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Gearing Up

Hallberg starts with 69, Bertsch 70 at final stage of PGA Tour Champions Q-school

By Gary Baines – 12/03/2019

The task is formidable this week at the final stage of PGA Tour Champions Q-school in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Seventy-eight players teed it up on Tuesday for the first round of the 72-hole event. On Friday, the top five golfers will leave with fully-exempt spots on the Champions circuit in 2020. And that’s after many of the contestants previously advanced through the first stage of Q-school last month.

In other words, a less-than-stellar performance this week in Scottsdale isn’t likely to get a player a tour card for next year.

For instance, in Tuesday’s first round, Coloradans Gary Hallberg (pictured) and Shane Bertsch both posted under-par rounds, yet didn’t finish the day in the top 15, much less the top five.

Hallberg, who has won once on PGA Tour Champions (in 2010) to go along with three PGA Tour wins, opened with a 2-under-par 69, which left him in a tie for 17th place. Bertsch, a former Colorado Open champion who has made 194 starts on the PGA Tour, carded a 70, good for 24th place.

Craig Bowden and Stephen Leaney share the lead after day 1 at 65. The seven players who shot 67 share fifth place.

On Tuesday, Hallberg played his final six holes in 2 under par en route to his 69. The 61-year-old finished with four birdies and two bogeys on the day.

Bertsch was 3 under par through 11 holes on Tuesday, but bogeyed Nos. 12 and 14 coming in.

Here are the scores for players with strong Colorado ties competing in the final stage of Champions Q-school this week:

17. Gary Hallberg of Niwot 69

24. Shane Bertsch of Parker 70

35. Former Durango resident Tom Kalinowski 71

For all the results, CLICK HERE.