2014 ATB Financial Classic, July 28 – August 3; Sirocco Golf Club (Calgary, Alta.), Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,185 yards; Field: 156; 2013 champion: Joe Panzeri; Purse: $150,000/$27,000 (winner)
The ATB Financial Classic marks the second half of the 2014 season on PGA TOUR Canada, with six events in the next seven weeks to close out the race to finish in The Five and earn status on the Web.com Tour for 2015. The 2014 schedule consists of 12 events from coast-to-coast, beginning with the PC Financial Open in May and concluding with the TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial this September.
How Joe Panzeri won the 2013 ATB Financial Classic
Joe Panzeri entered the final round of the 2014 ATB Financial Classic with a three-stroke lead over defending champion Michael Gligic and Chris Epperson. After bogeys on the 11th and 12th eliminated his lead, Panzeri responded with an eagle on the 13th and a birdie at the last to secure the victory.
More on Joe Panzeri
The 2013 ATB Financial Classic was Panzeri’s second PGA TOUR Canada victory, adding to the 2011 SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel.
Panzeri would go on to finish sixth on the final 2013 Order of Merit and earn an exemption into the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School, where he finished T73 and earned conditional status.
Panzeri has split time this season between the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Canada. He has made three cuts in four starts on PGA TOUR Canada, with a best finish of T21 at The Players Cup.
Notes on the field
Eight participants from last week’s RBC Canadian Open, led by Order of Merit leader Joel Dahmen who made the cut and finished T53. The others: Tim Madigan, Josh Persons, Michael Gligic, Beon-Yeong Lee, Kevin Stinson, Ben Silverman, Eugene Wong.
Five winners of all six PGA TOUR Canada events this season (Joel Dahmen/PC Financial Open & Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON; Josh Persons/Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist; Matt Harmon/SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel; Tim Madigan/The Players Cup; Wes Homan/Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel).
Two past ATB Financial Classic champions: Michael Gligic (2012) and Joe Panzeri (2013).
35 Canadians, 104 and players from Argentina, Australia, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa and Sweden.
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:
1. Joel Dahmen – $64,578
2. Tim Madigan – $54,463
3. Josh Persons – $37,283
4. Matt Harmon – $36,688
5. Wes Homan – $35,692
ATB Financial Classic sponsor’s exemptions:
Stuart Anderson, Strathmore, AB
Wilson Bateman, Edmonton, AB
Tim Cameron, Australia
Mitch Evanecz, Red Deer, AB
Geoff Fry, Calgary, AB
James Love, Calgary, AB
Trey Mullinax, Birmingham, AL
Nick Travers, Phoenix, AZ
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. Spencer Lawson (Davidson, NC) – 63
2. Andrew Rasmussen (Delta, BC) – 64
3. Thomas Schupp (Calgary, AB) – 65
T-4. Daniel Pow (Calgary, AB) – 67
T-4. David Rose (West Vancouver, BC) – 67
T-6. Jim Mee (Libby, MT) – 68
T-6. Aaron Crawford (Calgary, AB) – 68
T-6. Derek VandeGraft (Calgary, AB) – 68
T-6. Ted Smith (Orlando, FL) – 68
T-6. Wes Heffernan (Calgary, AB) – 68
Alberta Natives in the field (14)
James Love (Calgary)
Riley Fleming (Airdrie)
Stuart Anderson (Strathmore)
Wilson Bateman (Edmonton)
Mitch Evanecz (Red Deer)
Geoff Fry (Calgary)
Thomas Scupp (Calgary)
Daniel Pow (Calgary)
Aaron Crawford (Calgary)
Derek VandeGraft (Calgary)
Wes Heffernan (Calgary)
Geoff Fry (Calgary)
Ryan Yip (Calgary)
Scott Stiles (Calgary)
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), Ty Capps (2014 Roberto de Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC), Tommy Cocha (2012 Mundo Maya Open).
2014 marks five years since Graham DeLaet’s victory at the ATB Financial Classic here at Sirocco. DeLaet won twice in the 2009 season and would go on to be named PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year.
The top three non-members on the Order of Merit through the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel earned conditional status on PGA TOUR Canada for the remainder of the season: Seann Harlingten (35), Daniel Balin (52) and Kevin Spooner (T118).
Other conditional members to secure a spot in this week’s field with top-20 finishes at the Staal Foundation Open: Jeffrey Corr (T3), John Catlin (T5), Josh Stone (T7), Drew Evans (T7), Tyler Brown (T15).
Airdrie’s Riley Fleming comes into the week as the reigning Alberta Open champion. Fleming defended his title this year after winning as an amateur in 2013.
Other Alberta Open champions in the field: Wes Heffernan (2006-2008, 2011, 2012) and Ryan Yip (2009).
Past Alberta Amateur Champions in the field: Wes Heffernan (2000), Ryan Yip (2002), James Love (2005), Scott Stiles (2008, 2011), Mitch Evanecz (2009), Riley Fleming (2002, 2003).
PGA TOUR Canada alumni notes
Tim Clark, who won twice on PGA TOUR Canada in 1998, earned his second PGA TOUR victory at the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.
46 PGA TOUR Canada alumni are playing on the Web.com Tour this week at the Stonebrae Classic.
Source: PGA TOUR