"It's as important as a Monday qualifier for a PGA event anywhere," he said. "It's cool because I'm from here, so people would be excited to watch me play. But, for me, the excitement of playing in a PGA Tour event is just playing in a PGA Tour event. They're all the same.
"It's the opportunity to tee it up and gauge myself. How good am I? You have to see what you're up against."
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THE LOW four scores from today fill out the roster for the Greenbrier Classic.
The staff at Glade Springs as well as officials from the Tri-State PGA Section set up today's yardage at 6,969 yards, which makes the course 58 yards shorter than it was on Thursday.
However, No. 2 is being made a 454-yard par 4 hole, taking one stroke off the course's total par today and making it play as a par 71.
Tri-State PGA Tournament Director David Wright said they want to make the open qualifier more challenging, but also maintain pace of play.
"We're looking for the four best golfers," Wright said. "The hole locations are going to be difficult. We're doing a little something different on No. 2. It will play as a par 4 and 454 yards. That will alleviate some pace-of-play issues we had on Thursday."
That won't save the 51 players who advanced through Thursday's long, grueling, wet day in Daniels.
In the three years of the pre-qualifiers and open qualifiers at the Cobb, only two players who have played in Thursday's pre-qualifier have advanced to the Greenbrier Classic.
In 2011, Garrett Frank shot a 74 in the pre-qualifier and followed with a 65 in the open qualifier, avoiding the inevitable playoff for the final spot.
Last year, Michael Maness - once a caddy for Sunday PGA Tour winner Bill Haas (See page 5B) - shot a 66 in the open qualifier after advancing with a 69 in the pre-qualifier.
As for making the cut at the Greenbrier Classic, neither Frank nor Maness played the weekend and just two of the 12 players who advanced via the open qualifier made the cut - Andre Stolz (T49) and Steve Allan (T49) in 2011.
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PARKERSBURG'S ALAN Cooke and China's Ze-cheng Dou represent the only amateurs in today's event.
Dou shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday and is the youngest player in the field at 16 years.
The native of Beijing plays in several American Junior Golf Association events. He also finished 33rd in this year's Volvo China Open, a European Tour championship.
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NOT SURPRISINGLY, the first three open qualifiers have been decided by playoff.
Last year, six players finished at 6-under 66, which required a three-hole finish to shave two participants from the mix.
In 2011, seven players battled for one spot, and in 2010, it was five for one.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.