USA West #1 Q-School
By: Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada
The first step on the path towards the PGA TOUR begins this week at Carlton Oaks Country Club in Santee, California, as 132 players compete to earn status on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada for 2018. Below are the details for the USA West Q-School #1, along with storylines to follow this week at Carlton Oaks.
HOW IT WORKS
132 players will compete at each qualifying tournament with hopes of earning their cards for 2018. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each site:
|Medalist||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|
Carlton Oaks, a 7,410-yard layout designed by Perry Dye, has hosted U.S. Amateur and PGA TOUR Qualifying in the past and has hosted Mackenzie Tour Q-School each year since 2016. Last year, Chris Gilman went on to earn medalist honours ahead of eventual The Five member Rico Hoey.
The Mackenzie Tour provides players with the opportunity to make the first step on the path towards the PGA TOUR by rewarding high finishers on the Order of Merit with steps towards and status on the Web.com Tour. The Order of Merit winner following the 2018 season will be fully exempt on the 2019 Web.com 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 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. 166 total alumni have earned Web.com Tour status, including 72 competing there for the 2018 season.
Mackenzie Tour alums to have earned their cards in California include PGA TOUR players Tony Finau, Brandon Harkins and Sam Ryder, as well as The Five members Greg Eason and Taylor Pendrith and tournament winners Daniel Miernicki and Rico Hoey.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Lucas Herbert (Bendigo, Australia) – Currently No. 176 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Herbert has posted proven success at the professional level, including a recent third-place result at the European Tour’s ISPS Handa World Super 6th Perth and multiple top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour. Herbert has already qualified for the 2018 Open Championship.
Paul Barjon (Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia) – No stranger to Mackenzie Tour fans, Barjon won the 2016 Freedom 55 Financial Championship in record-setting fashion, setting the 72-hole Mackenzie Tour scoring record in the process at 22-under 258. Barjon advanced to the Web.com Tour in 2017 and recorded two top-10 finishes but failed to retain his card for 2018.
Michael Schoolcraft (Denver, Colo.) – The 25-year old proved how competitive he can be on the Mackenzie Tour in 2016, when he finished ninth on the Order of Merit thanks to three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up at the Cape Breton Open. The University of Oklahoma grad split time between the Mackenzie Tour and the Web.com Tour last season.
Patrick Fishburn (Ogden, Utah) – The current Brigham Young University Senior shared West Coast Conference Player of the Year honours in 2017 and produced a nine-stroke win at 2017 Utah Open. Fishburn is currently No. 72 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Andrej Bevins (Elk Grove, Calif.) – Currently a senior at the University of New Mexico, Bevins was named an NCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2017 on the strength of a season that included co-medalist honours at NCAA Regionals.
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD (7):
Eric Hawerchuk (Barrie, Ont.)
Andrew Ledger (Toronto, Ont.)
Sean Bozuk (Burlington, Ont.)
John Mlikotic (Kelowna, B.C.)
Andrew Funk (Edmonton, Alta.)
Darren Day (Victoria, B.C.)
Brett Kennedy (Waterloo, Ont.)