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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 08 2009

Pro golf: Schultz misses PGA cutoff

The defeat in his voice was obvious and Dave Schultz said he’ll be better in a couple of days. After a breakthrough summer on the Nationwide Tour, Schultz came up short in the PGA Tour’s qualifying tournament Monday.

The Fargo South graduate finished the six-day event tied for 72nd with a 2-under-par 430 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The top 25 players earned their PGA Tour cards with the final spot shooting a 423.

“Pretty simply, I’m disappointed,” he said. “My goal coming in was to give myself a chance to make the PGA Tour on the last day and I didn’t get it done and that’s disappointing.”

Still, it was his best Q-school finish in the three years he’s played and he finished the year with full Nationwide status for next year. He’s eligible to play in every tournament for the first time in his career.

“I put in a lot of work and effort this year so I just have to keep grinding and keep going and trying to get better,” he said. “If I can laugh at anything, I can laugh that if I do get there, I know I didn’t take any shortcuts. It was a long week like finals always is.”

Schultz had rounds of 72-73-68-72-74-71. The highlight was the 4-under 68. The biggest downfall was a triple bogey

7 on the 14th hole in his fifth round.

“That hurt,” he said. “I fought really hard to get to 3 under through four rounds and I still thought I was in good shape. It changed the complexion for the rest of the tournament.”

He played the rest of the tourney in 2 under and after taking a short break, will gear up for next year’s Nationwide. His first tournament is in New Zealand in February.

This year, his first tourney was in May. He finished 33rd on the money list at $161,106. The top 25 money leaders also earn their PGA Tour cards for the following year.

“The great news is next year I absolutely can set my schedule the entire year,” Schultz said. “No matter what happens, I can pick and choose the tournaments on the Nationwide. It’s something I’ve never had before.”

The full 2010 schedule has yet to be released, but the Nationwide had 29 events this year. Schultz estimates the number of tourneys he’ll play in next year in the mid-20s.

“I need to be smart with it,” he said. “I played in 15 of 16 at the end of the year and I think I ran out of gas.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546