BY JAMES COOK
---- — LA QUINTA, Calif. — Traverse City native Randall Hutchison stormed back with a vengeance to finish PGA Tour Q-school in a high enough place to earn a spot on the Web.com Tour next year.
After opening rounds of 73 and 74, Hutchison reeled off 68, 70, 69 and 68 to finish at 422 for the grueling six-round tournament. That placed him 73rd.
The top 25 finishers in Q-school earn their PGA Tour cards, while the next 50 land in the Web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide).
"After I got done, I was refreshing my phone quite a bit to see what position I was in," Hutchison said. "I knew it was going to be close, and it turned out in my favor, so I was really happy about that."
Hutchison earns an exemption for the tour's first eight stops. If he makes the cut in one of those eight, he's guaranteed a spot on the tour for the rest of the season.
"Chances are in my corner of doing that," Hutchison said.
Until the Web.com season starts, he'll continue to play some events on the Hooters Tour's Winter Series.
"I'll go down there and stay sharp when I can and hopefully I'm ready when February comes around and head down to South America for the first few events on the Web.com Tour," Hutchison said.
The top 25 Web.com money leaders at the end of the 2013 season earn their PGA Tour card. Another 25 can earn their card depending on money earned in the tour's four "Final" events.
While being in this situation didn't look that good after the first two Q-school rounds, Hutchison never gave up.
"The first two rounds, I didn't play bad," Hutchison said. "I just didn't get anything out of my rounds and made some mental mistakes here and there. I told myself after those first two rounds that I wasn't out of it. ... I still had some bad swings here or there, but overall it didn't cost me a lot. I met my goal and coming out here and gaining status on a tour that was bigger than the one I was on last year. All in all, it was a very successful week. I'm looking forward to what next year has to offer for me."