“If nothing else, it will make my Web.com (Tour) Monday (qualifiers) cheaper to enter,” Langhoff joked in a telephone interview, referring to the $350 entry fee for those with status on one of the PGA Tour’s developmental circuits vs. $450 for those without. “It’s all rather new to me; I’ve never had status. I don’t really know the ins and outs of it. From what I hear, with conditional status, you don’t get that many starts. We’ll see what it leads to.”
It was a memorable week for Langhoff, who got through the pre-qualifying for Web.com Tour Qualifying School last fall but failed to advance out of the first stage. He also missed qualifying for PGA Tour Latinoamerica earlier this year on the El Campeon Course at Mission Inn.
After grabbing a share of the lead with a 69 in Tuesday’s first round, Langhoff struggled in tough conditions and shot 76 in the second round. But he bounced back with a 72 in the third round and seemed poised for big things Friday after going par-birdie-birdie to start his round.
“I got off to a great start,” Langhoff said. “The front nine at this place is brutal. I thought if we could just coast through the front nine and get to that back nine, we’d be looking good.”
However, Langhoff bogeyed Nos. 5 and 7 -- a pair of tough par-4s -- and made the turn in even-par 36. After a par 5 at the 10th hole, Langhoff birdied the two other par-5s on the back nine (Nos. 14 and 17) around a bogey at the par-4 16th and missed the top 14 (and exempt status for the first six events through the first re-shuffle) by just two strokes at even-par 288.
American John Coultas shot a final-round 72 and won the qualifier with a 10-under 278 total. It took a score of 286 or better to earn at least six starts.
“My goal was a round starting with a six,” Langhoff said. “I figured a 69 or better would have done me a lot of good. And it would have; a 69 would have at least put me in a playoff for the status for the first six events. So it was less than what I wanted for the day.”
For the week, though, playing well enough to gain at least conditional status gives Langhoff confidence heading into the heart of the golf season. He will try to qualify for a Web.com Tour event in Savannah, Georgia at the end of the month and he’ll return home to Wisconsin in early May for U.S. Open local qualifying at Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells.
“I love those Web Mondays; you’re just one good round away from being in a Web.com Tour event,” Langholf said. “This is cool. It certainly feels good to have status on one of these tours.”