When play opens for the 2018-2019 PGA TOUR season on Thursday (yes, it’s been an excruciatingly long few hours of an off-season) a full 5.5% of the field at the Safeway Open will be from Canada. In fact, with eight players among the 144 playing in Napa, California, it will be the largest contingent from the north for a PGA TOUR event outside of an RBC Canadian Open or the now long-gone Air Canada Championship.
The tally would be one higher if Graham DeLaet was not still on the bench dealing with a back injury, but until he returns Canadian golf fans will have eight fine pros to put their faith in.
We take a quick look at their form and accomplishments leading into the new season:
The 26 year-old from Listowel, Ontario turned pro in 2015 and finished 130th in the FedEx Cup points standings in 2017-18. Currently ranked #420 in the world, he recorded one top ten finish in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season, a t-8 at the Fort Worth Invitational. The helped his earnings total $728,296 last year. He finished in a tie for 30th place at the 2017 Safeway Open.
Key Stat: 22nd on PGA TOUR in Greens in Regulations (70.19%)
The 30 year-old from Abbotsford, B.C. was the top Canadian on the 2017-18 PGA TOUR, narrowly missing a spot in the TOUR Championship at 36th in the FedEx Cup Point Standings. Hadwin, who is headed for his 10th season as a pro, cracked the top-ten three times this past campaign, with a T3 at the CareerBuilder Challenge, a T6 at the Genesis Open, and a very lucrative T9 at the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship. Hadwin was remarkably consistent with just three missed cuts in 2017-18, racking up a impressive $1,932,488 in earnings.
Key Stat: 5th on the PGA TOUR in percentage of putts made from 10-15 feet
Two top-ten finishes helped the Brantford, Ontario raised pro to 138th on the FedEx Cup Point Standings. A share of 8th at the final regular season event on the year, the Wyndham Championship, buoyed his status. Now 39, Hearn joined the PGA TOUR in 2005 and, while still seeking his first PGA TOUR victory, his career earnings on the world’s top circuit are nearing $10 million.
Key Stat: Ranked 24th in driving accuracy percentage on PGA TOUR in 2017-2018 at a 66.63% clip.
At age 27 he is already a PGA TOUR winner. The Dundas, Ontario native had some struggles early in 2017-18 but shored his game later in the season, including a tie for 8th at the RBC Canadian Open. Despite that he finished 160th in the FedEx Cup Points standings, picking up $518,476 earnings. Three top 20 finishes since July shows promise for the season ahead.
Key Stat: 8th on the PGA TOUR for approaches from 50-125 yards
This 30 year-old Thornhill, Ontario golfer burst on to the PGA TOUR this year with two top-ten finishes in the Fall wrap-around season and continued to show world-class skills with a tie for 11th at the Forth Worth Invitational. While he finished 136th in the FedEx Cup Point Standings he earned his way back to the same status he started the year with by strong play at the Web.com Tour Championship where he tied for 3rd place. He earned $793,140 in his rookie PGA TOUR campaign and pocketed another $47,700 on the Web.com Tour. He tied for 43rd at the 2017 Safeway Open.
Key Stat: 13th on PGA TOUR for scrambling under 30 yards
A recent graduate from the Web.com Tour where the Merritt, B.C. golfer secured PGA TOUR status by finishing 20th in the Web.com Tour Priority Rankings. No rookie at age 31, he turned pro in 2009 and has four professional victories to his credit. He posted four top-ten finishes on the Web.com Tour in 2018 including a critical tie for 2nd at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco just a few weeks ago.
Key Stat: Finished 16th on Web.com Tour in Par Four Birdie of Better Leaders
Another B.C. boy (Surrey) who got his season started of right on the Web.com Tour with three consecutive top-15 finishes including a win at the The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club. It locked up his PGA TOUR card for 2018-19 very early and propelled him to a season where he earned $190,825 to finish 14th on the money list. He ended with five top-ten finishes.
Key Stat: 18th on the Web.com Tour in putts per green in regulation at 1.744
A tie for 8th at the regular season-ending Wyndham Championship pushed this Abbotsford, B.C. pro into the top 125 (123rd) of the FedEx Cup Points Standings and capped a PGA TOUR season where he also recorded another top ten. While his game was not as consistent as he hoped, especially mid-season, his game rounded into form later in the campaign. He did kick off the wrap-around year with a tie for 9th at the Safeway Open so be prepared to see this 30 year-old former PGA TOUR winner looking comfortable this week.
Key Stat: 20th in Total Driving Efficiency on 2017-18 PGA TOUR