December 4, 2007–The PGA Tour Qualifying School, 2007 version, was tough on Las Vegas golfers, but the good news is that one golfer who was selling sponsorships for the FRYS.com Open in 2006 will now be completely exempt on the Nationwide Tour for 2008, while others have medical exemptions, past champion exemptions, or other ways to play in PGA Tour events in an effort to get back out on the PGA Tour full-time. Bob May (pictured), a local resident, missed out by a single shot (he bogeyed 13 and 15 down the stretch of the sixth and final round) but has a minor medical exemption, while former UNLV golfer Bill Lunde–the sales guy–missed by two shots but secured his Nationwide Tour status. Jeremy Anderson, another Rebel, also missed by two shots and will spend another year playing the Nationwide Tour full-time. This year he won $186,258 and finished 29th on the Nationwide money list. Robert Gamez will use sponsor and past champion exemptions plus his status within the top 150 money earners in 2007 to earn his way back to the PGA Tour after withdrawing from the Q School with a wrist injury. Another Rebel and Vegas resident Chris Riley also missed his card and is frustrated with his state of affairs.
The former 4-time UNLV All-American and Ryder Cup member Chris Riley will use about 10 playing exemptions on the PGA Tour to attempt to regain full-time status after finishing in a tie for 129th at Q School. Riley told ESPN.com that he probably won't play the Nationwide Tour full-time, and that he is moving back to his native San Diego, after living in Las Vegas since his UNLV days.
"I've been doing this for 10 years on the big tour and I'd be very surprised if I made up my mind to play the Nationwide Tour," Riley told ESPN.com. "I don't think I'll do it. I'll probably get 10 shots on the PGA Tour [through sponsor's exemptions or the past winner's category] and I'll play 10 on the Nationwide. That'll be my year — 20 events. And then I'll get ready for this again next year. That's pretty much my plan."
Another former Rebel, Skip Kendall, will have full Nationwide Tour privileges after finishing in a tie for 47th. Kendall has earned more than $7 million in his PGA Tour career and should have a few opportunities on the big Tour.
Other Las Vegas golfers not securing full-time privileges include resident Scott Piercy, current Rebel Seung Su-Han and former Rebel Andres Gonzales. All three will have conditional status on the Nationwide Tour, but Su-Han is expected to return to UNLV and continue his amateur career.