Moore Wins Canadian Open Exemption – $250k Raised for Charities
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Mackenzie Tour PGA Canada Staal Foundation Open finished in spectacular fashion at the Whitewater Golf Club in Thunder Bay. Edmond, Oklahoma’s Taylor Moore shot a final round 6-under 66 on Sunday at Whitewater Golf Club to win the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel for his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada win. The win moves Moore to No. 2 on the Order of Merit, earning him an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open next week.
The 22-year old University of Arkansas graduate carded five birdies, an eagle and one bogey to win by three over Listowel, Ontario’s Corey Conners.
“It feels incredible,” said Moore, who birdied the 18th hole to secure the three shot victory. “I didn’t really want to think about it (RBC Canadian Open), but it’s a dream come true — it has been a life goal of mine to play in a PGA TOUR event. I’m excited about that and ready to get going.”
The Staal Foundation Open also raised an impressive amount for local charities with $250,000 presented to the charities.
Staal Foundation Round Up
The event brought out a massive gallery throughout the week, and the crowd on Sunday was impressive considering that the tee times were moved up over concerns about weather.
Starting the day with a one stroke lead over California’s Tain Lee, Moore started steadily but was quickly caught by Conners, who birdied his first three holes to tie Moore’s lead. Moore, a Mackenzie Tour rookie, responded strongly, however, with three birdies and an eagle from from holes three through seven to take control of the tournament, adding a birdie at the 10th to take a four shot lead with eight holes to go.
“Corey came out of the gates hot and birdied the first three so I knew I couldn’t just sit there and be complacent,” said Moore.
“Taylor had a great eagle on no. 7, made a great putt, and I walked out of there with a par so that was a bit of a swing,” said Conners, who was nonetheless pleased with his performance. “I played pretty well, got off to a really nice start. I’m happy with my game all around.”
For Moore, the win came with the added bonus of having his father, Rod, caddying for him for the first time as a professional.
“It’s something you’ll remember forever. It’s awesome, to have him on the bag is even better. He doesn’t get to do it very often,” said Moore, who recorded a runner-up finish earlier this year at the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist.
Conners, who currently ranks No. 3 on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit, recorded his best career Mackenzie Tour finish, as did Church Point, Nova Scotia’s Austin Connelly, who shot a 5-under 67 to finish alone in third place.
MCCARTHY, MOORE, CORNELSON TEE IT UP ON THE PGA TOUR
As the top three players on the Order of Merit, Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy, Edmond, Oklahoma’s Taylor Moore and Langley, British Columbia’s Adam Cornelson earned exemptions into the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open next week at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Below are the top five players on the Order of Merit through six of 12 events, with the top five earning status on the Web.com Tour for 2017 (bold denotes Canadian).
1. Dan McCarthy $106,383
2. Taylor Moore $53,392
3. Adam Cornelson $37,297
4. Max Rottluff $35,350
5. Ryan Williams $29,393
CONNERS TAKES TOP CANADIAN HONOUR
With a 15-under total in third place, Corey Conners earned Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours and a $2,500 prize.
At each Mackenzie Tour event, the top Canadian on the leaderboard receives the prize, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end earning Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year honours and a $25,000 prize.
Taylor Moore was making his fifth career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. At No. 6 on the Order of Merit heading into the week, Moore needed at least a two-way tie for second this week to have a chance at moving inside the top three on the Order of Merit to earn an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open.
Moore was named a 2014 and 2016 Honorable Mention All-American and was the 2012-13 SEC Freshman of the Year. He finished second in his pro debut earlier this year at the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist.
Moore earned exempt status through the first four events of the year with a T9 finish at the British Columbia Q-School.
Corey Conners was making his third start of the season and 12th of his Mackenzie Tour career. The Listowel, Ontario native sits third on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit this season with four top-10s and no missed cuts in eight events.
The member of Golf Canada’s Young Pro Squad is in his second season as a professional after a stellar amateur career that included a runner-up finish at the 2014 U.S. Amateur and a berth in the 2015 Masters Tournament. Conners played collegiate golf at Kent State, where he was twice named an NCAA All-American.
Conners finished third at the 2015 Staal Foundation open presented by Tbaytel, which earned him conditional status for the remainder of the season as one of the top three non-members on the Order of Merit through six events. Conners went on to finish 37th on the Order of Merit to retain exempt status for 2016.
Conners’ caddie this week was five-time Whitewater club champion Barry Caland.
“I can’t explain what I’m feeling right now. I was sweating it out today a little bit. I just got goosebumps. I’m definitely going to soak it in, it will be my first PGA TOUR event. To see guys like Jason Day and Dustin Johnson out there it will be amazing. Hopefully come Thursday I’ll have my game face on and be ready to go.” – Adam Cornelson on earning a spot in the RBC Canadian Open.
- Weather: 25 degrees Celsius (feels like 31), partly cloudy, winds 20 km/h gusting to 30 km/h.
- NCAA individual champion Aaron Wise recorded a 6-under 66 on Sunday to finish T10 in his Mackenzie Tour debut.
- Preferred lies were in effect again for Round 4.
- Due to anticipated weather, Round 4 tee times ran from 7:15-9:15 a.m. with players teeing off the 1st and 10th tees in threesomes.
- Click here for boxscores.