CHANDLER, Arizona — The pendulum of momentum and emotion can swing back-and-forth on every shot at a Qualifying School, but it looked like a flag flapping in the wind on Jordan Niebrugge's scorecard during Friday's second round of the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School at Whirlwind Golf Club.
The Mequon native made more birdies (eight) than pars (six) on the Cattail Course, scrambling to a 3-under-par 69 that — against the backdrop of a birdiefest that has been the first two rounds of the last of three legs of qualifying for the PGA Tour's developmental circuit — dropped him 22 spots into a tie for 36th at the halfway point of the 72-hole test of patience. At 9-under 135, Niebrugge is seven shots behind second-round leader Norman Xiong, whose 9-under 63 on the Devil's Claw Course to take a one-shot lead over three golfers into the weekend on the Gila River Indian Reservation.
The medalist or co-medalists will be fully exempt on the PGA Tour's top developmental tour in 2019. Those finishing second through 10th (plus ties) are guaranteed at least 12 starts while those finishing 11th through 40th (plus ties) are assured of at least eight starts.
Niebrugge started his round on No. 10 and went par-par-birdie-birdie to get to 8-under for the week. He gave one shot back with a bogey at No. 14, got it back with a birdie at the par-3 15th and parred his way to the turn.
In between back-to-back birdies to start and end the front nine, Niebrugge rode the proverbial rollercoaster on Nos. 3 through 7. He went bogey-birdie-par-bogey before making a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 seventh hole.
Through 36 holes, Niebrugge has hit 19 of 28 fairways (though just eight in the second round) and 27 of 36 greens. He has 15 birdies, 16 pars, four bogeys and one double-bogey in 36 holes.