Parkite playing well in Q-School
Park City native Steele DeWald, a 2002 graduate of the Winter Sports School, long ago gave up the slopes for the links.
Now the 29-year-old golfer finds himself in position to join one of the sport’s major tours — the Web.com Tour. DeWald is currently preparing for the final rounds of the Qualifying School (or Q-School), where he’s working to gain status so he can play in tournaments next year.
"If you make it to the final stage, you have status," he said. "Right now, I have Web.com status. Finals just determine what kind of status you have."
DeWald will play four rounds at a tournament in Florida beginning Thursday, Dec. 10. Though many golfers in his position would feel nervous, DeWald said he’s not feeling anxious at all.
"I feel good," he said. "I don’t really care much whether I play well or not. That’s probably why I’ve played so well. I play a lot more for fun now."
The upcoming tournament will be tough, as DeWald will square off against others who have progressed through the Q-School.
"Everybody is really good," he said. "Everybody knows what they’re doing. You don’t get to this point without being a good player. Even getting past the first stage is really tough — there are a lot of really good players out there."
After progressing through tournaments in Arizona and California, DeWald is happy with where he stands in his golf career.
"By getting this far, I’ve got Web.com status, which comes with nice perks," he said. "I’ve got access to some really great tours now. I can go play all over the world. I don’t need to be playing on the PGA Tour to be having a good time."
Plus, he said, once he figures out what sort of status he has, he can decide which tournaments he wants to play in next year.
"You figure out what kind of status you have, look at the schedule and determine what you’re going to play," he said. "After the 15th of December, I’ll pretty much be able to plan out all of 2016."
As for his goals and aspirations within the game, DeWald said he hasn’t given that much thought.
"Honestly, I don’t have many," he said. "I’m just happy to continue to play golf. I just continue to play and have fun."
That said, he added he’d love to continue to move up in the golf world if his game continues to improve.
"I’d definitely play the PGA," he said. "The way I’ve been playing of late has been pretty good. If I continue to get better, there’s a chance it could take me to the PGA Tour."
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, though, DeWald said he’s simply thankful for the opportunities he’s been given to continue to play the sport he loves.
"Honestly, I think I’ve been spoiled by the luxury of golf," he said.
The Park City High School girls golf team took second in the Class 4A state championship tournament on Thursday. It was the team’s fifth consecutive time as runner-up.