2018 Web.com Tour Q-School | Day 2, Level 2 | Patrick Stolpe

Wisconsin natives Patrick Stolpe, left, of Oostburg, and Neil Johnson, of River Falls, have lived in Phoenix in recent years and were not eligible to qualify for the Wisconsin State Open. That restriction has changes with the Wisconsin PGA's recent decision to open qualifying to any golfer with a diploma from a Wisconsin high school or college.

MURRIETA, California — Dan Woltman knows there is a low round out there this week at Bear Creek Country Club. In fact, he was witness to one Wednesday during the second round of the second stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying School.

Unfortunately for the former University of Wisconsin golfer, the 9-under-par 63 that sent a buzz through Rickie Fowler's home course belonged to his playing partner, Armando Favela. The lefty from Chula Vista, California, moved to the front of the pack at 13-under 131 and owned a two-shot lead over former UCLA golfer Lorens Chan, whose 64 got him to 11-under 133.

"He putted well," Woltman said of Favela, who had seven birdies and an eagle in his bogey-free round. "He said he got a putting lesson about a month ago and he's been playing really well since then. He won an event two weeks ago and qualified last week for (the PGA Tour) Mayakoba (Classic in November). ... He hit a lot of fairways and hit a lot of greens and made a lot of putts."

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? But golf didn't come so easy Wednesday for the four golfers with Wisconsin ties in the 71-golfer field competing for 18 berths in the final stage for the PGA Tour's top developmental tour.

Oostburg native Patrick Stolpe, a 37-year-old who now calls Phoenix home, turned in the best round of the quartet with a 3-under-par 69. That boosted him into a tie for 15th place at 3-under 141 with 36 holes remaining.

"Everything was a little more comfortable," Stolpe said after making seven birdies and an eagle in his first trip to the second stage in four or five tries  at Web.com Tour qualifying. "I putted a little better today. I kept the ball in play and hit the driver well. ... I just need to keep doing what I'm doing."

Mequon's Jordan Niebrugge kept doing what he was doing during an opening 66, finding fairways and hitting greens. As many putts as he made one day earlier, Niebrugge burned as many lips during his second-round 72, an even-par round that featured one birdie, one bogey and — count 'em — 16 pars.

"I felt like I hit an edge on every, single hole," Niebrugge said after reaching the halfway point tied for sixth at 6-under 138. "I played well. I hit it a little worse than (Tuesday), but I had a lot of great opportunities on the greens. I just seemed to hit a lot of edges, but had a lot of tap-in pars, which is good."

If there are, indeed, good 72s and bad 72s, River Falls' Neil Johnson has one of each after two trips around the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear Creek layout.

Johnson started on No. 10 and birdied both par-5s on the back nine to make the turn in 2-under. He made eight pars and one double-bogey — the tough, par-4 fifth for the second day in a row — to remain in a tie for 30th place.

"It's a bad 72," Johnson said. "I made nothing (Wednesday). I had a couple violent lip-outs early and got beat by both guys I played with. It was bad.

"It was frustrating to walk off with 72 with the chances I had and the putts I (missed). ... Just lipped out a couple early. A couple mis-reads and it feels like it's horrible, a 72. I still believe what I said (Tuesday); I get more comfortable with greens as I go on in tournaments. Eventually, the putts will fall."

That's the hope to which Woltman is clinging after seeing Favela make his fair share in his 68-63 start. After a stellar summer in which he won four state open tournaments, including the Wisconsin State Open for the third time, the Beaver Dam native has inexplicably struggled with his ball-striking and has rounds of 73-74 to show for it and a lot of work to do the final two rounds.

"I made six bogeys," said Woltman, who went 93 holes without one at the height of his state open run this past summer. "It was a grind. It didn't go my way. I played with a guy that shot 9-under-par, shot 63. So it's out there.

"But my game is not where it needs to be, unfortunately. We're only halfway home. There's still two more rounds, but things need to change quickly."

