*Image credit: Chuck Russell/PGA TOUR Canada
Kelowna, British Columbia (Mackenzie Tour) – The Mackenzie Tour makes its way into the Okanagan Valley this week for the continuation of the B.C. Golf Swing at the second annual GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club. Here’s a look at the storylines for the week, including what’s at stake, players to watch and key notes.
Dates: June 12-18
Course: Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club (Kelowna, B.C.)
2016 champion: Dan McCarthy
Purse: $175,000/$31,500 winner’s prize
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @gbcchampionship / #gbcchamp
Du Toit makes second start on sponsor exemption
Former Golf Canada National Amateur Team member Jared du Toit made his professional debut last week in Victoria and will once again tee it up this week at the GolfBC Championship. Last year, du Toit thrilled fans across Canada last year by playing his way into the final group on Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open before finishing tied for ninth. The Arizona State alum finished T29 in his professional debut last week at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist.
About Jared du Toit:
Born: May 22, 1995 (Calgary, Alberta)
Hometown: Kimberley, B.C.
College: Arizona State University; University of Idaho
Amateur accomplishments: Won 2017 Amer Ari Invitational (NCAA); Was named a semi-finalist for the 2017 Ben Hogan Award; Won 2016 Glencoe Invitational; Named 2016 NCAA Honorable Mention All-American; Won 2015 Wyoming Cowboy Classic (NCAA).
Looking back at 2016
Dan McCarthy put his mark on the inaugural GolfBC Championship in a big way in 2016, setting what was then the 72-hole scoring record on the Mackenzie Tour with a 25-under total of 259 and a record-setting seven-stroke win over Vancouver, B.C.’s Ryan Williams.
The win was part of a record-breaking year that saw the 30-year old Syracuse, New York native win Player of the Year honours and set the Tour record for wins (four), earnings ($157,843) and largest margin of victory (seven).
GolfBC Championship supports Kelowna flooding relief
The GolfBC Championship announced last week that a significant portion of the proceeds from the tournament will go to Red Cross Kelowna flood relief after heavy rains fell in the Okanagan Valley leading up to the event. Last year, the event raised $150,000 and will continue to raise money for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.
Mackenzie Tour members earn U.S. Open spots
Four Mackenzie Tour players will compete for a spot at the U.S. Open this week after making it through Sectional Qualifying last Monday.
Jordan Niebrugge: Currently fourth on the Order of Merit thanks to a T2 finish at the season-opening Freedom 55 Financial Open, Niebrugge was a Four-time NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State finished T6 as an amateur at the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Won the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links and played in the Masters in 2014.
Derek Barron: Playing in his first season on the Mackenzie Tour after winning several events as a member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section, including the 2012 Oregon Open and 2015 Northwest Open.
Max Greyserman: Recent Duke University graduate is playing in his first season on the Mackenzie Tour and won the 2015 New Jersey Amateur Championship and the 2014 New Jersey Open. Works with swing coach Jeff Smith, who also coaches 2016 The Five member Aaron Wise.
Daniel Miernicki: Former 1st team All-American at the University of Oregon, Miernicki has conditional status on the Web.com Tour season. In 2015, he claimed his first Mackenzie Tour victory at the ATB Financial Classic.
Sadlowski and du Toit among sponsor exemptions
Joining du Toit among this week’s sponsor exemptions is two-time World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski. The 28-year old earned conditional status earlier this year at the USA East #2 Q-School and has played in three career Mackenzie Tour events, finishing T68 at the 2013 Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON.
Wyatt Brook, Kamloops, B.C.
Lorens Chan, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jared du Toit, Kimberley, B.C.
Blair Hamilton, Burlington, Ont.
Steven Lam, Hong Kong
Jamie Sadlowski, St. Albert, Alta.
Matt Hopley, Kelowna, B.C.
Christopher Trunzer, Germany
What’s at stake
Players are competing this season for position on the season-ending Order of Merit and look to gain access to the Web.com Tour in 2018. Below is a breakdown of the status available.
Order of Merit position
|1||Exempt on 2018 Web.com Tour|
|2-5||Conditional status on Web.com Tour|
|6-10||Exemption into final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School|
|11-20||Exemption into second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School|
Open Qualifying took place at Okanagan Golf Club (The Bear Course).
(bold denotes Canadian).
1. Daniel Stringfellow (Roselle, Ill.) – 63
T2. Corey Pereira (Cameron Park, Calif.) – 64
T2. Dale Smith (Coronado, Calif.) – 64
T4. Ryan Books (East Wenatchee, Wash.) – 64
T4. Jesse Smith (Dover, N.H.) – 64
T4. Joe Cooper (Irvine, Calif.) – 64
T4. Kevin Aylwin (New Smyma Beach, Fla.) – 64
T4. Andrew Ledger (Toronto, Ont.) – 64
T4. Andrew Funk (Edmonton, Alta.) – 64
T4. Damian Telles (The Dalles, Ore.) – 64
Notes on the field
- Nine British Columbians are in the field this week: Brad Clapp (Chilliwack); Seann Harlingten (West Vancouver); Cory Renfrew (Victoria); Riley Wheeldon (Comox); Ryan Williams (Vancouver); Jared du Toit (Kimberley); Stuart Macdonald (Vancouver); Matt Hopley (Kelowna); Wyatt Brook (Kamloops)
- 21 Canadians are in the field.
- 2016-17 tournament winners in the field: Charlie Bull (2016 ATB Financial Classic); David Pastore (2016 Niagara Championship); Max Rottluff (2016 SIGA Dakota Dunes Open, 2017 Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist); Lee McCoy (2017 Freedom 55 Financial Open).
Mackenzie Tour alumni notes
- 18 Mackenzie Tour alumni, including 10 members from 2016, are inside the top-75 on the Web.com Tour Money List and in position to make the Web.com Tour Finals.
- The PGA TOUR announced earlier this year that it will begin testing the use of distance measuring devices during competition at select tournaments this year on the Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, with the GolfBC Championship being the first Mackenzie Tour event to allow their use. The Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada will test at: the GolfBC Championship, June 15-18 in Kelowna, British Columbia; the Players Cup, July 6 – 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba; the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, July 13 – 16 in Thunder Bay, Ontario; and the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval, July 20 – 23 in Mirabel, Quebec.
- The top three players on the Order of Merit through the first six events of the 2017 season will earn exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open.