Reusse: Constable part of PGA's final graduating class

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 5, 2012 - 10:54 PM

A Minnesota golfer earned his PGA card the old-fashioned way.

hide

Donald Constable in 2007

Photo: Jennifer Simonson, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament goes back to 1965. The list of medalists includes Ben Crenshaw, Fuzzy Zoeller, Paul Azinger and Mike Weir. A pair of Minnesotans, Bob Barbarossa in 1970 and Troy Merritt in 2009, also led the field.

The competition is known in the golf world as Q-School. There are endless stories of heroics and of heartbreak as anonymous young players and desperate veterans battled to have playing privileges for the PGA Tour's next season.

The Q-School came to an end permanently Monday, at the end of six rounds played across two courses in Palm Springs, Calif.

The rules have changed. Players no longer will be allowed direct access to the PGA Tour through their play in Q-School. They will have to go the route of the Web.com Tour, the minor league tour known previously as the Hogan, Nike, Buy.com and Nationwide.

This means Donald Constable, 23, a former Minnetonka Skipper, Texas Longhorn and Minnesota Gopher, had excellent timing for putting together six rounds of solid golf and being among 26 card-earners from the 2012 Q-School.

Constable was 14 under and hanging around 30th place (five spots from getting a card) entering Monday's final round. He was playing at the Stadium Course, the tougher of the two being used.

"My thought was if I shot 2 under, I'd stay where I was, and if I shot 3 under, I probably would make it," Constable said. "I bogeyed the 15th and that put me at 1 under for the day.

"On the 16th, I made a 6-footer for a birdie. I needed one more, but the next hole was the par-3 they call 'Alcatraz' -- an island green similar to the one at the TPC in Florida, although with a longer tee shot.

"It was 157 to the hole, and I hit a nice 9-iron in there to about 6 feet. There was a crowd watching, and someone said it was one of the better shots of the day. I made the putt to get to 3 under."

Clear sailing, right?

"Not exactly," Constable said. "I hit my tee ball on 18 in a fairway bunker. I left it 40 feet from the pin and had to two-putt from there. I lagged it to about 6 feet ... a downhill slider.

"I blanked. My mom [Tracy] and my friends were cheering and I was hugging my caddie, but I didn't know if the putt crawled in the side or what? Later, they told me it went in the middle of the cup."

Constable wound up in a five-way tie for 22nd at 17 under. The likelihood is he will make his PGA Tour debut in the Sony Open in Hawaii during the second week of January.

The journey for Constable started with a pre-stage tournament in Nebraska City, Neb., where he easily finished in the top 50 percent.

The first stage was in Palm Springs in mid-October. Constable played "really well" and finished second, as 19 of 74 players advanced to the second stage.

He came home to Minnesota for a time, worked with his swing coach, Jeff Kringen, at Spring Hill, and went to Brooksville, Fla., for the second stage.

"I got off to a terrible start, and the pressure was on all four rounds," he said. "I finished 8 under and thought I was out. Then, I was in, then out, in, out and finally I needed one of seven guys to have a late bogey to make it. And one guy did."

Constable's odyssey ended successfully back in Palm Springs, thanks in large part to an old Odyssey 2-Ball putter that was his father's favorite.

His father (also Donald) died in 2006 at age 46 from cancer. When the two left-handers played golf together, Dad always suggested this mantra to his son to keep focus on the greens: "Roll the rock."

After his dad's death, Donald would use the Odyssey 2-Ball at times, a Scotty Cameron at others. During the finals of Q-School, he went with the Odyssey, and rolled the rock effectively for six rounds.

"I think my dad and his putter took care of that last putt for me," he said. "As I said, I blanked."

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 74 2nd Half 2:41
Howard 47
Southern Miss 55 2nd Half 2:34
Ole Miss 56
UMBC 48 2nd Half 1:50
Rider 61
Miami-Florida 39 2nd Half
UCLA 27
St Mary-KS 22 2nd Half
South Dakota 69
William & Mary 40 2nd Half
Wofford 21
Troy 13 1st Half 8:25
Evansville 25
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close