The first of three 2014 qualifying tournaments for PGA TOUR Canada is completed. 44 players earned status for the tournament held in Beaumont, California with a 1 over par total as the benchmark over 72 holes of play.
California native Daniel Miernicki, buoyed by a final round 63 at the Oak Valley Golf Club, earned medalist honours.
He led the way for 18 players who earned full status on the tour. The top 18 was fully determined in a playoff between six players who finished at 3 under par.
The medalist was a teammate of two-time PGA TOUR Canada winner Eugene Wong at the University of Oregon.
“Planning a schedule when you don’t have status anywhere is tough, so to be able to look at 12 events and know you’ll be in is great,” said Miernicki, who along with Wong was named an All-American in 2012 and led Oregon to the semifinals of the NCAA tournaments. “Eugene and I had similar careers and we really pushed each other so hopefully we can do the same in Canada. We had some really great teams.”
The 21-year old admitted he wasn’t full of confidence heading into Friday’s final round, but was able to get on a run and put together a bogey-free 64, the best round of the week at Oak Valley.
“I played absolutely horrible yesterday and I got it around somehow, so I was pretty nervous going into today,” said Miernicki. “I just kind of found something and made pretty much everything, so that helps. I’ve been playing pretty well this year, and to do it when it counts means a lot.”
Justin Kim of Hamilton was the lone Canadian to earn status at the tournament. The Steel City golfer and former PGA TOUR member earned conditional status for 2014 by finishing at even par for the week.
Orlando Q-School up next
PGA TOUR Canada heads to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Reunion Golf Resort outside Orlando, Florida next week for the second of three Qualifying Tournaments for 2014. A field of 132 will once again tee it up for 18 exempt cards, with the rest of the top-10 plus ties earning conditional status.