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Kerry Collins, Published August 04 2009

Schultz optimistic after rough Sunday

Dave Schultz had a horrible Sunday, but the sun still came up on Monday, and things are still looking pretty bright for the Fargo golfer.

Despite blowing a three-stroke lead going into the final round of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, Schulz’s weekend gave him a shot at more Nationwide Tour events – and more chances to get a PGA Tour card.

“What this week did was give my mindset a 180,” Schultz said. “I went from ‘I’ve only played in a few tournaments and I don’t have a lot of golf left’ to the complete other side.

“Now I’m thinking ‘There are a lot of tournaments left. This is awesome.’ It was still a good weekend.”

The top 25 on the Nationwide money list at the end of the season get a PGA Tour card for the following season.

The third-place finish launched Schultz from 157th in the money list up to 52nd, which means he’ll be eligible to play in the remainder of the Nationwide Tour events this season.

More importantly, it put him in the top 60 of the money list. The top 60 are eligible for the tour championship at the end of the season.

Being in the top 60 also gets him into the rest of the 11 remaining Nationwide events before the championship.

“Now instead of hoping to get into tournaments, I have to figure out which ones would be the best for me to go to,” Schultz said. “The key is getting into the tour championship, because that’s a big purse, and anything can happen.”

Schultz – who was the 11th alternate for last weekend’s tournament, but made the field – led every day going into the final round at Columbus. But bogeys on four of his first six holes sunk his chance for the win.

“I felt good, and I knew I didn’t want a slow start out of the blocks,” Schultz said. “Then those first six holes were like the perfect storm. Everything went wrong.”

If Schultz would’ve won the tournament, the pay day would’ve put him in the top 15 on the money list.

“It was a good weekend. It could’ve been a life-changing weekend, but it was still a good weekend,” Schultz said. “But being able to sleep with the lead for three days was a good experience, and I’ll have to use that to do better next time.

“Everybody goes through growing pains. I just went through mine on TV.”

Going from 11th alternate to a having a full slate the rest of the season has Schultz confident and poised to make a serious run at getting in the top 25.

“I didn’t even think I was going to be in Columbus at all,” Schulz said. “It sounds cliché when you say one week can change your whole year, but that’s what happened.

“This week made up for all that frustration of not getting into those other events.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.

Collins’ blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com