THE RECAP: Savannah, Georgia’s Kyle Peterman opened with a 7-under 65 on Tuesday at Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club to take the first round lead at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada’s USA East #1 Q-School.
THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The track to the PGA TOUR Canada is underway. The Q-School is underway in Eastern USA. Kyle Peterman, a Mackenzie Tour member in 2016 looking to return to Canada for a second season, posted seven birdies and no bogeys to lead by two over six players at 5-under after 18 holes.
“I hit the driver great today. I think I missed one fairway, and you’re in play you have a lot of short shots into the green,” said Peterman, “I was driving the ball well, so I was putting myself in position to get the ball close.”
Peterman, a Western Illinois University graduate, had conditional status in 2016 after a T36 finish at Q-School and played in three events.
Two shots behind Peterman was a group of six players headlined by former NCAA standouts Jordan Niebrugge and Robby Shelton along with former Web.com Tour player Kevin Aylwin, 2015 Mackenzie Tour member Brant Peaper and newcomers Joseph Petronio and Grady Brame, Jr.
CURRENT SCORES FOR MACKENZIE TOUR STATUS: After 72 holes this week, every player inside the top 40 and ties will earn Mackenzie Tour status for 2017. Below is a breakdown of where the cut-offs stand:
1st (Exempt for 2017 season): -7/1st
5th (Exempt for first 8 events, subject to 2nd reshuffle): -5/T2
16th (Exempt for first 4 events, subject to 1st reshuffle): -2/T16
40th (Conditional status): -1/T27
BACKGROUND ON THE LEADER: Peterman looks to make the most of his limited experience on the Mackenzie Tour in 2016, which the 29-year old says was tremendously helpful in his professional golf journey.
“I’m glad I went to the Q-School last year. That was huge for me, because I’ve never had any Web status and just played mini tour stuff, and the events are run just like a PGA TOUR event,” said Peterman.
Looking to build on his career highlight of qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Open, Peterman said the exposure to high-level fellow competitors on the Mackenzie Tour last year helped him develop a picture of where he needs to go next in his quest to reach the PGA TOUR. For now, the goal is getting comfortable in the arena of professional golf.
“I think just trying to get comfortable playing week-in and week-out, just seeing how good guys are no matter what Tour you’re on,” said Peterman of his hopes for the coming year. “I think getting to play some events last year got me in the right direction.”
THEY SAID IT:
“I putted really well today. I played great and made some par saves when I needed to. I’ve had a couple of friends that have gone through it last year and this year, and everybody has said ‘just go out and win it.’ That’s the mentality I came into with this week.” – Jordan Niebrugge, who opened with a 5-under 67.
MORE PLAYER NOTES:
23-year old Jordan Niebrugge is looking to earn Mackenzie Tour status for the first time. The former NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State owns an impressive amateur resume, including wins at the Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links.
In 2015, Niebrugge finished T6 and earned the Silver Medal at the Open Championship as the low amateur.
21-year old Robby Shelton turned pro last June after a successful career at the University of Alabama, where he won seven times and won the Phil Mickelson Award as Freshman of the Year in 2014. Shelton was named a 1st team NCAA All-American three times at Alabama and helped the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2014.
- Weather: 26 degrees Celsius (feels like 30), partly cloudy, winds 17 km/h gusting to 25 km/h.
- Granby, Quebec’s Jean-Philip Cornellier was the low Canadian after day one with an even-par 72 (T44).
- Willy Pumarol, who won PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-School at Sun ‘N Lake in 2015, opened with a 3-under 69 (T11).
- 19 players were under par at the end of day one.
- Click here for scores.