Connelly Leads Way As Four Canadians Earn Mackenzie Tour Status

Austin Connelly Has Earned Status on the Mackenzie Tour. His opening tee shot as a pro (pictured) came on the tour in 2015 (Photo: Scott MacLeod)
Austin Connelly Has Earned Status on the Mackenzie Tour. His opening tee shot as a pro (pictured) came on the tour in 2015 (Photo: Scott MacLeod)
Austin Connelly Has Earned Status on the Mackenzie Tour. His opening tee shot as a pro (pictured) came on the tour in 2015 (Photo: Scott MacLeod)

While a Californian took took top honours in his home state at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR USA West Qualifying that concluded on Friday, four Canadian players earn some status on the TOUR.

John Chin of Temecula, California carried his third round lead to the end, earning the medalist spot at the third of four 2016 qualifying events for the TOUR.

Chin’s final lap of the Carlton Oaks course in Santee, California was completed in 70 strokes (-2) and gave him the top spot for the week at -14. It gives him fully exempt status on the Mackenzie Tour for 2016.

“It was a lot of fun out there. My goal was just to try and limit my mistakes and not make any bogeys. Colin’s putter got hot at the end there and made things interesting, but it was a lot of fun,” said Chin.

Chin, 29, had a bit of advantage this week. In preparation for the Q-School he won a Golden State Tour event just last week at Carlton Oaks.

“I had a lot of confidence coming into this week, so I was just saying ‘why can’t I do it again?” To see the results on top of the hard work, it feels good,” said Chin.

After making his pro debut on the Mackenzie Tour in 2015 at The Great Waterway Classic at Loyalist Country Club in Bath, former Golf Canada National Team member Austin Connelly tied for 7th and will enjoy exempt status through the first reshuffle.

“I can’t wait. I’m really excited to play up in Canada. There are few places I’d rather be than up there for the summertime, and I’m going to get some more experience under my belt. I’m only 19, so I’m just taking everything as it comes and just trying to learn as much as I can every week. It’s been up in the air this year not knowing exactly when and where I’m going to be playing, so it’s nice knowing I can go ahead and plan my schedule.”

Toronto’s Andrew Ledger will play in the same category after tying for 10th. The former high level pitcher has been fighting hard to carve out a professional golf career without membership status so this will be a big boost to his efforts.

“To come out here under this pressure and play the way I did, I’m pretty proud of that,” Ledger explained. “I’ve played two events before, but chasing those Monday Qualifiers can be tough, so it’s great to settle down, have a game plan and try to do it.”

North York’s Jae Yong Kim also shared 10th with Ledger to earn exempt status until the first reshuffle.

Toronto’s Patrick Williams earned conditional status for finishing tied for 36th.

For the week, 40 players in total earned status for the 2016 Mackenzie Tour season.

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