Six players tied for lead after first round at Mission Inn Resort

PGA TOUR Canada News

Of course there is golf. Here Paul McConnell from Dallas Texas tees off in the Can-OP Pro-Am.
Of course there is golf. Here Paul McConnell from Dallas Texas tees off in the Can-OP Pro-Am.

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Florida – SPORTS – John Langhoff is from Wisconsin, but he hasn’t lived there for a while, moving to Florida after high school. Wednesday morning at 7:40 when he tees off during the second round of the Mackenzie Tour Qualifying Tournament at Mission Inn Resort’s El Campeon Course, he’ll get a small taste of Badger State weather. With unseasonably cool conditions for this part of Central Florida, Langhoff said he’ll “definitely be layering up” for at least part of his round. The good news is he will enter the second round in a six-way tie for the lead after he shot a 3-under 69 Tuesday to join Americans Matthew Oshrine, Bennett Wisner, Kyle Mueller and amateur Travis Trace and Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen atop the leaderboard. Four players are a stroke back, tied for seventh, with an additional eight players two shots behind.

Langhoff could point to a shot from a greenside hazard on No. 18, his ninth hole of the day, as a pivotal point in his round. He finished his front nine in style, making his pitch shot to shoot an opening-nine 33 on the strength of four birdies. “It was a pretty straight forward chip now that you can ground the club in the hazard,” he said.

First-Round Leaderboard

Qualifying Tournament—U.S. East No. 1

Pos.

Name Scores

T1

Matthew Oshrine (U.S.) 35-34—69 (-3)

T1

Andreas Halvorsen (Norway) 33-36—69 (-3)

T1

Bennett Wisner (U.S.) 31-38—69 (-3)

T1

Kyle Mueller (U.S.) 35-34—69 (-3)

T1

a-Travis Trace (U.S.) 35-34—69 (-3)

T1

John Langhoff (U.S.) 36-33—69 (-3)

T7

a-Ryan Gronlund (U.S.) 35-35—70 (-2)

T7

John Coultas (U.S.) 36-34—70 (-2)

T7

Drew McCullough (U.S.) 34-36—70 (-3)

T7

Will Evans (U.S.) 35-35—70 (-2)

Meanwhile, Halvorsen’s only troubles Tuesday came on the El Campeon Course’s two closing holes, Nos. 9 and 18. He bogeyed both, his only bogeys of the day. Conversely, he birdied both the first and 10 holes, two of his overall five birdies.

Halvorsen is fully-exempt on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2019, while Mueller is only conditionally exempt—Mueller looking for a regular place to play while Halvorsen seeks an opportunity to fill out his schedule when PGA TOUR Latinoamerica takes its normal summer hiatus. Heading to Canada for a full Mackenzie Tour season is the goal.

“I’ll see it goes. It all depends on how I play this week, but that’s the plan,” Halvorsen said.

Those players tied for seventh are all Americans—John Coultas, amateur Ryan Gronlund, Drew McCullough and Will Evans.

Two players—Jake Kelley (6-over) and amateur Thomas Walsh (2-over)—didn’t finish their first rounds, and they will complete their initial 18 holes Wednesday morning.

Did you know Travis Trace is one of 16 amateurs playing this week? Trace shot a 3-under 69 Tuesday to take a share of the first-round lead. Trace is a senior at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, set to graduate this semester.

Key Information

In the first round of the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at Mission Inn Resort and Club, there were 28 under-par scores. In Tuesday’s Mackenzie Tour first round, there were 18 sub-par scores.

Andreas Halvorsen birdied three of his four par-5s Tuesday, his birdies coming at Nos. 1, 10 and 14. He parred the other par-5, No. 17.

The only previous PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour action Matthew Oshrine has seen in his career came a year ago, when he missed the cut at the Web.com Tour’s Rust-Oleum Championship outside Chicago.

Matthew Oshrine played collegiate golf at Duke University coming out of Pikesville High School in Loyola, Md. Among his teammates at Duke were Jake Shuman, a Mackenzie Tour veteran who played on Tour a year ago after emerging from the Canada qualifier. Also on the team was 2014 and 2015 Mackenzie Tour member Ben Silverman, now playing on the PGA TOUR, and Web.com Tour member Motin Yeung of Hong Kong.

Jake Shuman had a difficult day, with two triple bogey-7s on his card. He shot a 9-over 81 and is tied for 107th through 18 holes.

Kyle Mueller shot a 3-under 69 in the first round and is tied for the lead. The Georgia native and University of Michigan product is no stranger to this course. He tied for 16th in January at the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Qualifying Tournament at El Campeon, earning conditional status for the first half of the 2019 schedule.

