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SAN JACINTO, Calif. — It's tough to tell if Dan Woltman has become more cynical or skeptical in his advanced age (he turned 33 this week), but the former University of Wisconsin golfer was dishing up a little of each Friday afternoon as he got set to leave the Golf Club at Soboba Springs.

There was a lot to like about how his final round of the first stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School went. He made three birdies on each side of bogeys at Nos. 7 and 9, shot a 4-under-par 68 (his best round of the week) and finished the 72-hole audition at 8-under 280 total, which seemed as if it would be good enough for the Beaver Dam native to advance to Stage 2.

Woltman, however, still wasn't convinced.  

"I hit two good putts on (Nos.) 17 and 18," Woltman said of the two birdie tries he was hoping to convert to eliminate any doubt. "Both just wiggled off. Both of them hit the edge and just didn't go in. It's a frustrating way to finish. Thankfully, I made a couple of birdies on that back nine. I made two really bad bogeys on (Nos.) 7 and 9 making the turn. At the start of the day, I thought 67 was the number. I treated it as a Monday qualifier and said 'Just go be aggressive. You've got to shoot 67 or better. I shot 68. I don't know."

The four-time Wisconsin State Open champion does know disappointment.

When he passed through these parts a year ago for the second stage of what was then known as Web.com Tour Q-School, Woltman fired a final-round 67 down the road at Bear Creek Country Club in Murrieta and received a lot of slaps on the back for his 8-under-par showing over the final 36 holes. But he did not receive a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the PGA Tour's top developmental tour. The top 18 plus ties would have advanced, but this time there would be no ties — just Woltman sitting alone in 19th place, arguably the loneliest feeling he has experienced in his 10-year professional career.

This time, the news was much happier for Woltman.

He made the cut on the number and will get another crack at second stage next month at a site yet to be determined. This qualifying site was awarded 23 berths to the second stage and Woltman tied for 23rd with three other golfers for the last of what proved to be 26 survivors at Soboba Springs.

Unfortunately for Green Bay's Ricky Hearden — Wisconsin's other entrant in the 76-player field — he got a taste of the disappointment Woltman felt last year. He shot a final-round 70 and his 6-under 282 total left him two shots short of joining Woltman at 8-under and in the second of the three stages — the latter being the one that affords golf rising starts the most benefits.

"I played well," said Hearden, 29, who has survived the first stage just once in six tries (in 2014). "I just didn't make it. You saw it. I didn't make a putt outside of three feet. I was struggling to get anything going."

Hearden, who had never played with Woltman before they were paired in the same group Friday, thought there might be one more comeback in him after he pulled off the shot of the day on the 13th hole. He bombed his drive down the right side of the fairway on the 425-yard, par-4 only to have the ball bound into an area of desert-scape where it drew a good lie just ahead of a small bush. Hearden took a steep swing at it and managed to stop his approach a few feet from the cup, setting up a short birdie try that got him back to even-par for the day.

Despite birdies on both par-5s coming in (Nos. 15 and 18), however, Hearden would come up two shots short. It would have been a one-shot margin — or maybe a totally different story altogether — had his drive on No. 18 making the turn Thursday not been gobbled up by a palm tree, forcing Hearden to take a one-stroke penalty for a lost ball on a day when he still shot 67.

"I hit it about as well as anyone could hit it (Thursday)," Hearden said. "I hit it inside 15 feet way too many times to count. (Thursday), 5-under was as high as I could have possibly shot. I lost a ball in the tree, which was a foot left of where I hit it (Friday) on No. 18 and I had a 9-iron in. But there wasn't much of a difference (Friday). I felt good out there. I was proud of myself. I was super, super calm. I was very, very focused. I was nervous as heck all day (Friday), which was cool. That's why you play. I had three bad shots (Friday) and, other than that, it was pretty flawless."

While Hearden was left to figure out where he will play in 2020 (and how he will pay for those opportunities), Woltman felt fortunate to avoid that same crossroads. He has made a handsome salary the past two years on the state open circuit in the upper Midwest, but his personal bar is set much higher.

