-Canadian Contingent Has One Round Left To Earn PGA/Nationwide Tour Status for 2012-
What started off as a pretty positive situation turned a little more sour over the weekend for the Canadians pros participating in the 2011 PGA Tour Final Qualifying in La Quinta, California.
With one round of the required six left to play there will need to be some great golf by some of the participants if they want to be playing the PGA Tour full time in 2012. And for some of them, even earning fully exempt status on the Nationwide Tour could be a struggle.
Starting today the current cut-off line for the top 25 players and ties that will earn a PGA Tour Card is 7 under par, with Marco Dawson leading the final qualifying tournament at 17 under par.
Of the eight Canadians left in the field, Ryan Yip is the best of the bunch at 4 under par. He starts the final round with a share of 42nd spot.
Only the top 25 players and ties at the end of Monday’s round will earn fully exempt PGA Tour status for 2012 while the next group of approximately 50 players will gain full status on the Nationwide Tour. The balance of the field will have partially exempt Nationwide Tour status.
One stroke back of Yip is Manotick, Ontario’s Brad Fritsch and Alberta native Stuart Anderson. Fritsch had hot second (67) and third (69) rounds that pushed him into the top ten but scores of 78 and 71 over the weekend dropped him back.
Fritsch knows he has ground to make up but appears to be sticking with his game plan of staying patient and trying to hit each shot as well as possible.
Anderson said after round five that he feels he has not played his good round of the tournament yet and is hoping to make that happen today.
Anderson and Fritsch will likely need to gain about four strokes on the field today for any shot at a PGA Tour card, although a move to the Nationwide Tour would be a solid upgrade for each of them as well as Yip.
Also fighting for Nationwide Tour status, unless he can have an exceptional round, is Abbotsford, B.C.’s Adam Hadwin. Scores of 76 and 75 over the weekend derailed his effort to earn PGA Tour status and even put full Nationwide Tour status in jeopardy unless he can turn things around today.
Filling out the field for the Canadians is James Love, starting the final round in a share of 119th spot, Richard Scott (t-132), Mitch Gillis (t-150), and Richard T-Lee (t-157).
2011 PGA Tour member Matt McQuillan will have to rely on his Non-Exempt Status on the the PGA Tour along with full Nationwide Tour Status to earn a living in 2012. The Kingstonian withdrew before the 4th round. Although he was tied for 168th place at the time he was preparing to play on Saturday but made the decision to pull out as he had been struggling with back issues during the week. Reached after the round McQuillan told Flagstick, “my back hasn’t been right for the last few days. After warming up on the range this morning in the cold and the wind I didn’t want to risk anything.”
McQuillan has a history of back issues. In 2002 he played just one event and then had to give up his entire year on the Canadian Tour due to a back issue.
You can follow live scoring for the PGA Tour Final Qualifying School here.
Golf Channel will have televised coverage of the tournament’s final round starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.