Josh Teater misses Tour with late collapse

Josh Teater of Lexington was four holes away from earning his PGA Tour card on Monday, but he couldn't close the deal and wound up missing out on his dream job.

Teater finished triple bogey, double bogey, par, double bogey to drop from 19-under to 12-under in the six-round qualifying tournament at La Quinta, Calif.

The top 25 finishers in the 161-player field earned playing privileges on the PGA Tour. As it turned out, 19-under was the magic number, if only Teater had held on.

"I was right where I needed to be and playing well," Teater said. "Through 14 holes I didn't come close to making a bogey. But then I had some hiccups only this game can bring out in people."

The consolation prize for Teater was that he finished high enough — tied for 62nd — to have exempt status on the Nationwide Tour in 2009.

"I wanted to get to the PGA Tour, and that's still my goal," he said. "This is a just a little bump in the road.

"But it's a great opportunity to play on the Nationwide. It's better than anything I've had in the past. I won't have to go through Monday qualifying anymore. I can show up and play where I want."

Former University of Louisville player Derek Fathauer, 22, who is from Jensen Beach, Fla., earned his PGA Tour card by shooting 24-under and tying for second place.

Two other Kentuckians didn't fare as well as Teater.

Pikeville native and former Tour player Robert Damron shot 10-under and tied for 80th.

Former Eastern Kentucky golfer Brandon Brown of Shelbyville was even par and tied for 148th.

This was Teater's seventh try at Q-school, but the first time he made it through the first two stages to the final six-day shootout.

"When I came out here I told myself I'd already won because the biggest hurdle was getting here," he said. "I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to shoot for the stars."

Through 104 holes over six days, he was close to hitting those stars. In his final round he was 6-under after 12 holes and was still there after 14.

But he found trouble on the par-5 15th. He hooked his 4-iron approach into the water. His next shot, a 9-iron, fluttered in the wind and also found the water. He wound up with a triple bogey.

A bad bunker shot at No. 16 cost him a double bogey. His approach on No. 18 out of a bunker found the water, and he had another double bogey.

Teater, 29, said he didn't feel that much pressure during the tournament.

"I think the people here with me, my family and friends, were more stressed than I was," he said.

"But this is a tough way to go. I can't imagine anything tougher than this. One week here determines where your job is going be next year.

"I would've loved for that job to be on the big tour, but I'm happy that I'll be on the Nationwide Tour. I'll try to make the most of that."