We are proud to announce the addition of Ben Geyer to Team QED Style. Ben, a native of Arbuckle, California and just a few years removed from a successful career at Saint Mary's College, recently completed the long and grueling Web.com Q-School. Unlike the majority of the new 2015 Web.com field, Ben had to play 11 rounds of qualifying before even reaching the Final Stage of Q-School.
The process for Ben started in September 2014 where he and 430 fellow competitors played 3 rounds of Pre-Qualifying. The Pre-Qualifying stage is for players with no Tour Status and the first hurdle for many hopeful golfers seeking to gain a Web.com Tour card. In 2013 Geyer also started in Pre-Qaulifying but was unsuccessful in making the cut. Without a Web.com card, Geyer joined the ranks of the thousands of aspiring golfers on the mini-tours. Making the most of limited opportunities, Ben ended up finishing 3rd on the eGolf money list. With his strong finish to the season Geyer looked ahead to another attempt at Q-School.
"I had been playing really solid all year so I just wanted to go out there and let everything unfold knowing there would be ups and downs along the way"
True to his goals, Geyer made short work of Pre-Qualifying and easily moved on with a T6 finish. Next up would be 1st Stage Qualifying where everything gets a lot harder.
In the 1st Stage the top 30 players advance from each venue. In Geyer's final round a birdie on the last hole would prove to be the difference between moving into the 2nd Stage and returning to the mini-tour. With his Q- School advancement, Ben would be one of just 56 players Pre-Qualiying stage starters who advanced to 2nd Stage.
In the 2nd Stage of Web.com Qualifying the field is made up of about 190 players who advanced through 1st Stage along with 75 players who exempted into 2nd Stage. In other words, the field gets a whole lot more competitive as additional seasoned golfers are added to the mix. Ben's first round in 2nd Stage did not bode well for his chances to move on as he shot 79. Fortunately Geyer bounced back with three rounds of par or better to finish T15 and the green light to move on to Final Stage.
While all players who advance to Final Stage of Q-School are automatically given Web.com Status for the year, only those who finish in the top 45 are guaranteed spots through the 2nd reshuffle. What this means is that players who do not finish in the top 45 may only see limited or no opportunities to actually play in a Web.com Tournament.
Final Stage Q-School is a 6 round grind with the field consisting of 114 players who advanced through 2nd stage and 40 players who were exempted into the Final Stage. With a field full of experienced and proven golfers, Ben would be one of just ten players who started in Pre-Qualifiying to compete in Final Stage. Once again, the odds of Geyer finishing high on the leaderboard were stacked against him.
The 2014 Final Stage is held at the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens where the Honda Classic is played and home of the famous "Bear Trap". Unlike nearly every other tournament, the Web.com Final Stage is 6 consecutive rounds. With 150 golfers playing to secure their livelihood, there is little room for error and one bad round can make a top finish extremely difficult.
Geyer proved that he has greatly matured over the past year as he was able to shoot even par or better in each round and even reach the top ten during the final day. Unfortunatley, a few bogies down the stretch moved him out of the top 10 but left him with a very respectable T21 finish. For his 3 months and 17 rounds of competition, Geyer would take home $10,000 and, more importantly, secured starts throughout the second reshuffle.
Finishing in the Top 45 is not only a huge accomplishment but also a real advantage, as Geyer will now be guaranteed to start the first 8 Web.com events, affording him a little breathing room as he learns the ropes of the Tour. Asked about how he felt after the final round, Geyer noted
"It's been such a long road, I am just going to take it easy for a few weeks and then get to work on preparing for the Tour."
Of note is the fact that Geyer played golf at Saint Mary's, which is the alma mater of QED Style Founder Mike McRae. While Mike is a few years older than Geyer, Mike has kept an eye on Ben and was not at all surprised by his strong performance.
"Ben has always been a great competitor and had a really solid college career. I have full confidence that we will see him on the PGA Tour."
The 2015 Web.com Tour starts in February and we look forward to watching Ben start his journey to the PGA Tour. You can view Ben's profile here.