STARKE FINISHES WITH 64, EARNS EXEMPT STATUS WITH Q-SCHOOL WIN
Port St. Lucie, Fla. – SPORTS – Chapin, South Carolina’s Will Starke finished up a final round 8-under 64 on Saturday at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course to earn medalist honours at Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Q-School and secure exempt status for 2016.
The 22-year old was bogey-free for his final round finishing at 16-under total to win by two over fellow University of South Carolina senior Matt NeSmith.
“The putter got hot and I kind of found something on the range before my third round. I just went with it and it felt good, and I was lucky to keep it going,” said Starke, who was 14-under for his final two rounds.
After successfully earning their cards, Starke and NeSmith join fellow teammates Sean Kelly and Caleb Sturgeon as current members of the South Carolina men’s golf team to earn status on the Mackenzie Tour for 2016. Kelly finished T18 this week to earn conditional status, while Sturgeon finished T11 at last week’s Q-School to earn exempt status through the first re-shuffle.
“We’ve been playing forever, and I live with him,” said Starke of his teammate and roommate NeSmith. “We kind of push each other and make each other better. It’s been important for me to have a good player like him to push myself continuously.”
43 players in total earned status on the Mackenzie Tour for 2016, including Kitchener, Ontario native and 2015 Mackenzie Tour member Chris Hemmerich, who was the low Canadian in solo fourth place at 11-under.
FINAL SCORES FOR MACKENZIE TOUR STATUS:
1st (Exempt for 2016 season): -16/1st
16th (Exempt through 1st re-shuffle): -6/T14
40th plus ties (Conditional status): E/T36
Below are notes on the top 16 players from this week’s Q-School:
WILL STARKE (a): 2015 2nd team NCAA All-American is a fellow senior and roommate at South Carolina with Matt NeSmith.
MATT NESMITH (a): Current senior at University of South Carolina has twice been named an NCAA All-American and is ranked no. 9 in World Amateur Golf Ranking.
CARTER JENKINS (a): Currently in his junior season at the University of North Carolina after transferring from UNC-Greensboro, Jenkins is currently ranked no. 56 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
CHRIS HEMMERICH: Former member of Golf Canada’s National Amateur team was exempt on Mackenzie Tour in 2015 and finished 86th on Order of Merit.
BRIAN DWYER: Southern Methodist University grad also played hockey in college and held Mackenzie Tour status last year, missing the cut in one start.
VAITA GUILLAUME: Native of French Polynesia finished 85th on 2015 Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit, including a T11 at last year’s SIGA Dakota Dunes Open.
ALEX MEDINIS: First-time Mackenzie Tour member played collegiate golf at Florida Gulf Coast University and has seven career holes-in-one.
ROMAN ROBLEDO: Was a 2014 2nd team NCAA All-American at the University of Houston. Won twice on the Adams Tour in fall of 2015.
WILL MCCURDY: 2012 Auburn University graduate shot 59 in a SwingThought.com event last year.
EDWARD FIGUEROA: Finished second at 2015 Mackenzie Tour Q-School and recorded one top-25 finish in seven starts.
RYAN HEISEY: Has three top-25 finishes in 15 career starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Won 2010 North Carolina Amateur Championship.
PAUL BARJON (a): Former teammate of Mackenzie Tour member Julien Brun at TCU will complete his senior season for the Horned Frogs later this year.
SCOTT WOLFES: Georgia Southern grad was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2015 and turned pro last year.
BLAKE REDMOND: Virginia Tech graduate will have Mackenzie Tour status for the first time and owns one pro victory on the Adams Tour.
ADAM WEBB: Played collegiate golf at Longwood University, where he captured two individual victories.
ELLIOTT WHITLEY (a): Hamilton, Ontario native captured 2015 Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship and plays collegiate golf at Lynn University.
“I knew my game was good enough to compete out there. It was just a matter of going out there and doing it, and I did, so it’s a great feeling. Playing a year up there last year, I know most of the golf courses and the routine, and I’m really looking forward to it.” – Chris Hemmerich on re-earning his card for 2016.
- Weather: 28 degrees Celsius. Partly Cloudy. Winds 14 km/h.
- Round four was suspended due to darkness on Friday at 7:33 p.m. and resumed at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.
- 2015 NCAA All-Americans in the field this week: Will Starke (-16/1st), Matt NeSmith (-14/2nd), Hank Lebioda (-4/T17), J.D. Tomlinson (-3/T21), Chase Koepka E/T36)
- Canadians to earn status: Chris Hemmerich (-11/4th), Elliott Whitley (-6/T14), Zack Kempa (E/T36), Patrick Williams (E/T36).
- Chase Koepka, brother of PGA TOUR winner Brooks Koepka, shot a final round 1-under 71 to finish T36 and earn conditional status.
- Click here for scores.