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Gates takes long road to Tour

LaQUINTA, Calif. — After a couple of years of walking under ladders and having black cats cross his path, golfer Bobby Gates took firm hold of a four-leaf clover Monday.

He shot a final-round 66 in the PGA Tour qualifying event at PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Course, assuring himself of a top-25 finish, a PGA Tour card and admission into most of the top events in 2012.

In golf's version of the Death Valley Marathon, Gates had survived. After six rounds in six days in California desert weather that had varied from a wind tunnel to a picture postcard — often on the same hole — the 25-year-old Texan reversed a personal trend that had put him in the running for golf's Calamity...