LAKELAND, FL – Brad Miller (Timonium, MD) closed with a 5-under-par 67, his fourth consecutive round in the 60s, to claim medalist honors at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada USA East #2 qualifier at The Club at Eaglebrooke. Miller edged Jake Mondy (Blacksburg, VA) by one stroke and finished the event with a 72-hole total of 21-under-par 267. Amateur Brendon Jelley (Tulsa, OK) claimed third place two back of Miller.
The turning point for Miller, a former player at the University of Richmond, came on No. 17 when he made an eagle to regain a share of the lead. Trailing by two after 16 holes, Miller hit hybrid, and a 4-iron (240 yds.) to four feet for his eagle to knot the score at 21-under. Moments later, his eagle would prove decisive when Mondy made a costly mistake off the tee on 18. He missed the fairway left off the tee and hit his second into a fairway bunker and was unable to get it up and down for bogey handing Miller the win.
“No. 18 has my number for some reason,” said Mondy. “That to me is the hardest hole in the golf course. I missed the fairway and bogey was about the best I was going to do. I really should have birdied 17.
The win helped Miller reach one of his goals for the week as well as helping him make his plans for the 2018 season.
“The goal at the start of the week was to win here so it’s nice to just do it,” Miller said after his round. The great thing is that you can start out just playing care free when the year begins because you have the whole year.
“I started out playing pretty smooth today, but by the fifth hole I was already losing to Jake which I think was the best thing to happen. As I said yesterday, I knew people were going to shoot good scores so I knew I had to get going,” Miller continued. “One of the keys was I played the par-5s in 6-under and had eagles on Nos. 7 and 17. The one on 17 was critical.”
Despite his misfortune on No. 18, Mondy was pleased with his week overall which included leading all players with 29 birdies.
“Overall, I was pleased with how I played this week. When you finish 20-under it doesn’t matter where you’re playing, that’s a good week.”
Jelley closed out a solid week in his first crack attempting to qualify for professional golf with his third-place finish. The senior at Oklahoma State closed with a 5-under-par 67 and had four sub-par rounds.
“I’m super excited,” Jelley said. “Coming in, I didn’t know where to place my expectations, but I felt good about my game so it’s great to see the results. A lot of hard work went into this so I’m very excited.”
Sonny Michaud (Neuville, Quebec, Canada) and Bradford Curren (Hammond Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada) were the top Canadian finishers. They tied for 22nd place at 10-under-par 278.
This was the fourth of five Mackenzie TOUR – PGA TOUR Canada qualifying tournaments for 2018. The last fully-exempt spot will be determined at next week’s qualifier in Courtenay, British Columbia at Crown Isle.
A total of 132 players competed this week with hopes of earning cards for the 2018 season. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each of the five sites.
|2nd through 5th (no ties)||Jake Mondy
Brendon Jelley (a)
Grady Brame, Jr.
Exempt for first eight events and subject to second re-shuffle
|6th through 16th (no ties)||Charles Wang
Exempt for first four events and subject to first re-shuffle
|17th through 40th (plus ties)||Conditional status|