Kramer Hickok Takes Lead in PGA TOUR Canada Tourney

The Staal Foundation Open, presented by Tbaytel will be held in Thunder Bay from July 14th to 20th. The PGA TOUR Canada is generating a ton of excitement
The Staal Foundation Open, presented by Tbaytel will be held in Thunder Bay. The PGA TOUR Canada is generating a ton of excitement

Third Round Leaderboard:

Kramer Hickok – 68-67-68 (-10)
Matt Picanso – 65-68-71 (-9)
Damian Telles – 70-68-66 (-9)
Rico Hoey – 67-70-67 (-9)


by Brian Decker

Winnipeg, Man – GOLF – Dallas, Texas’ Kramer Hickok shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday at Pine Ridge Golf Club to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Players Cup, the fourth event of the 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.

The 25-year old posted three birdies and zero bogeys to reach 10-under through 54 holes and led by one over Rancho Cucamonga, California’s Rico Hoey, Bakersfield, California’s Matt Picanso and The Dalles, Oregon’s Damian Telles with one round to go in Winnipeg.

Though he admitted he didn’t have his best game with him on Saturday, Hickok said it was his mental game that propelled him to the lead with one round to go.

“Patience, patience, patience,” said Hickok, describing his biggest asset in Round Three. “I’m mentally fried right now. I didn’t hit it well at all and managed my game really well, and that’s what you’ve got to do out here.”

Though a group of pursuers played their way into contention on Saturday, the University of Texas alum said he wouldn’t try to push things in Sunday’s quest to win on the Mackenzie Tour.

“If you get a little impatient and start attacking pins, you can make a quick bogey,” said Hickok. “You’ve got to stick to that game plan as much as you can. Tomorrow will be all about winning the tournament.

Picanso, the 54-hole leader, birdied the 18th to shoot an even-par 71 and sit 9-under with Hoey and Telles, while Order of Merit leader Robby Shelton was one shot further behind along with Lake Mary, Florida’s Jhared Hack.

BACKGROUND ON THE LEADER: When it comes to advice from some of the best players in the world, Kramer Hickok has plenty of resources at his disposal.

The 25-year old was a college roommate of Jordan Spieth’s at the University of Texas and still lives with the two-time major champion, and while he says he doesn’t bombard his fellow former Longhorn with questions, he still makes the most of any opportunity to learn.

“Whenever we get to play, I’m always watching and learning what he’s doing,” said Hickok.

The Texan also benefits from a friendship with former Masters champion and PGA TOUR Champions player Fred Couples, with the two playing frequent games in the off-season at the Madison Club in La Quinta, California.

“Being able to play with (Fred) in the off-season and learn and talk with him, and just pick his brain has been a huge benefit. He’s helped me on the mental side of the game is so much more important than I thought it was,” said Hickok.

Hickok owns one pro win earlier this year on the Adams Tour and earned Mackenzie Tour status earlier this year with a T15 finish at the British Columbia Q-School. He currently ranks 44th on the Order of Merit.

Hickok’s finishes on the three events of the season-opening B.C. Golf Swing: T55-T25-T29.


“I started off pretty hot. I knew I had to post a pretty good score, and I knew I had to post something good today. It’s all new to me as a pro, and I’m still trying to battle through the emotions and not trying not to get too excited.” – Rico Hoey on a 4-under 67 that moved him into a tie for second.

“I felt the round slipping away from me at the turn, but I knew there were some birdie holes coming up. My putter finally came alive. The last four weeks of tournament play has been rough. They were lengthy puts that I made, but it’s about time that I made up for it.” – Damian Telles on a 5-under 66 that included six straight birdies on the back nine.

“I knew if I could shoot 2- or 3-under I’d probably be right back in the mix and have a chance at it tomorrow. I feel comfortable on this golf course. I’ve played it many times in a lot of different conditions, and I’m looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.” – Ryan Williams on a 4-under 67 that moved him into a tie for seventh.


Matt Picanso

34-year old Matt Picanso is making his fourth career start on the Mackenzie Tour. The Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo alum was originally a baseball player and didn’t pick up competitive golf until his early 20s.

Picanso finished T2 at the USA West #1 Q-School earlier this year to earn exempt status for the first eight events of the season, but has missed the cut in each of his first three starts.

Damian Telles

27-year old Damian Telles is making his third career Mackenzie Tour start this week. Telles has conditional status on the Mackenzie Tour this season after finishing T19 at the British Columbia Q-School this spring. He did not get into the Players Cup field as an alternate until Monday.

Telles Monday qualified for the GolfBC Championship and finished T49. He ranks 78th on the Order of Merit.

Rico Hoey

Rico Hoey is making his third career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week.

The four-time NCAA All-American recently graduated from USC and was consistently ranked among the top 20 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking during his Senior Season.

Hoey made his professional debut with a T8 finish at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • Weather: 27 degrees Celsius (feels like 31), partly cloudy with showers, winds 15 km/h gusting to 20 km/h.
  • The demanding par-3 ninth hole yielded zero birdies on Saturday played to an average of 3.477. For the week, the hole has yielded six birdies and played to an average of 3.613.
  • Round four tee times will run from 8:11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with players teeing the 1st tee in twosomes.
  • Click here for scores.


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