Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 NGA Tour Pro Series Member Zack Fischer Medalist at Final Stage

Six NGAers finish inside Top 10, 32 inside Top 42 to earn Exempt Status
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

More than a thousand golfers started this year's Q School with the same goal in mind, to make Final Stage and earn status for the 2014 season. A total of 152 players, including a 101 past NGA Tour players, achieved that goal and have spent the past six days competing at Final Stage to determine their playing positions for the upcoming 2014 season. 

While the goal at the beginning of Q School is to make Final Stage, for those who do successfully navigate the rigors of Q School, the goal quickly changes to earning exempt status. While every participant at Final Stage earns status, only the top 45 and ties earn exempt status and are guaranteed starts at the beginning of the season. Eleventh and ties through 45th and ties are guaranteed exempt status until the second reshuffle of the 2014 season, which occurs after the eighth event. Second through 10th and ties are exempt until the third reshuffle of the 2014 season, which occurs after the 12th event of the season. And the Medalist, the ultimate goal for every Q School participant, earns full exempt status for the 2014 season and is exempt from the periodic reshuffles. For one 2013 NGA Tour Pro Series member, Zack Fischer, that ultimate goal was achieved.

Fischer (out of Wake Village, Tex.) joined the NGA Tour Pro Series before the start of the 2013 season after playing collegiately at the University of Texas-Arlington. He quickly made his presence known on the NGA Tour with a tie for 3rd in the NGA's Killearn Country Club Classic, his first ever NGA Tour event and the 1st event of the 2013 Pro Series. He would start Final Stage with a first round 3-over par 75 and found himself in the middle pack after the first day. Fischer described his emotions as "negative, very negative" after his first round. His emotions would turn quickly after firing a second round 67 and would only get better with each following day, along with his play, as Fischer followed with rounds of 66, 65, and back to back 64's to earn the win and Medalist Honors. The win was a great way to finish an outstanding 2013 season which saw Fischer Monday qualify into three PGA events and qualify into the US Open after a 12-hole playoff with three-time PGA winner Ryan Palmer. Fischer was one of 62 2013 NGA Tour players and one of 39 2013 NGA Tour members to compete in Final Stage, reaffirming the NGA Tour's place as the top developmental tour in the United States.

Altogether 32 NGA Tour alums finished at tied 42nd or better, with six finishing inside the top 10, to earn exempt status for the upcoming 2014 season. Steve Saunders and Tony Finau were the next highest finishing NGA alums at tied for 3rd. Finau finished tied for 2nd earlier this year at the NGA's Mountain Lakes Classic. Some other notable NGA Tour alums include 2011 NGA Tour members Andy Pope and Sam Saunders, who finished T11. 2013 NGA Tour Pro Series member, and 2012 David Toms Award Winner, Brad Schneider finished at 14th while fellow 2013 NGA Tour Pro Series members Matt Hendrix and Blayne Barber finished T22, both winners on the NGA Tour earlier this year. Hendrix also earned the NGA Tour event exemption into the Utah Championship earlier this year while Barber was named the NGA's Rookie of the Year. 2012 NGA Tour Co-Rookie of the Year Jonathan Randolph finished T32 with fellow 2013 NGA Tour Pro Series members Travis Bertoni, Zack Sucher, and Jon Curran finishing T42. Curran was named the NGA Tour Player of the Year for 2013.

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