The atmosphere at Q-school finals is indescribable. I mean, I can try my best to convey it, but it’s something you have to experience, especially because there’s nothing else like it. So it’s truly a shame this is the last year of the current system which started in 1965.
The vibe of the week is a mixture of nerves, excitement, uncertainty, agony, and camaraderie amongst the players and caddies. It’s also a bit frantic and overwhelming because there’s so much going on and most guys are on kind of on edge in a way (though they try not to show it). Still, it’s my favorite tournament. Before the six-day marathon starts, it’s somewhat chill, but obviously, with each day, it becomes more pressure-packed and you see less smiles and more grim faces.
I swear the nervous excitement at Q-school among the players and caddies is contagious, and it’s like I get a contact high from this weird yet intriguing energy. I act completely loony (or more so than usual). I can’t explain it, other than the fact I’m hypersensitive to my surroundings.
I cherish the unique event that makes or breaks the following season for players. For most, dreams are unfulfilled and it’s back to the grind on the mini tours, and for the top 25 (and ties), it’s absolute relief for those who got their jobs back and pure joy for those who have realized their dream of the chance to play on the PGA Tour.
Is there any other event in sports where grown men shed tears of happiness and heartbreak. Where else does a player, who has somewhat of a tough guy persona, break down crying on the 18th green? And even when he finds out he got his card despite the double-bogey on the last hole, he still can’t stop the tears flowing down his face because of the emotional rollercoaster experienced in last 15 minutes.
The problem with my enthusiasm is I want to cover EVERYTHING. There are SO MANY interesting story lines that are worth sharing. But it’s like a double-edged sword, where I end up trying to do too much and then my head starts spinning and nothing gets accomplished. That happens almost every week to some extent for me, but not even close to the extent it does at Q-school. I have 20 pages of notes that I haven’t posted.
Of course, it’s obviously not my fault that my attention span rivals Bubba Watson’s at Q-school.. But actually, I blame the USGA and R&A for disrupting the week with the anchoring ban announcement! (Just kidding.)
Oh, what? You’d like those tidbits I promised? Here we go…Storify-style!