Round One of Staal Foundation Open Presents Challenge

Looking down the 18th hole at the Whitewater Golf Club - Staal Foundation Open 2016
Looking down the 18th hole at the Whitewater Golf Club - Staal Foundation Open 2016

Looking down the 18th hole at the Whitewater Golf Club - Staal Foundation Open 2016
Looking down the 18th hole at the Whitewater Golf Club – Staal Foundation Open 2016
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Staal Foundation Open kicked off Monday, today the golfers take to the forefront of the very popular Mackenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada golf event.

The conditions Thursday at Whitewater presented a challenge to all of the golfers, wet conditions meshed with wind made the course play quite long.

Robbie Untinen Talks about Round One

For local Thunder Bay player Robbie Untinen the day started tough, as one of the local favourites, he got going and was four over par after two holes. He started to regroup through the day, finishing at 77 for the day.

Staal Foundation Open Executive Director Scott Smith

Staal Foundation Open Executive Director Scott Smith has been tireless in building a solid team that has made this PGA TOUR Canada Event a fan and player favourite on the MacKenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

The volunteers across the map from the greeters at the gate, to the course marshals and all the people working to make the event flow seamlessly make it look easy.

The Staal Foundation Open shuttle bus drivers offer the players an amazing service, one that topped the player’s list across Canada when they were surveyed at the end of the 2015 tour.

For players, the Staal Foundation Open is quickly becoming their favourite stop on the PGA TOUR Canada schedule.

The combination of incredible volunteers and sponsors help to make this event spectacular.

“Everyone Plays” at the Staal Foundation

For the third consecutive year, the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel brings a unique combination of golf and hockey to Thunder Bay’s Whitewater Golf Club, featuring the presence of the NHL’s Staal brothers (Eric, Jordan, Marc and Jared) and other hockey legends and celebrities, including Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr. The event raised $190,500 for local charities last year, partnering with the Staal Family Foundation to bring the community together for a week-long schedule of activities.

RBC Canadian Open spots on the line 
Following the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, the top three players on the Order of Merit will earn exemptions into the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open, July 18-24 at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Thanks to his three wins, Order of Merit leader Dan McCarthy is mathematically guaranteed a spot in the top three. Below are the top five players on the Order of Merit through four events (bold denotes Canadian).

1. Dan McCarthy $105,438
2. Adam Cornelson $36,352
3. Max Rottluff $35,350

4. Ryan Williams $28,448
5. Carter Jenkins $27,668

Chase for The Five heats up  
Players are competing this season for position on the season-ending Order of Merit and look to gain access to the Tour in 2017. Below is a breakdown of the status available, as well as the current Top Five.

Order of Merit position


1 Exempt on 2017 Tour
2-5 Conditional status on Tour
6-10 Exemption into final stage of Tour Q-School
11-20 Exemption into second stage of Tour Q-School

NCAA champion Wise makes Mackenzie Tour debut
2016 NCAA Individual champion and British Columbia Q-School medalist Aaron Wise will make his first Mackenzie Tour start this week. The former Oregon Duck turned professional at the U.S. Open after after a successful sophomore season that saw him win the individual stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship and lead the Ducks to the team title. Other former NCAA individual champions in the field include Matt Hill (2009), Cameron Wilson (2014) and Jonathan Moore (2006).

Pan qualifies for Olympics, moves in position for PGA TOUR card
With a playoff runner-up finish at the Tour’s LECOM Health Challenge on Sunday, two-time Mackenzie Tour winner C.T. Pan, who finished in The Five in 2015, solidified a spot in the 60-player men’s field for the Olympics in Rio next month, representing Chinese Taipei. Pan also moved to No. 16 on the Tour money list, joining three other recent Mackenzie Tour alumni in position to earn PGA TOUR cards for next season.

Player Tour earnings

Money List Position

Julian Etulain*



Joel Dahmen



J.J. Spaun



C.T. Pan



* = Earned Tour status through PGA TOUR Latinoamérica

With seven events remaining in the regular season, all five members of The Five from 2015 are in position to make the Tour Finals. 14 total 2013-present alums are inside the top-75 and in position to play for a PGA TOUR card at the end of the year.


2015 Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit position

2016 Tour Money List Position

J.J. Spaun



C.T. Pan



Taylor Pendrith



Sam Ryder



Jason Millard



McCarthy’s record-setting season continues in Thunder Bay
With three wins and two others top-10s to start the season, Dan McCarthy looks to continue his red-hot season in Thunder Bay this week. Below is a list of McCarthy’s accomplishments so far this season:

  • Under par all 20 rounds this season.
  • Leads the Mackenzie Tour in scoring average (66.75).
  • Leads the Mackenzie Tour in eagles (9), birdies (96, tied with Ryan Williams).
  • Set 72-hole scoring record (PGA TOUR-era) with four-day totals of 259 at GolfBC Championship and the Players Cup.
  • Set record for largest margin of victory (PGA TOUR-era) with seven shot wins at GolfBC Championship and Players Cup.
  • First player in Mackenzie Tour history (PGA TOUR-era) to win three times
  • First player in Mackenzie Tour history (PGA TOUR-era) to reach $100,000 in earnings.
  • Leads Mackenzie Tour in Par-3 Performance (-13), Par-4 Performance (-30) and Par-5 Performance (-46).

Looking back at the 2015 Staal Foundation Open 
In 2015, J.J. Spaun came to Thunder Bay in second place on the Order of Merit following a playoff loss at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open and a solo third performance at the Players Cup. After entering the final round one shot off the lead, Spaun birdied four of his first five holes on the back nine to take control of the event, eventually finishing with a one stroke victory over Nicholas Reach.

The win propelled Spaun to the Order of Merit lead, which he would hold onto through the end of the season to earn exempt status on the Tour for 2016.

Golf Canada Sponsor Exemptions

At each regular Mackenzie Tour event, sponsor exemptions are awarded to current or former members of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Team. Alumni of the team who have played on the Mackenzie Tour include Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor.

Burlington, Ontario’s Blair Hamilton, who recently concluded his college career at the University of Houston, will tee it up this week alongside seven other regular sponsor exemptions.

Other sponsor exemptions:
Evan DeGrazia, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Jarryd Felton, Perth, Australia

Grant Fuhr, Edmonton, Alta.

Blair Hamilton, Burlington, Ont.

Jeff Hunter, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Walt Keating, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Evan Littlefield, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Robbie Untinen, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Monday Qualifiers
Open Qualifying took place at Fort William Country Club.

(bold denotes Canadian).

T1. Cameron White – 69
T1. Lucas Kim – 69
T3. Curtis Donahoe – 70
T3. Daniel Iceman – 70
T5. Scott Wolfes – 71
T5. Michael Blair – 71
T5. J.P. Brown – 71
T5. Sang Hwa Lee – 71
T5. Tim McCormick – 71
T5. Cameron Harrell – 71

Miscellaneous Notes

  • 30 Canadians are in the field.
  • 2015-16 tournament winners in the field: Brad Clapp (2015 The Great Waterway Classic), Chris Ross (2015 The Wildfire Invitational), Michael Letzig (SIGA Dakota Dunes Open), Daniel Miernicki (ATB Financial Classic), Dan McCarthy (2016 Freedom 55 Financial Open, GolfBC Championship, Players Cup), Adam Cornelson (2016 Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist) and Max Rottluff (SIGA Dakota Dunes Open)
Previous articlePolice Lay Homicide Charges in Windsor Murder
Next articleSixty Dead – Over 100 Injured in Nice France or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862