Mackenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada season continues in Victoria

jim rutledge

Jim Rutledge, Victoria, B.C

Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Storylines: 2016 Bayview Place Island Savings Open


The Mackenzie Tour’s fourth season continues with the 34th playing of the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist at Uplands Golf Club in Victoria, B.C. Here’s a look at the storylines from this week, including what’s at stake, players to watch and key notes.

Key Info
Dates: May 30-June 5
Course: Uplands Golf Club (Victoria, B.C.)
Par/Yards: 35-35—72/6,420
Field: 156
2015 champion: Albin Choi
Purse: $175,000/$31,500 winner’s prize
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @BPISOpen / #BPISOpen

Q-School medalist Wise captures NCAA individual title
University of Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise captured the individual title at the Division I NCAA Championships on Monday while also leading Oregon to the Match Play portion of the event. Wise captured medalist honours earlier this month at the British Columbia Qualifying Tournament and has exempt status on the Mackenzie Tour for 2016. The 19-year old intends to turn professional following the completion of the NCAA Championships.

Other individual NCAA Champions to play the Mackenzie Tour include James Lepp (2005) and Matt Hill (2009).

Standout collegians head north for Mackenzie Tour debut

Five participants from last week’s NCAA Championships are committed to the field this week in Victoria: Matt NeSmith (South Carolina), Will Starke (South Carolina), Sean Kelly (South Carolina), Max Rottluff (Arizona State) and Hank Lebioda (Florida State).

NeSmith, Starke and Kelly helped South Carolina qualify for the Match Play portion of the event and will try and help the Gamecocks advance in round one today.

Choi’s Stepping Stone

The 2015 Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist was a major stepping stone for Tour Albin Choi, who notched his first Mackenzie Tour win by two shots over Adam Svensson, Jason Millard and Eugene Wong.

Choi finished sixth on the season-ending Order of Merit to earn an exemption into the final stage of Tour Q-School. Choi has two top-10s on the Tour this year and ranks 54th on the Money List.

Rutledge Returns

Victoria native Jim Rutledge will make his first Mackenzie Tour start since 2010 this week, returning to compete in his hometown. The 56-year old PGA TOUR Champions member won six times from 1979-1995 and ranked second in all-time earnings in the Canadian Tour-era with $408,384.

Other sponsor exemptions:

Brian Sluggett, Victoria, B.C.
Linsday Bernakevitch, Victoria, B.C.
Curtis Yonke, Overland Park, Kansas
Jim Rutledge, Victoria, B.C.
Gordy Scutt, Victoria, B.C.
Darren Day, Victoria, B.C.
Ben Griffin, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dylan Bell, Victoria, B.C.

What’s at stake 

Players are competing this season for position on the season-ending Order of Merit and look to gain access to the Tour in 2017. Below is a breakdown of the status available

Order of Merit position Status
1 Exempt on 2015 Tour
2-5 Conditional status on Tour
6-10 Exemption into final stage of Tour Q-School
11-20 Exemption into second stage of Tour Q-School

Players step up in support of Fort McMurray
In addition to a $20,000 joint donation made by the Mackenzie Tour and Tour, players at last week’s Freedom 55 Financial Open signed up to donate money per birdie and eagle to the United Way of Canada in support of Fort McMurray wildfire relief efforts.

Monday Qualifiers
Open Qualifying took place at Gorge Vale Golf and Country Club.

(bold denotes Canadian, * = PGA TOUR Canada member).

1. Spencer Fletcher* (Los Altos, Calif.) – 65
2. Crawford Reeves* (Greer, S.C.) – 66
3. Preston Valder* (Yorba Linda, Calif.) – 67
T-4. Chris DeForest* (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) – 68
T-4. Zack Kempa* (Brantford, Ont..) – 68
T-4. Bryce Ledford* (Ooltewah, Tenn.) – 68
T-4. Greg Palmer (Port Alberni, B.C.) – 68
T-4. Jacob Vanderpas (Vancouver, B.C.) – 68
T-4. Devin Carrey* (Surrey, B.C.) – 68
T-4. Andrew Vijarro* (Bend, Ore.) – 68

Notes on the field

  • 18 British Columbians are in the field this week: Lindsay Bernakevitch (Victoria); Dylan Bell (Victoria); Brad Clapp (Chilliwack); Devin Carrey (Surrey); Adam Cornelson (Langley); Darren Day (Victoria); Brendan Dillon (Port Moody); Seann Harlingten (West Vancouver); Thomas Hay (Langley); Greg Palmer (Port Alberni); Cory Renfrew (Victoria); Jim Rutledge (Victoria); Gordy Scutt (Victoria); Kevin Spooner (West Vancouver); Brian Sluggett (Victoria); Riley Wheeldon (Comox); Ryan Williams (Vancouver); Jacob Vanderpas (Vancouver);
  • 34 Canadians are in the field.
  • 2015 tournament winners in the field: Brad Clapp (The Great Waterway Classic), Daniel Miernicki (ATB Financial Classic), Chris Ross (The Wildfire Invitational), Kevin Spooner (Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON).
  • 2015 NCAA All-Americans committed to the field this week (* denotes amateur who competed at this week’s NCAA Championship):  Max Rottluff* (1st team, Arizona State); Hank Lebioda* (2nd team, Florida State); Will Starke* (2nd team, South Carolina); Matt NeSmith* (3rd team, South Carolina); Trevor Cone (Honorable Mention, Virginia Tech); JD Tomlinson (Honorable Mention, Florida); Scott Vincent (Honorable Mention, Virginia Tech); Scott Wolfes (Honorable Mention, Georgia Southern); Taylor Moore (Honorable Mention, Arkansas); Byron Meth (Honorable Mention, Pacific).

PGA TOUR Canada alumni notes

  • 14 Mackenzie Tour alumni, including seven members from 2015, are inside the top-75 on the Tour Money List and in position to make the Tour Finals.
  • Five players who played on the Mackenzie Tour since 2013 are members of the PGA TOUR this season: Nick Taylor, Tony Finau, Mark Hubbard, Tyler Aldridge and Lucas Lee.

Other Bayview Place Island Savings Open notes

  • Past champions in Victoria include PGA TOUR members Spencer Levin (2007), David Hearn (2005), Jason Bohn (2000), Ken Duke (1999) and Steve Stricker (1990).
  • The top three players on the Order of Merit through the first six events of the 2015 season will earn exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open.