Dakota Dunes golf

Dakota Dunes Golf Links First Hole

The Mackenzie Tour season resumes this week at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open at Dakota Dunes Golf Links, just south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The fourth event of the year comes with plenty at stake as the event marks its ninth playing

Key Info
Dates: June 20-26
Course: Dakota Dunes Golf Links (Whitecap, Sask.)
Par/Yards: 37-35—72/7,301
Field: 156
2015 champion: Michael Letzig (Playoff over Clark Klaasen and J.J. Spaun)
Purse: $175,000/$31,500 winner’s prize
Format: 72-hole stroke play

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 Web.com Tour in 2017. Below is a breakdown of the status available, as well as the current Top Five.

Order of Merit position Status
1 Exempt on 2017 Web.com Tour
2-5 Conditional status on Web.com Tour
6-10 Exemption into final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
11-20 Exemption into second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School

Current Standings (bold denotes Canadian):

1. Dan McCarthy $68,863
2. Adam Cornelson $33,810
3. Ryan Williams $25,953
4. Caleb Sturgeon $20,090
T5. Taylor Moore $18,900
T5. Tyler McCumber $18,900

McCarthy looks to continue torrid pace
Following his second win in three starts to begin the Mackenzie Tour season, Order of Merit leader Dan McCarthy looks to continue his unprecedented pace to start the year this week in Saskatoon. The Syracuse, New York native leads the Order of Merit by $35,053 over No. 2 Adam Cornelson, representing the largest lead through three events in Tour history.

McCarthy has shot under par in all 12 rounds this season, and has shot at least 2-under in every round so far this season, including rounds of 66-66-63-64 en route to a record-setting seven stroke margin of victory at the GolfBC Championship.

DeLaet returns home to support community that raise him 
Starting this season, the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open has partnered with the Graham and Ruby DeLaet Foundation. With PGA TOUR player and Saskatchewan native Graham DeLaet and his foundation as the driving force, the event will raise funds for local charitable initiatives while integrating a community-centric focus, helping give back to the community that helped DeLaet begin his journey toward reaching the PGA TOUR.

Season’s first re-shuffle awaits for conditional members, those looking for status
The first re-shuffle of the 2016 season will take place following this week’s event, when all players with conditional status will be re-ranked for tournament eligibility based on 2016 earnings. Players with conditional status include anyone finishing 2nd through the top 40 plus ties at this year’s Qualifying Tournaments.

The top three non-members on the Order of Merit through this week’s event will also be eligible to join the Mackenzie Tour and will be subject to the re-shuffle. Below are the top four non-members on the Order of Merit through the GolfBC Championship (bold denotes Canadian:T77 James Love $1,068
T97 Jake Knapp $665
T103 Darren Hupfer $595
T117 Ben Griffin $494

Wyatt makes Mackenzie Tour debut
Former University of Alabama standout Bobby Wyatt will make his first career Mackenzie Tour start this week, having earned exempt status through the first four events of the season at Q-School earlier this year. The 24-year old made waves earlier this year by sharing the lead late in the final round before finishing solo 4th at the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans on a sponsor exemption. Wyatt was named a 1st team NCAA All-American three times at the University of Alabama and once shot 58 en route to winning the Alabama Boys’ State Championship.

Looking back at 2015’s SIGA Dakota Dunes Open 
In 2015, Michael Letzig came to the Mackenzie Tour in search of a path back to the Web.com Tour, where he owns 19 career Web.com Tour starts in addition to 114 PGA TOUR starts. Letzig earned status at the British Columbia Q-School earlier in the spring, then carded rounds of 67-66-70-69 to get in a playoff with Clark Klaasen and eventual Player of the Year J.J. Spaun. On the second extra hole, Letzig hit driver off the deck for his second shot on the par-5 18th and made birdie to secure his first win at any PGA TOUR-sanctioned event.

Letzig will defend his title this week, making his first Mackenzie Tour start of the season.

DuToit, Hamilton lead Golf Canada Sponsor Exemptions

At each regular Mackenzie Tour event, two sponsor exemptions are awarded to current or former members of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Team. Alumni of the team who have played on PGA TOUR Canada include Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor.

This week’s exemptions include Kimberley, B.C.’s Jared Du Toit, who recently captured victory at the prestigious Glencoe Amateur in Calgary, Alberta, and Burlington, Ontario’s Blair Hamilton, a 2015 Honorable Mention NCAA All-American at the University of Houston.

Other sponsor exemptions:Dakota Cameron, Duck Lake, Sask.
Jerry Christiansen, Air Ronge, Sask.
Jared DuToit, Kimberley, B.C.
Blair Hamilton, Burlington, Ont.
Lucas Kim, Toronto, Ont.
Will Kropp, Edmont, Okla.
Hugo Leon, Santiago, Chile
James Love, Calgary, Alta.

Monday Qualifiers
Open Qualifying took place at The Willows Golf and Country Club.

(bold denotes Canadian).1. Christopher DeForest (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) – 65
2. Blake Pugh (Southlake, Tex.) – 66
T3. Darren Hupfer (Victoria, B.C.) – 67
T3. Kyle Peterman (Savannah, Georgia) – 67
T5. Adam Crawford (Calgary, Alta.) – 68
T5. Kevin Dougherty (Murrieta, Calif.) – 68
T5. Jonathan Fly (Memphis, Tenn.) – 68
T5. Zach Kempa (Brantford, Ont.) – 68
T5. Sang Gyun Lee (Calgary, Alta.) – 68
10. Jake Knapp (Costa Mesa, Calif.) – 69 (won in 9-for-1 playoff)