The first of four Mackenzie Tour- PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Schools for 2017 has ended with Californian Chris Gilman as the medalist.
Being played in his home state at the Carlton Oaks Country Club (Santee, CA), Gilman closed with a 1-under-par, 71, to earn fully exempt status on the TOUR.
The thirty-year-old led by four strokes heading into the final round and was able to maintain that margin, prevailing by four shots over fellow Californians Matt Picanso and Preston Valder.
“It’s massive,” said Gilman about earning top spot and exempt status for the full schedule of 12 events. “Obviously the goal is to be their Order of Merit winner, and I’m going with guns blazing and we’ll see what happens.”
Gilman is a University of Denver graduate who has 23 professional wins to his credit, the biggest being the 2014 California State Open. He played on the Web.com TOUR in 2015.
Three Canadians Earn Status
Three Canadians finished inside the Top 40 and ties to earn some level of status for the 2017 season.
Eric Hawerchuk of Barrie, Ontario was the best among the Canadians. His tie for 15th earns him exempt status through the first third of the season.
“I stuck to my gameplay,” noted Hawerchuk of the trying week. “I just tried to hit fairways and greens, because this course is tough and there’s no letup out here.”
Canadians Daniel Kim (T27) and Andrew Ledger (T32) also earned Conditional Status.