The USA West #2 Qualifying School for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada concluded on Friday in San Jacinto, California.
A native to the state, Jake Knapp of Costa Mesa coasted to medalist honours, earning fully exempt status for 2017. Knapp’s closing round of 68 boosted him to a 268 (-16) total for the week, putting him seven strokes clear of the field.
The 22 year-old took full advantage of his extra length in the obstacle-ridden Soboba Springs course that gave many players trouble.
“I had the advantage on a lot of the holes to be able to take some of the hazards out of play, so if I knew if I could drive it straight and have a lot of shots between 100-150 yards, that would give me opportunities to make birdies,” said Knapp.
Knapp is no stranger to the Canadian circuit, he played north of the border in 2016 but only made two cuts and earned $1,124 on his way to 158th on the Order of Merit. He hopes to improve on that greatly in the season ahead.
“Overall, getting a little redemption back,” said Knapp as he spoke of the year to come back on the TOUR. “My game’s changed enough now where I think it’s going to fit the courses a little bit better. It’s about being able to score a little better and ideally put myself in a position to win.”
Five Canadians earns status at this qualifying school. The top among them was Stuart MacDonald. The Team Canada member and Purdue University graduate from Vancouver tied for 9th place to earn exempt status through the first third of the season.
Eric Banks of Nova Scotia finished in a tie for 16th, while Matt McQuillan (Kingston, ON) used a final round of 64 to earn a tie for 22nd, Raoul Menard (Ange-Gardien, QC) shared 25th, and David Rose (West Vancouver, B.C.) ended the week with a piece of 28th.
FINAL SCORES FOR MACKENZIE TOUR STATUS: After 72 holes this week, every player inside the top 40 and ties earned Mackenzie Tour status for 2017. Below is a breakdown of the cut-offs for status:
1st (Exempt for 2017 season): -16/1st
5th (Exempt for first 8 events, subject to 2nd reshuffle): -6/5th
16th (Exempt for first 4 events, subject to 1st reshuffle): E/T16*
*(Dearborn, Michigan’s Evan Bowser prevailed in 4-for-1 playoff)
40th (Conditional status): +7/T36
Click here for the final leaderboard