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Former CSU golfer Yates opens with 70 in final stage of Korn Ferry Q-school

By Gary Baines – 12/12/2019

None of the players with strong Colorado connections competing in the final stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-school this week finished day 1 in the top 40, which is what will be necessary to secure guaranteed tour starts in the 2020 season.

But there’s still three rounds remaining to see how things will play out in Winter Garden, Fla.

Former Colorado State University golfer Colton Yates shot a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday and shares 56th place out of the 154-man field to lead the way for the local contingent. 

Michael Schoolcraft of Denver posted a 1-over-par 73, while former Fort Collins resident Tom Whitney shot a 2-over 73 at a different course. Whitney, a former Air Force Academy golfer, already has conditional status on the KF Tour locked up by virtue of finishing second on the 2019 PGA Tour Latinoamerica money list, but is hoping to improve that status this week.

Yates, who concluded his CSU career in 2018, made three birdies and one bogey en route to his 70, which leaves him five strokes behind co-leaders Tag Ridings (7-under-par 64) and former NCAA individual champion Braden Thornberry (7-under 65).

The medalist this week will be fully exempt for the entire 2020 season on the Korn Ferry Tour. Those finishing second through 10th and ties will be exempt for at least the first dozen events of next year. And those who place 11th through 40th and ties will earn starts in at least the first eight tournaments of 2020.

Here are the scores for all the Q-school finalists with strong Colorado ties:

56. Former CSU golfer Colton Yates 70 (-2)

112. Denver resident Michael Schoolcraft 73 (+1)

130. Former Fort Collins resident and Air Force Academy golfer Tom Whitney 73 (+2)

For all the scores from the final stage, CLICK HERE.