Scott Gardiner ponders what might have been in yesterday?s final round of the US PGA qualifying school
Scott Gardiner ponders what might have been in yesterday?s final round of the US PGA qualifying school

Heartbreak - Ball up a palm tree costs Gardiner his tour card



TWEED's Scott Gardiner endured a miserable day, shooting 77 to plunge to 67th under after starting the final round tied for 22nd at the US PGA Tour qualifying school yesterday.

Gardiner lost a ball in freakish circumstances at the fifth hole when his drive landed on a cart path and bounced up into a palm tree.

But he at least secured one of 50 cards for the secondary Nationwide Tour, giving him an overseas tour to play during the Australian winter, something he lacked this year.

Queenslander Scott Hend took advantage of a great break to regain fully exempt status for 2005.

On a day when compatriot David McKenzie suffered his second heartbreaking miss in five weeks, Hend was more fortunate, surviving with nothing to spare after the six-round final stage at PGA West in Palm Springs, California.

Needing to par the waterlined final hole, the long-hitting Queenslander was distracted by a noise from a nearby food stand as he played his approach shot.

"Some guy in the taco stand slammed the awning down right in the middle of my downswing," said Hend, who pulled his six iron and watched in horror as his ball hurtled towards the water.

He couldn't see where it stopped, and was mightily relieved to find it on dry land.

"I thought it was in the water but I was lucky. If it had rolled two more inches it was in the water." -AAP



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