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The First Step

Coloradans Schmitz, Staiano, Sutton advance through Pre-Qualifying at Korn Ferry Q-school

By Gary Baines – 08/30/2019

So far, so good for three Coloradans in the protracted process that is Q-school for the Korn Ferry Tour.

Ryan Schmitz of Greenwood Village, Jake Staiano of Englewood and Daniel Sutton of Denver successfully negotiated the first of four stages of KF Q-school, which concluded on Friday.

Pre-Qualifying is the relatively easy part. It will get much tougher come first stage, second stage and final stage, where the 2020 Korn Ferry cards are handed out.

In a 75-man Pre-Qualifying field in Lincoln, Neb., the top 40 finishers and ties punched their tickets to first stage. That included Schmitz, Staiano and Sutton.

Actually, Schmitz and Staiano advanced relatively easily, with Schmitz tying for third and Staiano placing ninth. Sutton was a little closer call as a final-round 77 dropped him into 30th place.

Schmitz, a former University of Colorado golfer, went 70-69-71 for a 3-under-par 210 total, which left him three strokes behind winner Daniel Wetterich of Cincinnati. Schmitz made three birdies and three bogeys in the final round.

Staiano, a former Colorado State University golfer who was the CGA’s Player of the Year in 2017, checked in at 212 after scores of 74-68-70. Staiano finished second on Sunday on the Rocky Mountain Open in Grand Junction.

Sutton went 71-69 before carding his final-round 77.

Two more Pre-Qualifying tournaments will be held next week, with former CSU golfer Colton Yates entered in Woodland, Calif., where play will run Wednesday through next Friday.

The first stage of Q-school will be conducted at 12 sites, with dates of Sept. 24-27, Oct. 1-4 and Oct. 8-11.

Here were the scores of the Coloradans competing this week in Pre-Qualifying:

Lincoln, Neb. Aug. 28-30 (Top 40 and Ties Advance)

Advance to First Stage

3. Ryan Schmitz of Greenwood Village 70-69-71–210

9. Jake Staiano of Englewood 74-68-70–212

30. Daniel Sutton of Denver 71-69-77-217

Lantana Texas Aug. 28-30 (Top 38 and Ties Advance)

Failed to Advance

Jacob Fair of Lone Tree 79-77-WD

Zach Allred of Colorado Springs 84-80-WD