IN CONTENTION - Qualifiers: 18  Alternates: 0
1Armando Favela  Chula Vista, CA-9F-136863  131 
2Lorens Chan  Los Angeles, CA-8F *-116964  133 
3Brett Coletta  Australia-4F *-86868  136 
T4Norman Xiong  Las Vegas, NV-4F *-76968  137 
T4MJ Maguire  St. Petersburg, FL-3F *-76869  137 
T6David Gazzolo  Riverside, CA-2F *-66870  138 
T6Matt Campbell  Clifton Park, NY-5F-67167  138 
T6Cody Blick  Alamo, CA-6F-67266  138 
T6Jordan Niebrugge  Mequon, WIEF-66672  138 
T10Jonny Baxter  Pleasanton, CA-4F-57168  139 
T10J. Creel  Cheyenne, WY-2F-56970  139 
T12Byron Meth  Tempa, AZ-4F-47268  140 
T12Steven Alker  Fountain Hills, AZ-1F-46971  140 
T12Harrison Endycott  Australia-3F *-47169  140 
T15Patrick Stolpe  Oostburg, WI-3F *-37269  141 
T15Jamie Sadlowski  Canada-1F *-37071  141 
T15Manav Shah  Bakersfield, CA+3F *-36675  141 
T15Zach Foushee  Lake Oswego, OR-2F-37170  141 
T15John Oda  Las Vegas, NV+1F-36873  141 
T15Timothy Madigan  Las Cruces, NM-3F *-37269  141 
T15David Mathis  Wake Forest, NC-4F-37368  141 
T22Seann Harlingten  CanadaEF *-27072  142 
T22Yikeun Chang  Hacienda Heights, CA+2F-26874  142 
T22Nick Flanagan  San Antonio, TX-4F *-27468  142 
T22Richard Lee  Phoenix, AZ-1F-27171  142 
T26Johnny Ruiz  Camarillo, CAEF-17172  143 
T26Benjamin Alvarado  Chile-1F-17271  143 
T26Brock Mackenzie  Scottsdale, AZ+2F *-16974  143 
T26Chris Williams  Moscow, ID-2F *-17370  143 
T30Neil Johnson  River Falls, WIEF *E7272  144 
T30Dusty Fielding  Richfield, UT+7F *E6579  144 
T30S.J. Park  La Habra, CA+2FE7074  144 
T30Steve Allan  Scottsdale, AZ-1FE7371  144 
T34Curtis Yonke  Olathe, KS+2F+17174  145 
T34Eric McCardle  Las Vegas, NV-1F+17471  145 
T34Denzel Ieremia (a)  Ames, IA-5F+17867  145 
T34Riley Wheeldon  Canada+2F+17174  145 
T34Michael Putnam  University Place, WA-6F *+17966  145 
T34Chris Killmer  Bellingham, WA-1F+17471  145 
T40Yannik Paul  Phoenix, AZ+2F *+27274  146 
T40Edward Olson  Aptos, CA+1F *+27373  146 
T40Andres Gonzales  Lakewood, WA+5F *+26977  146 
T43Zane Thomas  Las Vegas, NV+3F+37275  147 
T43Zahkai Brown  Golden, CO+3F+37275  147 
T43Benjamin Campbell  New Zealand+2F+37374  147 
T43Daniel Woltman  Beaver Dam, WI+2F+37374  147 
T47Justin Keiley  Haiku, HI+5F+47177  148 
T47Juan Diego Fernandez  Paradise Valley, AZ-1F *+47771  148 
T47Kaleb Gorbahn  Reno, NV+2F+47474  148 
T47Mathias Dahl  Sweden+4F+47276  148 
T47Jimmy Gunn  Mesa, AZ+6F *+47078  148 
T47Mark Hensby  Scottsdale, AZ+5F *+47177  148 
T47Blair Hamilton  Canada+1F+47573  148 
T47Ted Purdy  Phoenix, AZ+3F *+47375  148 
T55Bart George  Arnold, MD+1F+57673  149 
T55Ryan Williams  Phoenix, AZ+3F+57475  149 
T55Alex Springer  Stilwell, KSEF *+57772  149 
T55Skyler Finnell  Carmel, CA+2F+57574  149 
T55Sebastian Saavedra  Argentina+3F *+57475  149 
60Jay Hwang  Fullerton, CA+3F+67575  150 
T61Myles Lewis  New Orleans, LA+1F *+77873  151 
T61Ben Geyer  Arbuckle, CA+2F+77774  151 
T61Alex Franklin  San Rafael, CA+4F *+77576  151 
T61Robbie Greenwell  Canada+1F+77873  151 
T61Jin Zhang  Temecula, CA+2F *+77774  151 
T61Brad Adamonis  Coral Springs, FL+4F *+77576  151 
67Andre Metzger  Scottsdale, AZ+5F *+87577  152 
68Nahum Mendoza III  Chula Vista, CA+2F *+97974  153 
T69Rhett Rasmussen (a)  Draper, UT+1F *+118273  155 
T69Jonathan Sanders  Chatsworth, CA+2F *+118174  155 
71Redford Bobbitt  Las Vegas, NV+12F *+127284  156


Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.