PGA TOUR Canada: Papineau carries momentum into Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open presented by Brandt

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Golf

Waskesiu Lake – SPORTS – The eyes of the golfing world are on Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan this week, as Quebec’s very own Étienne Papineau strides onto the green, looking to bag his second straight victory at the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open, presented by Brandt. This marks the second event in the hotly anticipated PGA TOUR Canada 10-tournament season.

Papineau, riding high on the back of a five-shot victory at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, is the man to beat. This victory, the first by a Quebec-born player since 2013, propelled him to the top of the Fortinet Cup point standings.

And if that wasn’t enough, Papineau’s triumph was a significant boost for Canadian golf, coming hot on the heels of Nick Taylor’s win at the RBC Canadian Open. “I think it’s trending in the right direction,” says Papineau, with his sights set on growing the presence of Canadian players on the TOUR.

Turning to the competition, the field at Elk Ridge Resort is brimming with talent this week. George Kneiser and Chris Korte, both tied for second in the season-opener, join the mix alongside Canadian Jared du Toit, Chris Francoeur, Sam Choi, and Jason Hong, all tied for fourth.

Ben Carr’s Canadian Debut – Southern Charmer Hits the Northern Green

But folks, the excitement doesn’t stop there. Ben Carr of Columbus, Georgia, is set to make his PGA TOUR Canada debut this week. After securing his membership through a 17th place finish in the PGA TOUR University standings and a sixth-place finish at the Weston, Florida, Qualifying Tournament, Carr is itching to make his mark.

The Georgia Southern University grad is no stranger to big stakes, having competed in both the 2023 Masters and last week’s U.S. Open. Although he didn’t make the cut at the Masters, he qualified for the U.S. Open weekend in Los Angeles, coming in at a respectable 62nd.

“I’m really excited,” Carr says, eager to experience the beauty of Canada and the camaraderie of the PGA TOUR Canada. He’s already heard rave reviews from his golfing buddies, and he’s ready to prove that he can play some good golf on Canadian soil.

Carr’s regular partners on his home turf, The Country Club of Columbus, include big names like 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize and four-time PGA TOUR winner Russell Henley. Carr credits these experiences and the support of golfing greats like Mize as being instrumental to his development.

Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open: The One Year Anniversary

Flashback to last year, the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open was a washout due to relentless rain. But the silver lining came in the form of a one-day Sunday Shoot Out, a generous move by Elk Ridge to help defray costs for participating players.

About the Venue: Elk Ridge Resort’s Tamarack, Aspen, and Birch are the challenging nine-hole layouts awaiting our golfers this week. The course, designed by Bruce Klaassen, a Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame member, will test the mettle of our competitors.

Fortinet Cup Standings and Key Information

Our man Papineau is currently leading the Fortinet Cup standings with 500 points, thanks to his resounding victory. Kneiser and Korte, who tied for second, have 245 points each. The ultimate winner of the Fortinet Cup will earn a cool $25,000 bonus and a full 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership.

Twelve Canadians made the cut at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, including Papineau and Jared du Toit of Calgary, who tied for fourth. Lawren Rowe of Victoria, British Columbia (tied for 11th) and Brendan Leonard of Cambridge, Ontario, (tied for 15th) also delivered commendable top-25 finishes.

Impressively, last week saw a solitary hole-in-one made by Henry Lee of Colquitam, British Columbia.

In academic achievements, we’ve got Connor Howe of Ogden, Utah, named as the co-Golf Scholar of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now a member of PGA TOUR Canada, Howe just turned pro following a successful career at Georgia Tech, where he earned a degree in business administration.

Logan Perkins of Locust Grove, Georgia, and Zach Mandry of Solon, Ohio, shot 66 in the Monday qualifier at Cooke Municipal Golf Course, securing their first starts in the PGA TOUR Canada.

As the golfers voice their thoughts and strategies, it’s clear that the stakes are high. Papineau is determined to stick to his game plan, while Jared du Toit emphasizes the importance of getting off to a good start in the short season. Chris Korte speaks to the uniqueness of the Tour, noting the opportunity for a season-long race for the Fortinet Cup.

Tournament Information

The Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open will be taking place from June 22-25, 2023. The tournament will be played at the Elk Ridge Resort with a par of 70 and a total of 6,781 yards. The field comprises 159 players from 11 countries, with the winner set to earn 500 points and a purse of $225,000 Canadian dollars.

And just a quick note for all our viewers: Following the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada season, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada will be merging to form PGA TOUR Americas, set to kick off in February 2024. So, stay tuned for more exciting developments in the world of golf!

The Fortinet Cup, the season-long points chase, has a bonus pool of $100,000—with the winner taking home $25,000 and full 2024 Korn Ferry Tour season membership. Not to mention, an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2023 Fortinet Championship in California!

And that’s all from us here today folks, we’re buckling up for an exciting week of golf ahead!

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