Andreas Halvorsen had multiple Division I offers from U.S., colleges and universities, but the Larvik, Norway, native elected to turn pro after high school and not play college golf. Halvorsen has been a member of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica since 2016, with 42 career starts on that circuit, 27 made cuts and 16 top-10s. His top finish was a runner-up finish at the 2017 Argentine Open, losing in a playoff with Matt Ryan to American Brady Schnell.

Bennett Wisner was off to a slow start through the first nine holes of his first round, with a birdie and two bogeys on Mission Inn’s back nine. After making the turn, his fortunes changed. He eagled his 10th hole of the day, No. 1, made six consecutive pars then finished with a flourish—with birdies on his closing two holes.

In January, John Coultas qualified for the first half of the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica schedule with a tie for seventh here at El Campeon. That week, he shot rounds of 71-69-70-71, his 70 Tuesday his fifth consecutive under-par round at Mission Inn. His plan is to play in as many early season PGA TOUR Latinoamerica tournaments for which he’s eligible. He will then set his sights on the Mackenzie Tour when PGA TOUR Latinoamerica takes its scheduled two-month summer break.

Quotable

“It’s a good course. You have to have a strategy and a game plan going into it.” –John Coultas

“It’s nice to be back. I enjoy the course.” –Travis Trace on his first return to Mission Inn since high school

“That’s what I’ve been harping on, staying patient; it’s a long four days.” –Travis Trace

“I’ll see how it goes. It all depends on how I play this week, but that’s the plan.” –Andreas Halvorsen on splitting time between PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour in 2019

“I birdied three of the par-5s and left it in good spots, three or four feet every time for birdie. That’s the whole course, leaving it in good spots so you can be aggressive when you can.” –Travis Trace

“I grew up in Norway, so I’m used to it. I haven’t lived there for a while, but I grew up playing in the stuff all the time.” –Andreas Halvorsen on the unusually cold weather Tuesday

“I didn’t have any rain gear. I’m used to having a caddie. My brother helped me out last year. I just listen to the people who tell me it’s supposed to be good weather here in Florida.” –Andreas Halvorsen

“Last year’s (PGA TOUR Latinoamerica) break was so long, and it’s just hard getting back into it. It’s just going to be better if I have a place to play in the summer and just having more chances to get to the next level.” –Andreas Halvorsen on why he is trying to qualify for the Mackenzie Tour

“That front nine can bite you pretty quickly. If you can to work your way through it, the back nine has some birdie opportunities.” –John Coultas

“I had a pretty similar game plan. I’ve played this course a bunch. I played it in college and for high school states. I kind of knew going into it, and I’m pretty familiar with it, from back in January until today.” –John Coultas on Mission Inn’s El Campeon Course

“I started on the back (nine), and I knew that was the side you have to take advantage of.” –Kyle Mueller

“I’ve already booked my ticket for Panama. I’ll either be the last one in (to the tournament) or first one out. It’s a tough spot to be in, but if I have to eat the $200 (airline) change fee, that’s the way it goes.” –Kyle Mueller on being conditionally exempt for PGA TOUR Latinoamerica’s season-opening Buenaventura Classic in Rio Hato, Panama

“I definitely ball-struck it today. I didn’t put myself in too much trouble. I had only one bogey, and it was a dumb bogey—a three-putt from 15 feet.” –John Coultas

“I’d like to be that guy. I’m trying to be that guy. But it doesn’t happen often enough.” –Andreas Halvorsen on his ability to post very low scores

“Actually, sometimes the cold weather helps me because I get fast—my swing gets fast. When it’s cold, I just sit back and relax and focus on tempo. You’re not trying to kill it out there; you’re trying to dink it around and make as many pars as you can.” –John Coultas

Tournament Fast Fact

Two months ago, Mission Inn’s El Campeon Course hosted the U.S. Qualifying Tournament for PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. Neal Ajubita came from behind on the final two holes to capture medalist honours away from Mackenzie Tour member Dawson Armstrong.

How the Tournament Works

There are 120 players competing this week with hopes of earning Mackenzie Tour membership for the 2019 season. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each of the six Qualifying Tournaments:

Finish Position Status
Medalist Exempt for the 2019 season
2nd through 14th Fully exempt for the first six tournaments and subject to the re-shuffle
15th through 40th (plus ties) Conditionally exempt

First-Round Weather Report

Overcast and cool, with rain for most of the morning. High of 55. Wind WNW