ORLANDO – GOLF – Toronto, Ontario’s Albin Choi carded a 25-under total to earn medalist honours and exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015 at the Florida Qualifying Tournament.
The path to the Staal Foundation Open, presented by Tbaytel is clear for the newly qualified PGA TOUR Canada carded players.
The 22-year old carded a final round 7-under 65 to win by three shots over Uniontown, Ohio’s Ross Beal and Naples, Florida’s Edward Figueroa. 48 players in total earned status through the qualifying tournament, with eight players left to play off for four spots in the top 18 on Saturday morning. Players finishing 2-18 earn exempt status through the first six events of the 2015 schedule and are subject to the mid-season re-shuffle.
“There were still plenty of guys within reach and there are plenty of birdie opportunities out here, so I had to keep doing what I was doing and stay on the tips of my toes. I stayed patient throughout all these four rounds and it really paid off,” said Choi, a former Canadian Amateur Champion and a current member of Golf Canada’s Young Pro team.
The former NC State standout played on the Web.com Tour last season after finishing 53rd on PGA TOUR Canada’s Order of Merit as a non-member in 2013, but failed to retain status for this year. Thanks to his performance this week, Choi will be able to plan out his schedule and compete to earn status on the Web.com Tour next season.
“It’s always tough any time you lose your card. There definitely was a bit of a learning curve,” said Choi of his learning experience last year on the Web.com Tour, where he made 10 cuts in 19 starts. “I put some things I’ve learned into play this week. I think patience was the key. Maybe that was something I didn’t have before, and something I’ve gotten better at over the last couple of years. It really showed this week and I’m glad everything turned out the way it did.”
“Adversity reveals character. How am I going to react? I could either throw it all away and feel bad for myself because I made a triple and shot 77, or I could come back and make the best of it. I tried to do that as well as I could, and I did a great job,” – 36-hole leader Ty Dunlap, who on his 22nd birthday bounced back from a third round 77 with a final round 65 to earn his way into a playoff for one of the top-18 spots on Saturday morning.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
4: Canadians who earned status for 2015: Albin Choi (1), Jean-Philip Cornellier (T27), Max Gilbert (T35), Brett Cairns (T39).
3: 2014 NCAA All-Americans who earned status: Talor Gooch (T15), Toni Hakula (T15) and Joey Garber (T23) all earned status.
2: Number of strokes it took Ross Beal to complete the 14th hole. Beal holed a 3-wood from 270 yards.
Get Set for the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel July 13-19th in Thunder Bay – Visit www.staalopen.ca
- Weather: 28 degrees Celsius. Cloudy. Winds 10 km/h.
- After play was suspended due to dangerous weather in the area on Thursday, the third round resumed Friday at 7:45 a.m.
- Max Buckley’s 10-under 62 in round three tied the competitive course record, set by Frank Lickliter II during the 2010 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
- Every player in the top five on the leaderboard shot in the 60s for all four rounds.
- Eight players in total shot in the 60s for all four rounds.
- 2007 British Amateur champion Drew Weaver finished in a tie for seventh.
- Two amateurs, England’s Owen Curry and Finland’s Linus Vaisanen, earned status. Curry and Vaisanen, a senior at the University of Central Florida and former teammate of 2014 The Five member Greg Eason, can remain as amateurs until joining as members of PGA TOUR Canada.
- 2013 TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial champion Max Gilbert finished T35 to improve his conditional status as a 2013 champion.
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