USA EAST Q-School for PGA TOUR Canada Starts the Path

Q-School at the PGA TOUR Canada British Columbia
Q-School at the PGA TOUR Canada British Columbia

By Laury Livsey

THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The first step on the path toward the PGA TOUR begins this week at TPC Sawgrass, as 132 players take to the Dye’s Valley Course to earn status on the 2018 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Below are the details for the USA East Q-School #1, the second of five qualifying tournaments this season, along with storylines to follow this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
132 players will compete at each of the five qualifying tournaments with hopes of earning their cards for 2018. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each site:
Finish Position
Exempt for 2018 season
2nd through 5th (no ties)
Exempt for first eight events and subject to second re-shuffle
6th through 16th (no ties)
Exempt for first four events and subject to first re-shuffle
17th through 40th (plus ties)
Conditional status
Companion to the world-famous THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Dye’s Valley features many of the same signature traits and was designed by Pete Dye, Bobby Weed, and player consultant Jerry Pate. The course opened in 1987 and previously hosted five Tour events, the Tour Championship (2013-2015) and the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open (2010-2012). It was also the home to the 1988 and 1989 Senior Tournament Players Championship on PGA TOUR Champions.
The Mackenzie Tour provides players with the opportunity to make the first step on the path to the PGA TOUR by rewarding high finishers on the Order of Merit with steps toward and status on the Tour. The Order of Merit winner following the 2018 season will be fully exempt on the 2019 Tour, while finishers 2-5 earn conditional status and an exemption into the Final Stage of Q-School. Finishers 6-10 also earn an exemption directly into Final Stage, while players in the 11th through 20th spots earn exemptions through the Second Stage.
The path has already been utilized by 20 players who have gone on to earn PGA TOUR cards since 2013, highlighted by PGA TOUR winners Nick Taylor, Tony Finau and Mackenzie Hughes. Since the Tour’s inception, 166 alumni have earned Tour status, including 72 competing there for the 2018 season.
Mackenzie Tour alums to have earned cards in Florida include PGA TOUR member Talor Gooch (2015), Tour winners Ben Taylor (2016) and Ryan Brehm (2014) and The Five members Robby Shelton (2017) and Dan McCarthy (2014).
Theo Humphrey (Greenwich, Conn.) – Currently 10th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Humphrey is a senior at Vanderbilt, where he was a third-team NCAA All-American last year. Humphrey was a semifinalist at last summer’s U.S. Amateur and finished third at the prestigious Players Amateur in South Carolina.
Matt Hill (Sarnia, Ont.) – Winner of the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit in 2012, Hill has spent time on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Tour in recent years. The North Carolina State product was the author of one of the greatest seasons in collegiate golf history in 2009 when he won the NCAA Championship, seven other individual tournament titles and the Jack Nicklaus Award as the country’s top collegiate golfer.
Dawson Armstrong (Brentwood, Tenn.) – Currently a senior at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Armstrong produced a school-record four victories last season and was named a third-team All-American. Armstrong won the prestigious Western Amateur in 2015 and currently stands 27th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Greg Eason (Leicester City, England) – A member of The Five on the Mackenzie Tour in 2014, Eason produced successful Tour seasons in 2015 and 2016, amassing nine top-25 finishes and making it to the Tour Finals in both campaigns before struggling in 2017. Eason was a first-team All-American in his senior season at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Austin James (Bath, Ont.) – A member of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Team in 2017, James was the 2016 Big South Conference Player of the Year, thanks to a win at the 2016 Big South Conference Championship while competing at Charleston Southern University. James won the 2014 Canadian Junior Championship and made it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 U.S. Amateur.
Eric Banks (Truro, N.S.)
Raoul Menard (Granby, Que.)
Max Gilbert (St-Georges, Que.)
Vincent Blanchette (St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que.)
Austin James (Bath, Ont.)
Matt Hill (Sarnia, Ont.)
Sameer Kalia (Campbellville, Ont.)
James Jones (Tampa, Fla.)
Branson Ferrier (Barrie, Ont.)
Andrew Jensen (Ottawa, Ont.)
Cooper Brown (Renfrew, Ont.)
Joseph D’Alfonso (Caledon, Ont.)
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