 "The way I've played golf this year, my game is way better than last year; I think I finished in the top five in just about everything I played all summer," said Woltman, at a loss to explain why he struggled to the tune of 13 bogeys over four days at Soboba Springs. "To come here and have a week like this, I didn't see it coming. But that's golf. Everyone who plays it knows that things can compound and you can have some bad days. Unfortunately, I had a couple bad ones this week. I don't want to take away from anything else I play in, but this is the most important week of the entire year."

As Woltman headed toward his sister's place in Santa Monica with his father Bryan, who caddied for him this week, to wait for all of the scores to be posted, Woltman admitted his future.

"It's not fun," Woltman said of the waiting game that ensued. "This is my job and hopefully I can continue this as my job after (Friday). ... People everyday go to work and get a paycheck. They know if they do well and perform well, they're going to get promotions and get raises. This is our only shot to get a promotion.

"Overall, it was a very frustrating week for me. I made 13 bogeys in four rounds and I pride myself on not making mistakes. I made a boatload this week. It is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it now, obviously. Hopefully, I'm at a second-stage site in a couple weeks. If not, I don't know what's next."


POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
R3
R4
STROKES
 
QUALIFIERS (26)
1
Arrow Up
 1
David Gazzolo  Riverside, CA-20F-571656567268 
2
Arrow Down
 1
David Kim  Buena Park, CA-19F-267627070269 
3-Morgan Deneen  Conway, SC-18F-668696766270 
T4
Arrow Up
 3
Matt Picanso  Vista, CA-16F-670716566272 
T4
Arrow Down
 1
Jared Sawada  Mililani, HI-16F-470666868272 
6-Theo Humphrey  Tequesta, FL-15F-468696868273 
7
Arrow Down
 4
Lincoln Tighe  Australia-14F-269696670274 
8
Arrow Up
 9
Brady Calkins  Chehalis, WA-13F-669707066275 
T9
Arrow Down
 2
Mitch Carlson  Las Vegas, NV-12F-267697070276 
T9
Arrow Down
 2
Bryan Hogan  Richmond, TX-12F-270686870276 
T11
Arrow Up
 17
Cole Madey  West Linn, OR-11F-677716366277 
T11
Arrow Up
 11
Brent Grant  Murrieta, CA-11F-571706967277 
T11
Arrow Up
 3
Michael Feuerstein  La Jolla, CA-11F-269696970277 
T14
Arrow Up
 23
Johnny De Los Reyes  Sacramento, CA-10F-771677565278 
T14-Chris Crisologo  Canada-10F-169687071278 
T14
Arrow Down
 7
Joseph Harrison  Boulder City, NV-10FE71666972278 
T14
Arrow Down
 7
Kyle Karazissis  Indian Wells, CA-10FE71657072278 
T14
Arrow Down
 7
Alex Kang  Las Vegas, NV-10FE65736872278 
T19
Arrow Up
 3
Tyler Torano  Chula Vista, CA-9F-371687169279 
T19
Arrow Up
 3
Hayden Shieh  Fremont, CA-9F-372677169279 
T19
Arrow Up
 3
Daniel Miernicki  Santee, CA-9F-370707069279 
T19
Arrow Down
 5
Ryan Ellerbrock  Chula Vista, CA-9FE70696872279 
T23
Arrow Up
 10
Dan Woltman  Beaver Dam, WI-8F-472697168280 
T23
Arrow Up
 10
Richard Lee  Phoenix, AZ-8F-472697168280 
T23
Arrow Up
 5
Bruce Doucett  Coto De Caza, CA-8F-376666969280 
T23
Arrow Up
 5
