Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp is in San Diego for Q school this week

Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp is in San Diego for Q school this week

Brad Clapp tries to crack golf tour

A good performance at Q School this week could move the Chilliwack Golf Club instructor on to the second stage of qualifying.

Brad Clapp is in southern California this week, trying to take the next step up the professional golf ladder.The Chilliwackian is at Q School for the tour, tackling a four-round tournament that will determine his fate.“I’m at Bear Creek which is at Murrieta, which is about 40 minutes north of San Diego in a little private resort community,” Clapp said Monday morning before heading out for a practice round. “It’s a difficult course, and you have to be on your game to even break par out here. It’s going to be a good test.”This is the first of three qualifying stages for the tour.Clapp was able to bypass this stage last year because he recorded a win on the Mackenzie PGA Canada tour.While he had a pair of top 10 finishes this year, he didn’t do enough to get a pass.“The path I’m on now is a little longer,” Clapp said. “I’m one of 1200 golfers playing in the first stage right now, and I think 17 from the 90 at this site (there are 11 sites across the United States), get on to the second stage.”Clapp has a competitor’s approach to what he must do this week.“I going into this with the mentality that I want to win,” he said. “I never go into anything with the goal of placing 17th, so I figure if I try to win this thing the actual result I’m looking for will take care of itself.”The 2016 Mackenzie Tour was a roller-coaster ride for the 29 year old who had two top-10 and four top-25 finishes in 12 events.He also missed cuts three times and struggled with consistency. The last tourney of the year, the Freedom 55 Financial Championship in London, ON.,  was a microcosm of his season.He started with a solid 67, followed by a meh 70.Clapp cratered with a third round 75 and roared back with a fourth round 64.Dizzying highs and despairing lows packed into one weekend.“It’s nothing but my own head getting in the way, and that final round was just me letting myself free up,” he said.“I realized going into Sunday that I wasn’t going to achieve the goals I’d set for myself, so really it was a stress-free round.”“It was nice to have that feeling again of just going out and playing —  seeing golf shots and the results of being calm and having a positive attitude.”Clapp tries to take a lesson from every round he plays, and as frustrated as he’s been on the Mackenzie tour, he believes he’s grown from it. “My experiences the last couple years have helped me calm down in situations like this,” Clapp said. “I’ve realized that this week is a four round tournament where people are going to make bogeys.”“I just have to stay patient.”Clapp thinks two things work in his favour.There was little downtime between the final Mackenzie tour event (Sept. 15-18) and this tour adventure.“I like that I can just roll my season through and not have time off to lose those coemptive juices,” he said. “Also, I believe this is the perfect course for me.”“I feel I don’t make a lot of mistakes and when I do they’re not going to be astronomical.”“I played Bear Creek for the first time yesterday and it suits my eyes pretty well.”The tour is a tantalizing price.If he makes it, Clapp will travel to tourneys across the United States, and visit places like Panama, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.  Tournament winners pocket up to $180,000 in a single weekend.And playing on the tour would put Clapp just one step below the big boys who play the PGA slate.“I always feel I’m one of the strongest players in any field and this (first stage of qualifying) is no different,” Clapp said, analyzing his chances. “As cliche as it sounds, I am trying to take it one shot at a time.”“I’ve always been a big believer that if you take care of small things then the big things take care of themselves.”

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