PLANTATION, Florida – Drama is always the theme of the second leg of the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament, and things played out as wildly as expected at the Plantation Preserve Golf Club. A six-way T19 at 9 under par meant 24 players survived and will go to the final stage in less than two weeks.
As expected, there were tense finishings for those flirting with the cut for the final stage (top 20 and tie), with Michael Vissacki and Andrew Kozan making critical saves on their 72nd holes to stay in the top 20.
Vissacki, who won the hearts of golf fans with his emotional qualification playoff triumph on Monday for the Valspar Championship last April, went into the fourth and final round with 8 under par on Friday and brought him straight to the cut line. Visacki turned 4 over par for the round after a pair of double boweys.
Then he staged a furious rally.
An eagle on par 5, followed by birdies on par 4 and par 3, got him back into the race. Another birdie on the 16th par-4 moved him within the cut line. But Visacki threw his second stroke into the water on the par-5 18th and shot a penalty drop. It took Visacki a par of about 150 yards to stay in the top 20.
Despite a 2-over 37 on the first nine of the final round, Kozan finished 18th with a one-stroke pad from the cut-line. The medalist from West Palm Beach, Fla. And two-time All-SEC Second Team Award winner while at Auburn University, Kozan made four birdies in a six-hole course from No. 12-17 to negotiate the rocky face and Put yourself back in the qualifying position.
Kozan, who, like Visacki, entered the final round directly at the cutline, had problems on 18th place and hit through the fairway and into a row of bushes. The 2021 US Open qualifier took an unplayable lie, hit his next shot on the green, and saved a bogey. Kozan then signed for a 1-under 70 and punched his ticket to Savannah, Georgia for the final stage.
Chandler Blanchet, Marcelo Rozo and Carson Young progressed with far less drama, all starting the day off the cut line, but firing suitable 7-under-64s to advance smoothly into the final stage. Leandro Marelli was another climber in the final lap when he carded a 6-under 65 and was from two punches from the cut line to three punches away.
Luis Gagne, a 24-year-old Costa Rican who graduated from Louisiana State University in 2019, was honored as a medalist at 17 under par. Gagne played mostly on the Forme Tour last season and made four cuts in eight starts. At LSU, he was three-time All-SEC selection and received a nod in the first team in 2018. Gagne also shared low amateur awards at the 2018 US Open
Other notable advances: In his first season on the tour, Blanchet finished 95th on the regular season points list for the Korn Ferry Tour 2020-21… Rozo is a three-time winner of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and was 47th on the regular season points list for Korn Ferry Tour 2019 … Young finished 12th on the Forme Tour Order of Merit 2021 … Albin Choi has 112 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and wants to regain his status after a T2 this week; he was Sungjae Im’s caddy for his win at The Honda Classic 2020 … Steve LeBrun, a 43 year old with 203 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, finished T9 in the first two rounds with a strength of 5 under 66 … Jason Scrivener is currently 15 . in the Race to Dubai of the European Tour and at the beginning of this year even ranked 95 in the official golf world rankings; the Australian finished solo eight at 13 under par, highlighted by a 6 under 65 in the first round … Will Gordon, who had a T3 under six top 25 in the last two PGA TOUR seasons, played the last three rounds 12- under par for a T9… Steve Marino’s 1-under 70 on the final lap was just enough to keep him within the cut line; He has five runners-up and 23 top 10 finishes in 222 career PGA TOUR starts.
Notable things to miss: Matt Atkins, champion of the El Bosque Mexico Championship 2017 of INNOVA’s Korn Ferry Tour, missed T25 by one stroke despite finishing with 3 consecutive under 68s … Andres Romero, winner of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans 2008 starts with 228 PGA TOUR, played the last three rounds at 11 under par but failed to beat a 4 over 75 from day one, missing two strokes at T29 … Oscar Fraustro, a 39 year old native of Mexico, holding a PGA TOUR card on the Korn Ferry Tour -Finals 2014, three 2-under 69, but ultimately missed by three strokes with a T31 … Brett Stegmaier, who earned a PGA TOUR card for the Korn Ferry Tour Final 2015, has a final round 2 -over 73 and missed by three strokes at 6 under par and T31 … Brad Adamonis, the 2007 WNB Golf Classic winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, missed by four strokes at 5 under par and T39 … Mathew Goggin, a five-time Korn Ferry Tour winner and 47-year-old Australian, s Closed up with a pair of 2-under 69 for T51 … Nicholas Thompson, who has played seven PGA TOUR seasons and the older brother of Curtis Thompson, a Korn Ferry Tour graduate 2020-21, checked in at the T53 … -par values for one T58… Angus Flanagan, a University of Minnesota alum who placed 11th in the first PGA TOUR University Class of the Velocity Global Ranking 2021, a 42-year-old three-time Korn Ferry Tour winner, whose last win was in 2016, en route to the T64 three rounds over par … Chase Wright, who won the Rust Oleum Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour 2018, posted four rounds into the 70s and finished 71st.