July 16,2014(ISN) – 2014 Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel

Dates: July 14-20
Course: Whitewater Golf Club (Thunder Bay, ON)
Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,293 yards
Field: 156
2013 champion: New Event
Purse: $150,000/$27,000 (winner)
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Website: staalopen.ca
Facebook: Staal Foundation Open a PGA TOUR Canada event
Twitter: @StaalOpen / #StaalOpen

PGA TOUR Canada season continues
PGA TOUR Canada will make its sixth stop of the 12-event 2014 season this week in Thunder Bay with the inaugural Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, marking the halfway point of the year.

Including this week in Thunder Bay, PGA TOUR Canada will play seven of the next nine weeks to conclude its second season.

TOUR returns to Thunder Bay with NHL flavour
PGA TOUR Canada returns to Thunder Bay for the first time since 2001 this week with the inaugural Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel. The Staal Family Foundation, the charitable foundation of NHL brothers Eric, Jordan, Marc and Jared Staal, plays host to week-long schedule of events including a star-studded celebrity pro-am, culminating with PGA TOUR Canada’s sixth event of the 2014 season.

In addition to the Staal brothers and their parents Henry and Linda, other celebrities teeing it up included Olympic Gold Medalist Brad Jacobs, former Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart, NHL players and alumni Robert Bortuzzo, Ryan Johnson, Stew Gavin, Carter Hutton, Trevor Letowski, Tom Pyatt, Taylor Pyatt, Matt Cullen, Brett Bellemore, Scott Walker, Ric Nattress, Lonny Bohonos, Rick Adduono, Ray Adduono, John Adams, Danny Gruen, Jeff Heerema and curlers Al Hackner and Rick Lang.

RBC Canadian Open spots on the line
The top three players on the Order of Merit through this week will earn a spot in next week’s RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR, taking place at Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec. Order of Merit leader Joel Dahmen and last week’s The Players Cup champion Tim Madigan are mathematically guaranteed to finish in the top three, making for an exciting showdown for the final spot this week. SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel champion Matt Harmon is currently on the bubble, holding the third spot with $36,688. Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist champion Josh Persons could pass Harmon with a solo 14th-place finish or better, while No. 5 Ricky McDonald would need a solo fourth-place finish or better to reach third. Robert S. Karlsson, Eugene Wong, Brock Mackenzie, William Kropp, Matt Hill, Brad Clapp, Michael Buttacavoli, Ryan Yip, Olin Browne, Jr. and John Catlin could all reach No. 3 with a win.

PGA TOUR Canada members Beon-Yeong Lee and Michael Gligic have already secured a spot in the field thanks to victories at regional qualifying.

Race for The Five taking shape
The top five players on the 2014 PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit will earn status on the Web.com Tour, making each shot and every dollar important in terms of who will graduate to the Web.com Tour in 2015. With all 50 cards to the PGA TOUR now coming from the Web.com Tour, it’s possible for players to move on from PGA TOUR Canada to the PGA TOUR in just over one year’s time. Here are the standings through The Players Cup (bold denotes Canadian):

1. Joel Dahmen – $58,878
2. Tim Madigan – $53,460
3. Matt Harmon – $36,688
4. Josh Persons – $33,983
5. Ricky McDonald – $30,259

Golf Canada National Amateur Team Exemptions
At each regular PGA TOUR Canada event, two sponsor’s exemptions will be awarded to current or former members of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Team. Alumni of the team to have played on PGA TOUR Canada include Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor. Below are the players teeing it up this week:

Chris Hemmerich, Kitchener, ON
Mitch Sutton, London, ON

Other Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel sponsor’s exemptions:Evan DeGrazia, Thunder Bay, ON
Jamie Depiero, Thunder Bay, ON
Jeff Hunter, Thunder Bay, ON
Walter Keating, Thunder Bay, ON
Alan McLean, London, ON
Robbie Untinen, Thunder Bay, ON

Monday Qualifiers
Below are this successful entrants from Open Qualifying, which took place at Fort William Golf Club in Thunder Bay (bold denotes Canadian, * = PGA TOUR Canada member).

1          Paul Woodbury* (Lake City, S.C.) – 68
T2        Linus Gillgren* (Sweden) – 69
T2        Brett Cairns (Courtland, ON) – 69
T2        Jesse Speirs* (Bangor, Maine) – 69
T2        Andrew Rasmussen (Delta, BC) – 69
T6        Peter Campbell* (Baddeck, NS) – 70
T6        Ryan Terdik (Mt. Pleasant, ON) – 70
T8        Tyler Brown* (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) – 71
T8        Santiago Quirarte (Mexico) – 71
T8        Brien Davis* (Charlotte, N.C.) – 71

Player Notes

  • NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winners in the field: Marcelo Rozo (2013 Visa Open de Argentina, 2014 TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open), Michael Buttacavoli (2014 Dominican Republic Open), William Kropp (2014 Abierto del Centro), Alan Wagner (2012 Roberto de Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC), Tommy Cocha (2012 Mundo Maya Open).

  • Rockville, Maryland’s Daniel Balin, who open qualified two weeks ago at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel and finished in the top-20 to get into the following week’s The Players Cup, finished T13 in Winnipeg to secure a spot in this week’s field.

  • The Players Cup 2012 champion Chris Killmer, who has conditional status on PGA TOUR Canada, made his first start of the season last week on a sponsor’s exemption and finished tied for ninth, earning a spot in this week’s field.

  • Other conditional members to secure a spot in this week’s field with top-20 finishes: Matt Hill (T-2), Christopher Ross (T9), Drew Stoltz (T9), Nate McCoy (T13).

  • Golf Canada National Amateur Team exemption Chris Hemmerich is coming off a win at the Ontario Amateur Championship last week, where he shot a final round 63 to win by one.

  • British Columbians Riley Wheeldon and Cory Renfrew return to PGA TOUR Canada after playing the last two weeks on the Web.com Tour at the Nova Scotia Open and the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank.

  • Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel miscellaneous notes

  • 29 Canadians are playing this week.

  • The second conditional members re-shuffle will take place after this week, re-ranking the status of conditional members in order of earnings.

  • The top three non-members on the Order of Merit following this week will be eligible to join PGA TOUR Canada and be subject to the re-shuffle. Below are the top three through The Players Cup (bold denotes Canadian)

  • 31         Seann Harlingten (West Vancouver, BC) – $7,020

    45         Daniel Balin (Rockville, MD) – $4,863

    T108     Kevin Spooner (West Vancouver, BC) – $1,121

    PGA TOUR Canada alumni notes

  • Andres Gonzales, who won SIGA Dakota Dunes Open on PGA TOUR Canada in 2009 and graduated to the Web.com Tour after the 2010 season, claimed his second Web.com Tour win at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank and moved to seventh on the money list.

  • PGA TOUR Canada alumnus Brad Fritsch posted his second top-25 of the PGA TOUR Season, finishing T13 at the John Deere Classic.