Chad Cox did something he had never done during a golf tournament Friday — he made 18 pars.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” Cox said. “That was a weird experience. I tried to make birdies, just none of the putts were going in.”
Cox’s even-par 70 round left the N.C. State alum tied for seventh in the final round of the tournament. It wasn’t a win, but it also wasn’t a bad result.
Cox is one of the more than 70 golfers competing in a Web.com Tour Q-School pre-qualifying tournament at Brunswick Country Club. The top 40 golfers, including ties, advance to the first stage of Q-School taking place in late September and early October at a dozen different clubs across the country.
The goal is to reach the finals in December and earn the right to play on the Web.com Tour. A successful stint there, and the golfers will reach the pinnacle of the profession — the PGA Tour.
With that in mind, the strategy for the players Friday was to finish in the top 40 and take one step closer to getting their cards.
“You know you have to come in and play well but at the same time, you still have to stay a little bit conservative on some shots,” Cox said. “You know some big scores can put you behind the 8-ball. It’s nice after each round seeing where the scores are and what you need to do for the next day.”
Medalist honors went to Zach Caldwell of Sandy Springs. Caldwell finished the final round with a 3-under 67 to finish at 10 under for the three-day tournament.
Caldwell was the co-leader along with Ben Schlottman entering the final round, but carded five birdies against two bogeys to separate from the back.
Landon Lyons and Barrett Waters tied for second, two shots behind Caldwell. Shane Rogan, Al Dickens and Schlottman tied for fourth at 7 under.
Three golfers — Bryce Howell, SM Lee, John Michael Coultas — joined Cox at 6 under.
Cox said the weather made for an interesting and hot few days on the course.
“We’ve had a little bit of rain showers so the course is playing a little soft,” Cox said. “Fairways are definitely soft right now. It makes the golf course play a little bit longer. The wind has been a factor, too.”
The last two golfers to qualify were David Van Horn and Andrew Weathers, who tied for 40th at 7 over.