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Hanover golfer Williamson keeps his options open for 2013

Peter Williamson left the Florida Panhandle Friday afternoon disappointed after coming up short in his maiden bid for a PGA Tour card.

A 22-year-old Hanover golfer who starred at Dartmouth College, Williamson shot 69-68-67-70 in the first stage of the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, better known as Q-School. But despite posting four rounds of par or better at Pensacola (Fla.) Country Club, Williamson failed to advance to the second stage.

With a 6-under-par total, the three-time Ivy League golf champion finished tied for 25th place, 10 strokes behind tournament medalist Chris DeForest of Purcellville, Va. Eighteen players who shot 10-under par or better advanced to one of six second-stage qualifiers scheduled for mid-November.

After three rounds Williamson was only one stroke off the qualifying pace, but a lackluster front nine Friday dimmed his prospects. He made up for a bogey at No. 2 with a birdie at No. 5, but consecutive bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 left him 2-over par at the turn.

Williamson rebounded with a birdie at No. 10 and an eagle at the par-5 12th but ran out of magic, finishing with five pars and a bogey at No. 15.

&#';I just couldn&#';t figure out the greens all week,&#'; Williamson said. &#';I was hoping it would come around (Friday), but I got off to a bad start and tried to press late, and it just wasn&#';t there.&#';

Having failed to earn 2013 playing privileges on the PGA Tour or its developmental circuit, the Tour, Williamson is weighing his options for next season. Exempt into the PGA Tour&#';s 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Orlando&#';s Bay Hill Club by virtue of his July victory at the Southern Amateur — an invitation contingent on its recipient competing as an amateur — Williamson entered Q-School as an amateur to preserve the option of making his tour debut at Bay Hill if he didn&#';t earn a card.

Williamson is also one of 16 amateur players who has been invited to participate in a December practice session for the 2013 Walker Cup, an invitation that suggests he is a candidate for selection to the 10-man team of U.S. amateurs that will face a squad of counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland in the biennial competition. The 2013 Walker Cup is scheduled for Sept. 7-8 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.

Despite potential opportunities that await him as an amateur, Williamson has also been seeking sponsor exemptions into professional events and hasn&#';t closed the door on playing for pay in 2013.

&#';If I could get a good enough number of starts next year and put together a pretty good schedule, then (turning pro) would make sense,&#'; he said. &#';We&#';ll still keep the options open and see what happens from here.&#';

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Mike Cullity may be reached at

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