One hundred and twenty golfers are set to compete this week at the first of four 2017 qualifying schools for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. A full ten percent of the field, 12 golfers, are from Canada.
USA West Q-School #1, as it being called, will begin on March 14th at the Carlton Oaks Country Club in Santee, California.
At least forty players will earn some level of status on the Canadian-based tour, the lowest rung of the PGA TOUR system ladder.
The top finisher will be fully exempt for all 12 tournaments on the 2017 schedule. The next four players have a guaranteed start for the first eight event and are subject to the second reshuffle. Players finishing 6th through 16th (no ties) will automatically find their way into the first four events of the year and will be part of the first reshuffle. The final group that will earn status (conditional) will be those finishing between 17th and 40th (with ties).
The field, which will include 12 Canadians, faces a Perry Dye-designed layout at Carlton Oaks that stretches to 7,410 yards and will put their skills to a stern test.
Last year, Californian John Chin claimed medalist honours and went on to have a successful season, recording two top-10s and finishing 29th on the Order of Merit.
“You’ve got to be pretty solid tee-to-green. The course is demanding, and pars don’t really hurt you,” says Chin, who went on to earn Web.com Tour status this year and ranks 39th on that Tour’s Money List. “The key is to stay away from big numbers, put your head down and grind away.”
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD (12)
Daniel Kim (Toronto, Ont.)
Adam Craig (Stoufville, Ont.)
Brett Kennedy (Waterloo, Ont.)
Kevin Stinson (Mission, B.C.)
Brendan Barrack (Toronto, Ont.)
Darren Day (Victoria, B.C.)
Drew Nesbitt (Shanty Bay, Ont.)
Gianfranco Guida (Maple, Ont.)
Eric Hawerchuk (Barrie, Ont.)
Gajan Sivabalasingham (Stoufville, Ont.)
Vincent Blanchette (Saint-Jean-Sur-Richlieu, Qc.)
Colin MacGregor (Hamilton, Ont.)