THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – Lake Elsinore, California’s Aaron Wise shot a 4-under 68 on Wednesday at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community to take the second round lead at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament.
The 19-year old, currently ranked No. 6 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, carded six birdies against one double bogey, his only dropped shots of the week, to lead by four shots over Atherton, California’s Jonathan Garrick through 36 holes at Crown Isle.
The Q-School Qualifiers will be here in Thunder Bay for the Staal Foundation Open in July.
“I played well,” said Wise. “I’ve got a good strategy going and I’m executing all my shots correctly. I had a costly double bogey there on 16 which I’m a little irritated about right now, but I’ll get over it and I’m looking forward to the next couple of days.”
With four wins to his name in his two seasons at Oregon, Wise has flourished in his sophomore year. This spring, he was named a semi-finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top player in college golf, and credited an improvement in his putting to his strong second-year performance.
“My set-up was a little off and my stroke wasn’t very good, so I was making a lot of compensations. Since I’ve gotten a little drill that shows my hip and shoulder alignment and makes sure I’m putting a good stroke on it, and that’s really helped me score a lot better because I’m making the putts I need to make,” said Wise, who owns four collegiate victories and has twice been named Pac-12 Player of the Month.
Former Ducks to have success on the Mackenzie Tour include 2015 ATB Financial Classic Daniel Miernicki and two-time winner Eugene Wong, both of whom preceded Wise at the University of Oregon. Wise said their success on the Mackenzie Tour influenced him to follow their path when he turns pro following the college season.
PROJECTED SCORES FOR MACKENZIE TOUR STATUS:
1st (Exempt for 2016 season): -11/1st
16th (Exempt through 1st re-shuffle): -3/T13
40th plus ties (Conditional status): +1/T35
KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW
3: Players in the 60s both rounds (Aaron Wise, 65-68; Jonathan Garrick, 68-69; Conrad Shindler, 69-69)
7: Former Mackenzie Tour members inside the top-10 through two rounds.
0: Players without a bogey on Wednesday, compared to seven on Tuesday.
“This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to dip my feet into a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event, so it’s just a cool experience to see my name on the PGA TOUR app and play a four-day tournament, which we don’t often in college. It’s just a good experience to get started.” – Jonathan Garrick on transitioning from collegiate to professional golf.
“It takes a lot of stress away. At the end of the day, you get done and you go ‘How bad can it be? I’m about to be a Dad.’ Your wife and your soon-to-be child mean a lot more than missing a six-footer.” – 2015 Mackenzie Tour member Jeff Rein, who is expecting a baby with his wife Katrina in September.
“I felt that I wasn’t able to handle it the right way and put too much pressure on myself. It’s a long path and it’s a beautiful path. Whatever goes on and whatever happens, it’s been such an amazing thing and I’m so happy to be back up here in Canada. I love it up here. I don’t know what it is exactly, I just feel really good here. I’m stoked I’m going to stay here for the next two months no matter what happens, and I love it here.” – Hugo Leon on his past two seasons on the Web.com Tour and the continuing journey to reach the PGA TOUR through the Mackenzie Tour.
- Weather: 16 degrees Celsius. Sunny. Winds 12 km/h.
- Aaron Wise, currently No. 6 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was named a semi-finalist for the Ben Hogan Award this year, given to the top player in college golf. Fellow Mackenzie Tour member Matt NeSmith, who earned status at the USA East No. 2 Qualifying Tournament last month, was also named a semi-finalist.
- Jonathan Garrick is currently the world’s 40th-ranked amateur and a three-time All-American at UCLA.
- Hugo Leon won The Great Waterway Classic in 2013 and finished fourth on the Order of Merit to earn status on the Web.com Tour. Leon made 15 cuts in 35 starts over the past two seasons, including three top-25 finishes.
- Jeff Rein made six cuts in 11 starts on the Mackenzie Tour in 2016, with a season-best T21 finish at the Wildfire Invitational