Tricky course: when altar comes before Q-school

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm •  Published: November 12, 2013
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Drew Weaver remembers the day he realized this year would test him like no other.

It was April 1 — no joke.

Turn the calendar back one year. Weaver, the former British Amateur champion and Walker Cup player, got engaged to longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Bills last November. They set out to plan their wedding, figuring the best time would be that window between Q-school finals and the start of a new season.

They selected Saturday, Dec. 14, in High Point, N.C.

"We looked at the Q-school calendar for the last 15 to 20 years ... and it had never gone that deep into December," Weaver said. "It always made Thanksgiving tough because all my friends who made finals, all the guys at Sea Island, they would stay here to practice and not go home for Thanksgiving because they always left right after for California or Orlando. We thought that would be a safe date at least by five or seven days."

It wasn't until April Fools' Day that he saw the Q-school schedule. The final stage is Dec. 12-17 at PGA West in California, right in the middle of his wedding.

Weaver knows from experience that life can take some unexpected turns.

While at Virginia Tech, when he wasn't getting invited to some of the top amateur events, Weaver went over to England in 2007 with his father to play in the British Amateur at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and became the first American champion since 1979. That led to spots in the British Open and the Masters.

Weaver always knew there would be changes this year. He just didn't realize they would affect him. The PGA Tour made the transition to a wraparound season that began in October, and Q-school now only offers a card on the Web.com Tour, which has been labeled the primary pathway to the big leagues.

Suddenly, the 26-year-old Weaver was faced with the mother of all detours.

"I knew with a wraparound season it would be different," he said. "Nobody had any idea it would change tour school by 10 days."

What to do?

The wedding date had been set, invitations ordered and the church reserved, no easy task around the Christmas holiday. They made down payments on all things related to matrimony. They had planned everything so meticulously, except for the tour pushing back the last stage of Q-school.

"We were five months into the process," Weaver said. "There weren't many options at that point."

Hunter Mahan gave up a chance to win the Canadian Open in July when he left as the 36-hole leader to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Weaver's situation is slightly different. He might be turning down the ultimate job interview to exchange wedding vows.



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