Coloradan Shane Bertsch becomes fully exempt on 2024 PGA Tour Champions with third-place finish at Q-school; former CU golfer Jonathan Kaye places 12th and Micah Rudosky of Cortez 26th
By Gary Baines – 12/8/2023
Shane Bertsch had fairly good status for the 2024 PGA Tour Champions schedule following a 2023 season in which he finished 39th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings and 43rd in money winnings.
But the Parker resident wasn’t fully exempt, so he entered the final stage of Q-school in an attempt to rectify that matter.
And, after Friday’s final round at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, it’s mission accomplished for the 1998 winner of the Colorado Open.
With the top five finishers in the event being fully exempt into all open, full-field events in 2024 for PGA Tour Champions, Bertsch tied for third place in Scottsdale.
“It feels good to have full-exempt next to my name,” Bertsch said. “I was in pretty good shape coming in, but the bottom line is, I was trying to improve my position. So I’m really happy and proud of what I’ve done.”
Bertsch, who won in his second start on the Champions circuit (at the 2020 Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge), shot rounds of 65-66-70-69 for a 14-under-par total at Q-school. He finished six strokes behind medalist Cameron Percy.
Four of the five Champions card earners are Australian — with Bertsch being the exception. The others — besides Percy — are Michael Wright, Steve Allan and David Bransdon.
Over four rounds, Bertsch carded 24 birdies and 10 bogeys.
The 53-year-old Denver native has competed in 82 official Champions events since 2020, recording seven top-10 finishes and earning $1.95 million. His best showing this year was a fourth place at the TimberTech Championship, the season finale a month ago.
As for the other players with strong Colorado connections competing at the final stage of Q-school, former University of Colorado golfer Jonathan Kaye (a two-time winner on the PGA Tour) tied for 12th place at 11 under par, while Micah Rudosky of Cortez, winner of the last three Colorado PGA Professional Championships, shared 26th place at 7 under.
Players finishing sixth through 30th will be eligible to apply for PGA Tour Champions Associate Membership for 2024, giving them the chance to enter weekly qualifiers for Champions events.
For all the scores from the final stage of Champions Q-school, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com