LA QUINTA, Calif. -- South Korea's Dong-hwan Lee shot an 8-under 64 on Saturday on PGA West's Stadium Course to take a two-stroke lead after the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.
Lee had a 19-under 269 total in the six-round event. The final top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards and the next 50 and ties will earn Web.com Tour cards.
Edward Loar, Meen Whee Kim, Vaughn Taylor and Richard H. Lee were tied for second after their rounds on the Stadium Course. Richard H. Lee had a 64, Taylor shot 70, Loar 71, and Kim 73.
Sweden's Robert Karlsson, an 11-time winner on the European Tour winner, had a 75 on the Stadium Course to drop from second to a tie for 17th at 14 under. Camilo Villegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, was tied for 20th at 13 under after a 72, and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was tied for 24th at 12 under after a 71. They also played the Stadium Course.
Lee, 25, of South Korea turned professional in 2005, has earned a pair of victories on the Japan Golf Tour. (2007 Mizuno Open, 2011 Toshin Open) and was named the Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2006. He played five full seasons on the Japan Golf Tour and has made 105 career starts. He has 26 top-10 finishes and 51 top-25 finishes.
He missed the cut at the 2007 British Open, his only career start on the PGA Tour. He also played four times on the Web.com Tour in 2008 and made one cut, finishing tied for 15th at the weather-shortened (36-hole) New Zealand PGA Championship.
Third-round leader Kim double bogeyed his final hole. He defeated Kevin Na earlier this year in a playoff at the Shinhan Donghae Open on the Korean Golf Tour. Paul Casey and Charlie Wi finished tied for third just two shots out of the playoff.
Kim’s 63 in the second round tied the Stadium Course record, which was also shot by Jonathan Fricke at 2008 Q-School. Kim was born on Feb. 22, 1992, and will be 20 years, 9 months, and 12 days on Monday. He is currently a sophomore at Yonsei University. Lee turned professional in 2010 after winning gold in the Asian Games.
Karlsson’s 75 included two double bogeys. He struggled on the 2012 PGA Tour, making only 11 cuts in 17 starts and finished No. 160 on the final money list. His best finish was a tie for 17th at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Loar, who earned his PGA Tour card at Q-School last year, also struggled in 2012 and made only seven cuts in 23 starts. His best finish was a tie for 25th at the Puerto Rico Open and he wound up No. 210 on the money list. He also played on the Web.com Tour, where he made five cuts in nine starts. He picked up a win early in the year at the Panama Claro Championship and he went on to finish No. 36 on that Tour’s money list, which earned him a berth in the Q-School finals this week.
Tom Pernice, 53, made a big move up the leaderboard with an 8-under 64 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Pernice, the oldest player in the field, birdied six of his first 10 holes Saturday to move up 60 spots in the standings and is tied for 24th heading into the final 36 holes. Pernice made a total of 33 starts in 2012 – 23 on the PGA Tour (making eight cuts) and 10 on the Champions Tour.
Si Woo Kim, a 17-year old high school student from South Korea, shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for 24th at 12-under 276. The youngest player in the field, he will be 17 years, 5 months and 6 days on Monday.
Ty Tryon is believed to be the youngest player to advance to the PGA Tour through Q-School. He was 17 years, 6 months, 1 day in 2001, when he tied for 23rd to earn a spot on the 2002 PGA Tour.
Kim doesn’t turn 18 until June 28, 2013, and can not become a PGA Tour member until that time. He could play no more than 12 PGA Tour events as a non-member on sponsor exemptions, foreign exemptions or to-10 finishes prior to that date.
Gary Christian withdrew during the round due to a rib injury. Marcus Fraser and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano withdrew following the round.