Chris French  Loves Park, IL-8F-375706669280 
DID NOT QUALIFY
T27
Arrow Up
 6
Otto Vanhatalo  San Diego, CA-7F-371707169281 
T27
Arrow Up
 1
Sean Meehan  San Antonio, TX-7F-272687170281 
T27
Arrow Down
 5
David Bradshaw  Encinitas, CA-7F-169746771281 
T27
Arrow Down
 20
Manav Shah  Bakersfield, CA-7F+369677075281 
T31
Arrow Up
 6
James Back  La Palma, CA-6F-371707269282 
T31
Arrow Up
 6
Matt Nagy  Buena Vista, GA-6F-374726769282 
T31
Arrow Up
 2
Ricky Hearden  Phoenix, AZ-6F-271746770282 
T31
Arrow Down
 14
David Sanders  Mt. Laurel, NJ-6F+169707073282 
T31
Arrow Down
 14
Chad Hambright  Lake Elsinore, CA-6F+172677073282 
T36
Arrow Up
 1
Derek Ackerman  Half Moon Bay, CA-4F-172736871284 
T36
Arrow Down
 8
Minwook Gwon  Torrance, CA-4F+168717273284 
T36
Arrow Up
 13
Jaekyeong Lee  South Korea-4F-479716668284 
T36
Arrow Down
 19
Mark Anguiano  Whittier, CA-4F+372667175284 
T36
Arrow Down
 19
Mathias Dahl  Sweden-4F+366717275284 
T41
Arrow Down
 4
Ben Doyle  Scottsdale, AZ-3FE75706872285 
T41
Arrow Up
 3
Bart George  Arnold, MD-3F-174697171285 
T41
Arrow Up
 3
Cole Nygren  Longmont, CO-3F-170697571285 
T44
Arrow Down
 7
Ben Briscoe  San Clemente, CA-2F+168737273286 
T44
Arrow Up
 2
Andrew Levitt  Ladera Ranch, CA-2F-176706971286 
T46-Jesse Heinly  Portland, OR-1FE74677472287 
T46
Arrow Down
 24
Grant Booth  Reno, NV-1F+568717177287 
T46
Arrow Up
 11
Redford Bobbitt  Las Vegas, NV-1F-477717168287 
T46
Arrow Up
 18
Daniel Im  La Mirada, CA-1F-672767366287 
T50
Arrow Down
 1
Matt Cowgill  Weston, MAEFE72707472288 
T50
Arrow Down
 1
Joe Cooper  Irvine, CAEFE75707172288 
T50
Arrow Up
 6
Jay Hwang  Fullerton, CAEF-278726870288 
T53
Arrow Down
 16
Raoul Menard  Canada+1F+474716876289 
T53
Arrow Down
 4
Chris Killmer  Bellingham, WA+1F+167727773289 
T53
Arrow Up
 1
Sarosh Adi  Plano, TX+1FE76687372289 
56
Arrow Up
 8
Roy Cootes  Rolling Hills, CA+2F-380707169290 
T57
Arrow Down
 8
Matthew Pinizzotto  Salinas, CA+3F+373697475291 
T57-Jerry Chen  Rancho Cucamonga, CA+3FE72737472291 
T57-Christian Rajcic  Ramona, CA+3FE71697972291 
T60
Arrow Down
 3
Ryan Gronlund  Pleasanton, CA+4F+175747073292 
T60
Arrow Up
 1
Dylan Crowley  Studio City, CA+4FE72767272292 
T60
Arrow Up
 7
Cory McElyea  Santa Cruz, CA+4F-276747270292 
T63
Arrow Down
 9
Danny List  Seattle, WA+5F+474746976293 
T63
Arrow Down
 2
Blake Collyer  Australia+5F+174707673293 
T63
Arrow Up
 4
J.J. Nevius  Mountainside, NJ+5F-178717371293 
T66
Arrow Down
 2
Mike McGilton  Las Cruces, NM+6F+174727573294 
T66
Arrow Up
 3
Eric Banks  Canada+6F-176757271294 
T68
Arrow Down
 22
Cody Hall (a)  Wildomar, CA+7F+873727080295 
T68
Arrow Down
 7
Michael Tolladay  Fresno, CA+7F+372727675295 
70-Andrew Bonner  Ripon, CA+8F-176757471296 
71
Arrow Down
 1
Kevin Larsen  Santa Barbara, CA+9FE74797272297 
DID NOT FINISH
WD-Matt Pridey  Corral De Tierra, CA+7        
WD-Christopher Tuulik  San Diego, CA+9        
WD-Johnny Partridge  Fairfax, CA+10        
WD-Han Seop Lee (a)  Chino Hills, CA+15        
WD-Derrick Williams  Riverside, CA+15        

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