Garrett Jones carried his momentum of winning the Greater Cedar Rapids Open right to a spot in this week's Web.com Tour event.
Formerly the Nationwide Tour until just recently, the Web.com Tour is one step short of the PGA Tour and Jones, who won the GCRO with a tournament-record 19-under par Sunday, continued his hot play Monday in the Open Qualifier for the Cox Classic. That 72-hole tournament begins Thursday at Champions Run Golf Course in Omaha, Neb.
Jones, GCRO first-round leader Chris Thompson of Lawrence, Kan., and 2011 GCRO winner Andy Winings and 22 other GCRO competitors all hit the road Sunday from Marion after the final round of the tournament to try and qualify for the Cox.
Jones and Thompson both shot 8-under par 64's at Tiburon Golf Club in Omaha and tied for second in that qualifier. Winings shot a 7-under-par 65 and tied for first in a second Cox qualifier at Bent Tree Golf Club in Council Bluffs, Iowa. All three will tee it up Thursday in the $650,000 Cox Classic, where first place pays $115,000.
Jones, who had rounds of 67-65-65 to win the GCRO, stayed red hot. He was 6 under in his round Monday when he bogeyed the par-3 16th hole. But he came back and birdied 17 and finished his round with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole. Thompson, who led the GCRO after Friday's first round but never got it going again after that, had eight birdies Monday in a bogey-free round.
Winings also had a bogey-free round at Bent Tree, recording five birdies and an eagle.
A total of 169 golfers teed off in the qualifiers with 25 of those coming right from the GCRO. Seven players out of each qualifier advanced to the Cox.
The GCRO came up just short of having a few more of its golfers make the Cox. At Bent Tree, Winings and two others had 67's and four golfers had 6-under-par 66's to advance. One shot short of forcing a playoff were 10 golfers including five who just played at Hunters Ridge – 2011 GCRO champ and Waterloo native Brock Mulder, native Australian Rhein Gibson of Edmond, Okla., Justin Hueber of Ft. Wayne, Ind., Matt Pridey of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Ryan Dillon of Phoenix, Ariz. Dillon tied for 10th at the GCRO.
Ryan Blaum, who also tied for 10th here, and James Vargas of Big Break fame, shot 3-under-par 69's, while former University of Iowa golfer Brad Hopfinger, Jeff Kellen of Rockford, Ill., and Jon Mansfield of Clearwater, Fla., all shot 2-under 70's. Other GCRO competitors failing to advance out of Bent Tree included Robby Ormand of Austin, Texas (1-under), Joel Thelen of Ft. Worth, Texas (1 under) and Cory Powell of Scottsdale, Ariz. (7 over). Ormand tied for fourth here.
At Tiburon, GCRO competitor Chase Wright of Bloomington, Ind., also fell one shot short of a playoff at that site, also with a 5-under 67.
Nate Barbee of Clive, Iowa, who tied for 10th here, shot a 3-under 69 Monday and failed to qualify. Waterloo native Derek Bohlen and 2012 GCRO runner-up Seth Fair of Brownsburg, Ind., shot 2-under 70's. Bryan Novoa and Andrew Koonce, both of Texas, were even par while Clark Collier of Edmond, Okla., and Greg Forest of Stuart, Fla., were at 73. Adam Tannehill of Wichita, Kansas, shot 74.
To keep track of those in the Cox go to www.pgatour.com and go to the Web.com link.