The Mackenzie Tour’s sixth season begins this week at the Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, B.C. Here’s a look at the storylines from the week, including what’s at stake, players to watch and key notes.
Dates: May 31 – June 3
Course: Point Grey Golf and Country Club (Vancouver, B.C.)
2017 champion: Lee McCoy, -20
Purse: $200,000/$36,000 winner’s prize
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @F55FOpen / #F55FOpen
Looking Back at 2017
The 2017 Freedom 55 Financial Open was Lee McCoy’s first win on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada and helped propel him to a sixth-place finish on the year end order of merit. McCoy ran away from the field, capping off an eight-stroke win with one of the sauciest club twirls of the 2018 season.
The First Step on The Path to The PGA TOUR
The Mackenzie Tour represents the first step on the path to the PGA TOUR, with players competing to earn a promotion to the Web.com Tour and then on to the game’s biggest stage. Heading into its sixth season, the Mackenzie Tour counts 14 players on the PGA TOUR and an additional 72 with Web.com Tour status among its alumni, featuring TOUR winners Mackenzie Hughes, Nick Taylor, Tony Finau and most recently Aaron Wise.
The Tour’s Newest “Brockstar”?
Its been a whirlwind week for Brock Everett. The West Des Moines, Iowa, native set sail on the final voyage of his collegiate golf career last weekend. While the Augusta University senior’s modest four years included a few close calls - 17 top-10 finishes to be exact - he had never won an individual trophy … until his final expedition turned into a conquest. The 23-year-old made a 10-footer on his final hole of the event to finish at 7 under, good enough to claim the individual title at the NCAA Championship. Fresh off the exhilarating win, Everett tees it up for the first time as a professional in Vancouver, less than 72-hours removed from hoisting the collegiate trophy.
According to the Official World Golf Ranking, only 151 players on the planet are better than Lucas Herbert. While the name likely won’t raise any eyebrows on this side of the pond, the 22-year-old Australian has made a name for himself abroad, coming T3 at the European Tour’s Rocco Forte Sicilian Open. At the May 10-13 event, Herbert edged household name (depending on the house) Eduardo Molinari by five strokes and shot the same four-day 15-under total as Andy Sullivan.
He IS the Real Wongster
The fourth ranked player on the then-named Canadian Tour in 2012, Eugene Wong looks to return to glory in his three guaranteed Mackenzie Tour starts this season. No stranger to BC golf, the Vancouver native has fond memories of Point Grey, finishing T2 at this event in 2014.
Nine other British Columbians join Wong in the field this week: Jared du Toit (Kimberly), Riley Wheeldon (Comox), David Rose (West Vancouver), Ryan Williams (Vancouver), Dave Zibrik (Vancouver), Devin Carrey (Langley), Kevin Stinson (Mission), Chris Crisologo (Richmond) and Jimmy Jones (Lake Cowichan).
Dahmen Uses Freedom 55 Financial Open as Springboard to Success
Joel Dahmen is in his sophomore season on the PGA TOUR, and his performance at the 2014 Freedom 55 Financial Open is a major reason why he is there. The Clarkston, Washington, native won at Point Grey four years ago and went on to earn Player of the Year honours and exempt status on the Web.com Tour for the following year. Dahmen just came T20 at the Fort Worth Invitational last weekend.
Hugo Bernard, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC, Canada
Devin Carrey, Langley, BC, Canada
Chris Crisologo, Richmond, B.C.
Evan Holmes, Calgary, AB, Canada
Jimmy Jones, Lake Cowichan, BC, Canada
Tyler Pendrith, Richmond Hill ON, Canada
Kevin Stinson, Mission, BC, Canada
Dave Zibrik, Vancouver, B.C.
Open Qualifying took place at Swan-e-Set Bay Resort & Country Club.
T1 - 65 PJ Samiere (Kailua, HI, USA)
T1 - 65 David Bradshaw (Harpers Ferry, WV, USA)
T3 - 67 Gregory Eason (Leicester, England)
T3 - 67 Byron Meth (San Diego, CA, USA)
T3 - 67 Yannick Paul (Boulder, CO, USA)
T3 - 67 Brooklin Bailey (Waco, TX, USA)
T7 - 68 Zane Thomas (Las Vegas, NE, USA)
T7 - 68 Chad McCann (Wilmington, NC, USA)
T7 - 68 Andrew Funk (Edmonton, AB, Canada)
T10 - 69 Ryan Porch (Kalispell, MT, USA)
- 21 Canadians are in the field.
- Taylor Pendrith looks to return to his 2015 form that saw him finish third on the year-end moneylist. One of the furthest drivers of the golf ball you will ever see, Pendrith came T55 in Vancouver last year, but finished T2 in 2015.
- Other notable tournaments to be held at Point Grey Golf and Country Club include the RBC Canadian Open (1954) and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open (2003).
- Alumni have recorded 7 top-3s and 46 top-10s on the Web.com Tour this season, with 8 players ranked inside the top-25, the mark needed at the end of the season to receive a PGA TOUR card.
- Nine PGA TOUR era (2013-present) Mackenzie Tour alumni currently sit in Fedex Cup playoff spots: Tony Finau (11), Aaron Wise (19), J.J. Spaun (42), Corey Conners (109), C.T. Pan (110), Nick Tayor (116), Talor Gooch (118), Joel Dahmen (122), Ben Silverman (124)
- Hunter Stewart and Jordan Niebrugge return to Point Grey after both finishing T2 at the event last season. Both 24 years old, Niebrugge fired a second-round 63 last season, proving he has the potential to go silly-low on the course.
- Tyler McCumber, who finished second at this event in 2016, returns to Point Grey this year. Following McCumber will be his father Mark, who won 10 PGA TOUR tournaments from 1979-1994, including the Players Championship in 1988.