Beaumont, Calif – SPORTS – Santee, California’s Daniel Miernicki fired a final round 64 at Oak Valley Golf Club on Friday to win medalist honours at PGA TOUR Canada’s California Qualifying Tournament. Miernicki, a teammate of two-time PGA TOUR Canada winner Eugene Wong at the University of Oregon, carded eight birdies and finished 15-under total to win by two over three players.
44 players finished 1-over or better to earn status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2014, with 18 players earning exempt status. Whittier, California’s J.P. Brown, Montgomery, Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick and Phoenix, Arizona’s Devin Daniels all birdied the first hole of a six-way playoff to earn exempt status at 3-under par, while 1-over was the cutoff for conditional status.
Miernicki, who fired a 6-under 66 in round one, said he’s looking forward to playing in Canada this summer, especially alongside his old Ducks teammate.
“Planning a schedule when you don’t have status anywhere is tough, so to be able to look at 12 events and know you’ll be in is great,” said Miernicki, who along with Wong was named an All-American in 2012 and led Oregon to the semifinals of the NCAA tournaments. “Eugene and I had similar careers and we really pushed each other so hopefully we can do the same in Canada. We had some really great teams.”
The 21-year old admitted he wasn’t full of confidence heading into Friday’s final round, but was able to get on a run and put together a bogey-free 64, the best round of the week at Oak Valley.
“I played absolutely horrible yesterday and I got it around somehow, so I was pretty nervous going into today,” said Miernicki. “I just kind of found something and made pretty much everything, so that helps. I’ve been playing pretty well this year, and to do it when it counts means a lot.”
Two shots behind Miernicki were Quebec City, Quebec resident Aléxis Anghert, Leicester City, England’s Greg Eason and Longwood, Florida’s Sam Ryder, each at 13-under par.
Among the notables to earn exempt status were former NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner Alan Wagner and Hunter Hamrick, a 3-time All-American at the University of Alabama.
Justin Kim lone Canadian to earn status
Hamilton, Ontario’s Justin Kim shot a final round 73 to finish at even par for the tournament and earn conditional status for 2014. The former PGA TOUR Canada member made one of four cuts in 2013 and will look to improve on a career-best finish of a tie for 57th at last year’s Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial.
Dramatic playoff ends with three quick birdies
J.P. Brown needed an eagle at the par-5 ninth, his final hole of the day, just to get into a six-way playoff for three exempt cards. He made the most of it by hitting his approach from a fairway bunker in the playoff to tap-in distance, securing his exempt status for 2014 along with Hamrick and Devin Daniels.
Three amateurs earn TOUR Canada cards
University of Central Florida senior Greg Eason, University of Arizona grad Trent Redfern and 16-year old Kristian Caparros all earned PGA TOUR Canada status, with Eason locking up exempt status with a T-2 finish. The 21-year old, who claimed his seventh collegiate win with UCF on Sunday, said it was a relief to know he had plans secured for his first summer as a professional.
“It’s a great feeling to know where I’ll be playing following this spring,” said Eason, who plans to turn professional following the NCAA Regional and National championships later this spring. “It’s been a bit of a crazy week but I’m really happy with how I’ve played. This gives me a lot of confidence.”
Orlando Q-School up next
PGA TOUR Canada heads to the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Reunion Golf Resort outside Orlando, Florida next week for the second of three Qualifying Tournaments for 2014. A field of 132 will once again tee it up for 18 exempt cards, with the rest of the top-10 plus ties earning conditional status.