WESTON, Florida — Qualifying Tournament with a commanding five-shot lead. He felt comfortable he was going to earn status and was confident he would win the tournament at The Club at Weston Hills. After building as much as a seven-stroke advantage on the Tour Course, Herrmann could only smile after a three-putt bogey on the 18th dropped him back to his original five-shot margin. That was more than enough for him to grab medalist honors and exemptions into every 2022 tournament. He defeated China’s Wocheng Ye and the American trio of Benjamin Shipp, James Hervol and Ethan Cairns by six shots.
Josh Hart sunk a 20-foot birdie putt on his 72nd hole to shoot a 68 and finish alone in sixth, avoiding the five-player-for-three-spot playoff between amateurs Parker Gillam and Kieran Vincent, Steven Chervony, David Sanders and Kaiwen Liu. Gillam was the first to emerge from the overtime session, with a birdie on the first sudden-death hole, and Vincent dropped from the playoff after making bogey at the second hole (No. 18). Sanders and Liu birdied the fourth extra hole to move on. Chervony earned conditional status.
By the time the playoff ended, Herrmann was off the premises, relishing his dominating win and the firm knowledge he will have a place to play all summer.
“That was the goal coming into the week. That’s why I signed up,” Herrmann, a former Georgia State golfer, said. “I’m really happy. I didn’t necessarily think it was going to be that easy on the back nine. Usually, you think it will take some putts and some ups-and-downs on the back nine, but that was never really the case. I hit I really well and was never in any trouble. It was a pretty easy day today.”
Post-round, Herrmann did wince a little at his closing bogey. “That was kind of unnecessary. It didn’t matter, but it does bother me. You never want to finish a tournament with a three-putt,” he added.
Ye, a native of China who lives in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park, tied Sanders for the low round of both the day and the tournament shooting a 66 under ideal conditions. Ye began the day in solid position to earn his status. He was in fifth place but made four birdies and an eagle on his bogey-free card despite a slow start. After mustering only one birdie on his first nine—No. 12—he poured it on over his final nine holes. He eagled No. 1, birdied 2 then after three pars, starting at the third, he birdied his 15th and 16th holes of the day to secure his standing.
“I feel great. I’m very happy I can play in Canada this season,” said Ye, who goes by the English name Aden. He is joined by countryman Liu.
Did you know right after Christmas 2021, amateur Parker Gillam won the Orlando International Championship at Panther Lake and Crooked Cat Golf Club. He finished regulation tied with Wyatt Plattner and Noah Kumar and prevailed in the playoff. The Wake Forest senior now looks forward to the Demon Deacons’ spring season in advance of ACC play, as well as NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championship.
The week began with 112 players in the field, with 106 completing all 72 holes. Below is a breakdown of the various PGA TOUR Canada membership statuses earned this week.
|Exempt membership for the 2022 season|
|2nd through 9th (no ties)
|Exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season|
|10th through 30th (plus ties)
There were 17 amateurs playing this week. Leading the way were Parker Gillam and Kieran Vincent, who both tied for seventh. Gillam earned first-half status by grabbing one of the three available spots in the five-man playoff. Vincent dropped out on the second playoff hole. He will be conditionally exempt. Others to earn conditional status are EastonPaxton (tied for 15th), Joe McCarthy (tied for 20th), Ryan Gerard (tied for 20th), Varun Chopra (tied for 29th) and Cougar Collins (tied for 29th). Here is how all 17 fared this week.
Players in this week’s field came from 13 different countries and territories. Seven Canadians played this week: amateurs Cougar Collins and Nick Hofland and professionals Anthony Brodeur, Brandon Lacasse, Marc–OlivierPlasse, Alexandre Belanger and Vito Polera.
Canadians to earn status this week were Anthony Brodeur (tied for 26th) and amateur Cougar Collins (tied for 29th). They will both be conditionally exempt this season. Marc-Olivier Plasse finished at 5-over and missed making conditional status by one shot.
In the United States, Alex Herrmann makes his home base Atlanta, Georgia. His plan next week is to return to Munich, Germany, where he will practice and play prior to returning to Canada for the 2022 season.
Besides his bogey on his closing hole, Alex Herrmann made one other bogey Friday, at No. 15. His drive plugged in the bunker, forcing him to chip out.
Max Herrmann, the twin brother of Alex Herrmann, flirted with a top-10 finish Friday, getting to 4-under through 14 holes. But a bogey at his 15th and a double bogey to close ended his rally, and he settled for a tie for 20th with Marc Mazza. He will be conditionally exempt this season.
Medalist Alex Herrmann was the only player in the field with four under-par rounds (70-69-67-68).
With a five-shot cushion to start the day, and a seven-stroke lead at one point, Alex Herrmann looked to threaten the PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament margin-of-victory record set by David S. Bradshaw in 2014. Bradshaw won that tournament in Canada by eight shots. In 2017, Jake Knapp won in California by a seven-stroke margin.
Through the first three rounds, there were 16 scores in the 60s as heavy wind punished the Tour Course. On Friday, with the calmest conditions of the week, there were 21 sub-70 rounds.
Austin Nowak needed a low round Friday, and he accomplished his goal, shooting a 4-under 68 to earn conditional status as one of the last players to qualify. Nowak was only 1-under for the day the 13 holes but birdied his 14th, 15th and 18th holes to shoot the 68 and tie for 29th.
At 6-foot-8, Van Holmgren was the tallest player in the field—so naturally he is the tallest qualifier. Holmgren, a Minnesota native who played college golf at both North Dakota State and Florida Gulf Coast, began the day outside the top 30 (tied for 32nd) but used a 5-under front nine, survived a three-bogeys-in-four-holes stretch on the back nine and finished birdie-par-par to shoot 67 and tie for 15th.
The most-difficult hole Friday was the par-4 13th, with a stroke average of 4.358. It yielded only seven birdies but nicked players for 27 bogeys there and nine double bogeys.
From the Players…
“Overall, it was a very good day for me. I think I played very solid tee to green.” –Alex Herrmann
“I only missed two greens in regulation, so I was never in trouble. I was able to hole some putts today, as well. I’m quite happy with my performance.” –Alex Herrmann
“Obviously you catch some good breaks, as well. Everything seems to go your way—I had a drive carry a bunker by maybe two feet—and got a good bounce with my second shot. I think those are the days when everything goes your way.” –Alex Herrmann
“I’m just really happy that it played out the way it did today, and I’m very excited to play on the PGA TOUR Canada this year.” –Alex Herrmann
“I’m really happy the way the tournament played out, that this year I’ll be playing in Canada.” –Wocheng Ye
“All of a sudden we were being told we were in a playoff and I’m like, OK.” –Parker Gillam
“I hit it a little right, and it went over the bunker and it hit a tree and dropped down. I was in the right rough. I had a pretty decent lie, had a good look at the green, hit it to seven feet and made the putt.” –Parker Gillam on his first-extra-hole birdie that earned him Tour status
“I’m excited about it. I’m now switching my thoughts back to college. I’ll worry about it when that time comes. I know the season starts in Mayish, so it will be interesting if we make nationals, how I’m going to do that. But I’ll figure it out.” –Parker Gillam
Final-Round Weather: Sunny and warm, with a high of 86. Wind S at 9-13 mph, with gusts to 15 mph.