Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Canadian Adam Svensson cruised to a seven-shot victory on Sunday at PGA National Resort & Spa to earn medalist honors at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. The 21-year-old from Surrey, British Columbia, carded a 1-over 72 on the Champion Course for a 20-under-par 266 total.
“It’s huge,” said Svensson, who collected a check for $25,000 and earned fully-exempt status on the Web.com Tour in 2016. “It’s always tough to win at any level, so I just tried to have fun.”
Jason Millard (70) and Ian Davis (69) took home a share of second at 13-under 273 and head a list of players from Nos. 2-10 who will be exempt through the third reshuffle.
Former Auburn standout Dominic Bozzelli (70) was alone in fourth at 12-under 274.
With the wind whipping through Palm Beach Gardens most of the day, Svensson could feel the pressure of being in contention weighing on him. The former Barry University Buccaneer made key saves throughout the final round, which allowed him to maintain his hefty lead. When he two putted the 72nd green for par, Svensson exhaled and realized he was one step closer to his dream.
Svensson’s journey began in Canada, but was realized in Miami. After two stellar years at Barry, Svensson decided to leave after his sophomore campaign to pursue golf full time. In just six starts on Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, the former Division II Player of the Year recorded two runner-up performances and finished No. 9 on the Order of Merit. He also added three top 25s in seven starts on the Web.com Tour
“I was pretty confident with my decision,” said Svensson about leaving school early. “Just being able to start from the bottom and work your way up, I think that’s pretty important.”
With the 2016 Web.com Tour Regular Season set to begin in Panama City, Panama, at the Panama Claro Championship in late January, Svensson’s mission is clear.
“My goal is to win out there and get my PGA TOUR card,” He said.
Svensson’s ambition doesn’t stop there. The Golf Canada’s Young Pro Squad member would cherish the experience of playing in the summer games next year.
“I would love to play in the Olympics,” he said, when asked about the chance to represent Canada in Rio. “It’s going to be hard, there’s a lot of good Canadians on the PGA TOUR.”
The Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament is a four-day, 72-hole competition that ended on Sunday, Dec. 13. The tournament was contested at the PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champion Course (CC) and Fazio Course (FC). The Champion Course has played host to The Honda Classic on the PGA TOUR since 2007. The Fazio Course plays to a par-72, while the Champion Course plays to a par-71.
The famous stretch of golf that consists of holes 15-17 on the Champion Course, known as “The Bear Trap,” once again provided players with a tough test. The par 3s (Nos. 15 and 17) tied for the second toughest holes between the two courses, while the par-4 16th finished as the fourth toughest.
There were nearly 1,000 entries for the tournament, which included previous Pre-Qualifying, First and Second stages that began in August.
Players in this event competed for positions on the 2016 Web.com Tour priority ranking, which will be used to form tournament fields. The medalist is guaranteed fully-exempt status next year. Players #2-10 (and ties) will be subject to the third reshuffle next year and players #11-45 (and ties) will be subject to the second reshuffle.
This week’s medalist earned $25,000. Players #2-10 (and ties) earned $15,000 each. Players #11-45 (and ties) earned $10,000 each.
Adam Svensson weathered breezy conditions on Sunday to become the second consecutive Canadian to win the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. Edmonton, Alberta, native Brad Fritsch posted 27 under par last year in 108 holes to win by seven shots over Andrew Landry. Svensson, a native of Surrey, British Columbia, won by seven strokes in 72 holes and is fully exempt for the 2016 Web.com Tour Regular Season.
Svensson led the field in Scrambling for the week (13 of 16), including 5 of 6 conversions in the final round. He also finished third in Driving Accuracy (46 of 56).
Svensson is part of Golf Canada’s Young Pro Squad, which was developed in partnership with the PGA of Canada to bridge the gap for top graduating amateurs transitioning into professional golf and gives its members exemptions into select Mackenzie Tour events. There were three other members of the Young Pro Squad in the field this week: Mackenzie Hughes (T21), Albin Choi (T14) and Taylor Pendrith (T14).
Mackenzie Tour alum Jason Millard made birdied on the final hole to shoot a final-round 1-under 70 to finish T2 at 13-under 273.
After a double bogey on the par-3 17th hole, the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native was able to rebound on the par-5 18th hole by holing a short birdie putt to tie Ian Davis.
Millard played 11 events on the Mackenzie Tour this season and posted four top 25s. The 26-year-old Middle Tennessee State alum won the Freedom 55 Financial Championship by defeating Ryan Williams in a playoff to capture his first Mackenzie Tour title in the season finale and play his way into The Five.
Of the six players that finished inside the top 5, three competed on the Mackenzie Tour in 2015 (Millard, Svensson and Ryan Brehm).
After beginning the week with a 1-under 70 on the Champion Course, 24-year-old Ian Davis vaulted up the leader board with back-to-back 67s to move into the top 10. The Oklahoma State product secured Web.com Tour exempt status through the third reshuffle with a 2-under 69 in the final round for a T2 finish.
Conquering “The Bear Trap” is typically a recipe for success on the Champion Course, and Davis was able to shoot 2-under over two trips through the challenging three-hole stretch.
A native of Kingfisher, Okla., Davis finished with four top 10s in his rookie season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2015. He finished T4 at the Lexus Panama Classic and T7 at both the 68th Avianca Colombia Open and the Honduras Open before recording his best finish of the season at the All you need is Ecuador Open with a T2.
Dominic Bozzelli, 24, is originally from Rochester, N.Y., but played collegiately at Auburn University, where he was honored as a two-time All-American for the Tigers and finished runner-up in the individual portion of the 2013 NCAA Championships.
He finished T64 at last year’s Final Stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament and spent most of 2015 gaining starts on the Web.com Tour as an alternate. With a solo fourth at PGA National this week, Bozzelli is now exempt through the third reshuffle on the Web.com Tour for the upcoming season.
Bozzelli made 10 starts on the Web.com Tour in 2015 and collected two top-25s, a T13 at the News Sentinel Open and a T16 at the Nova Scotia Open.
Scoring Averages for the week:
The Champion Front (36) Back (35) Total (71)
R1 34.975 35.999 70.974
R2 35.701 36.442 72.143
R3 36.147 37.148 73.295
R4 35.654 37.911 73.565
The Fazio Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.389 35.324 70.623
R2 35.321 35.731 71.052
R3 35.988 35.525 71.513
R4 37.162 36.284 73.446