Brian Decker – PGA Tour Canada
August 20, 2013 (ISN) – Returning to The Great Waterway region for its second playing, The Great Waterway Classic makes its way to Upper Canada Golf Course in Morrisburg, Ontario this week.
A unique event which travels across the region to showcase the many golf courses and attractions in the area, the tournament moves on from its debut in 2012 at Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course in Gananoque.
So far, it’s been win and you’re in The Five
The Great Waterway Classic
Upper Canada Golf Course
2012 Winner: Eugene Wong
TALE OF THE TAPE
Upper Canada Golf Course
Par 72 – 36/36 – 6,926 yards
Designed: Robbie Robinson (1961)
Course Record: Richard Greer – 68 (2013)
With five events in the books in 2013 all with different winners, each player inside The Five has needed a win to establish their spot on the season long Order of Merit. Even Nick Taylor’s outstanding season that includes a Tour-best four top 10s has him on the outside looking in, highlighting the importance of getting a victory to punch a ticket to the Web.com Tour next season. Below are the standings with four events to go.
1. Riley Wheeldon – $39,937.50
2. Wil Collins – $36,493.75
3. Joe Panzeri – $31,155.23
4. Stephen Gangluff – $29,353.81
5. Carlos Sainz, Jr. – $28,845.75
Wheeldon leads Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player race
While most players have their eyes on the season-long Order of Merit, it’s not the only race to keep an eye on. Along with Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours that are handed out to the low Canadian at each PGA TOUR Canada event, the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end will earn Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year honours and a $10,000 prize. Order of Merit leader Riley Wheeldon currently holds a $13,006.25 lead over Nick Taylor with four events to go.
Can Panzeri go back-to-back and keep streak alive?
Since 2006, at least one player has notched back-to-back wins on PGA TOUR Canada, most recently Eugene Wong at the TOUR Championship and The Great Waterway Classic last season. ATB Financial Classic presented by TELUS champion Joe Panzeri looks to make it two in a row this week, while Wong will look to become the first player to successfully defend a title since Brian Kontak at the 1999 Alberta Open.
McQuillan returns to competitive game as sponsor’s exemption
Following a break away from the game, former PGA TOUR member Matt McQuillan of Kingston, Ontario returns to action this week at The Great Waterway Classic. After earning full status on the PGA TOUR for 2011, McQuillan had a sub-par year in 2012 and has not teed it up in a tournament since last year’s Frys.com Open in October. The 32-year old posted three top-10s on the PGA TOUR in 2011, including a career-best tie for 3rd at the John Deere Classic, but made just two cuts in 2012. McQuillan won the 2005 TELUS Edmonton Open on PGA TOUR Canada and last played PGA TOUR Canada in 2010.
Other local players in the field include Ottawa’s Andrew Jensen and Scott Hawley, Kingston’s Brad Boyle and Chute-a-Blondeau’s Carl Desjardins.
Brad Fritsch stays involved as honourary chairman
PGA TOUR member and Eastern Ontario native Brad Fritsch is serving as the Honourary Chairman of The Great Waterway Classic, showing support for the event in his home region. Fritsch finished 142nd on the PGA TOUR money list in his rookie season, retaining partial status for 2014, and will now tee it up in the four Web.com Tour Finals events to try and regain full status for next season.
CJGA alumni headline sponsor’s exemptions
The Canadian Junior Golf Association is the host organization of The Great Waterway Classic, and several CJGA alumni will be among the players to watch. CJGA alumni Justin Shin and Taylor Pendrith, both playing under Golf Canada National Amateur Team exemptions, join a list of PGA TOUR Canada regulars including Eugene Wong, Michael Gligic and Nick Taylor who all played CJGA tournaments growing up and will look to challenge for the title this week.
This week’s Monday Qualifier took place at Cornwall Golf & Country Club, where 96 players teed it up for 10 spots in the field.
* = PGA TOUR Canada member
Bold denotes Canadian
1. Rafa Campos – 65
2. Jesse Speirs* – 66
T-3. Greg Doherty – 67
T-3. Albin Choi – 67
T-5. Brett Nymeyer* – 68
T-5. Carl Desjardins – 68
T-7. Andrew Ledger – 69
T-7. James Seymour – 69
T-7. Scott Stiles – 69
T-7. Sebastian Szirmak – 69
Andres Gonzales led a list of PGA TOUR Canada alumni at the Wyndham Championship on the PGA TOUR last week, finishing a season-best T-8.
Headlined by Steve Stricker, Graham DeLaet, DA Points and Ken Duke, 15 PGA TOUR Canada alumni qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs beginning this week at The Barclays, while Gonzales’ finish earned him a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals, where 50 PGA TOUR cards will be up for grabs starting next week.
This week’s field includes 61 Canadians, 69 Americans and players from 15 countries including Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and South Africa.