Josh Creel wants to play golf for a living.
The 2007 Cheyenne Central graduate took his first step toward achieving that goal last weekend.
Creel finished tied for 24th at the PGA Tour Canada Qualifying School Tournament at the Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in Beaumont, Calif. That earned Creel his playing card for that tour starting in early June.
Creel shot a final-round score of 3-under-par 69 to finish 2 under for the tournament. The top 40 players earned their cards.
“I thought if I could shoot 4 under for the day, I would probably get in,” Creel said. “I ended up having three three-putts in the final round, but it ended up being good enough.”
The last of those three-putts came on the final hole, which Creel initially thought may have cost him a shot at the top 40. Then he had to wait around for another day as the final round last Friday was suspended due to darkness. Creel had to wait for 33 players to complete their final round the next day.
“It is a relief not having to worry about where I will be playing,” he added.
Creel concluded his college career last year as the NCAA Division II individual champion for Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla., which is where he lives. Creel received the Arnold Palmer Award as the Division II National Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American.
Now, Creel embarks on his professional career on the Canadian Tour, which consists of eight tournaments and concludes in early to mid-September. The first tournament is in Victoria, British Columbia June 3-9.
If Creel finishes in the top 10 on the money list in Canada, he will qualify for Web.com Tour events, the tour just below the PGA Tour.
“This is a great opportunity for me to get my Web.com Tour card next year and work my way up to the PGA Tour,” he said.
In the meantime, Creel will try to play his way into a couple of PGA Tour events.
First, he will try to qualify for this year’s U.S. Open. There is local qualifying in early May, followed by sectional qualifying. Creel said in 2010 he made it through local qualifying and was doing well in the sectionals before a poor final round.
Creel also will try to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, in May.
Creel was the 2008 amateur champion at the Wyoming Open at the Airport Golf Course. He likely won’t play in this year’s event, which is July 11-14, because of a Canadian Tour tournament in Alberta.