Just over a month after losing his 3-year-old daughter to a genetic disorder, Hayden Springer held steady down the closing hole Monday (Tuesday in Manila) and earned one of five PGA Tour cards at the tour’s first Q-school in 11 years.
Springer closed with a 1-under 69 on the rain-soaked Dye Valley course at TPC Sawgrass, advancing to the PGA Tour for the first time with two shots to spare.
Harrison Endycott of Australia had no such drama with his golf, building a comfortable lead and posting a 67 to finish as medalist, which paid $50,000.
Far more valuable was a spot on the PGA Tour next year. Also earning cards were Trace Crowe, Blaine Hale Jr., Raul Pereda of Mexico and Springer.
Everyone who reached the final stage was assured some level of status on the Korn Ferry Tour. Springer leaned on having full status from winning the Canadian tour points title this year.
His story when he qualified for the US Open at Torrey Pines two years ago.
Springer and his wife, Emma, learned their daughter had Trisomy 18 — also known as Edwards Syndrome — in which babies are born with three copies of chromosome 18 instead of two.
Such infants typically don’t make it 72 hours. Sage was 3 when she died on November 13.
“I definitely came in this week trying to make sure that I was gonna have enough of an emotional capacity to play and to be ready,” Springer told Golf Channel.
“Because it’s definitely been a tough last month and emotional last month.”
The Springers also have a 1-year-old daughter, Annie.