A unique tournament is underway at The Classic Club in Palm Desert: stage one of PGA Tour Qualifying School (or Q-School). A similar first stage tournament takes place next week at Oak Valley in Beaumont.
Q-School isn't a school in any sense, but a series of tournaments to find the best golfers who don't have PGA Tour eligibility.
The tournament at The Classic Club is one of 14 first stage events taking place across the country this week and next week. The top golfers from each site will move to one of seven second stage tournaments. The nearest second stage tournament will be at Bear Creek in Murrieta.
The field gets narrowed even more with low scores from the second stage moving on to the Q-School finals tournament in La Quinta next month. This is the last qualifying tournament that allows players access to the PGA TOUR, with the low 25 and ties at the final stage earning their playing privileges, and their chance to play on golf's biggest stages.
Jesse Schutte, from La Quinta, is the only desert resident playing in this week's first stage event at The Classic Club. Schutte's opening round 69, puts him in a tie for ninth after Tuesday's opening round, three shots off the lead.
For more on Q-School and the qualifying process, click here