PGA TOUR Canada Storylines – The Great Waterway Classic 2014
2014 The Great Waterway Classic
Dates: August 18-24
Course: Loyalist Golf and Country Club (Bath, Ont.)
Par/Yards: 35-37—72/6,584 yards
2013 champion: Hugo Leon
Purse: $150,000/$27,000 (winner)
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @GWC_2014 / #GWC2014
The Great Waterway Classic is the ninth of 12 events on the 2014 schedule, with four events in as many 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.
A look at the 2014 PGA TOUR Canada season so far
Three different winners of four events in their 20s and four different winners in their 30s.
Youngest winner: Tim Madigan, The Players Cup (25 years, 9 months, 16 days)
Oldest winner: Brock Mackenzie, ATB Financial Classic (33 years, 16 days)
One two-time winner (Joel Dahmen, PC Financial Open & Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON)
One Order of Merit leader all season (Joel Dahmen, 8 weeks)
Six 54-hole leaders of eight events to convert victory.
One Canadian winner (Greg Machtaler, Summerland, BC, Forces & Families Open)
Six first-time winners (Joel Dahmen, PC Financial Open; 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; Greg Machtaler, Forces & Families Open)
Two rookie winners (Matt Harmon, SIGA Dakota Dunes Open; Tim Madigan, The Players Cup)
Six holes-in-one, three double eagles.
Three players (Joel Dahmen, Tim Madigan and Sean Shahi) to make the cut in every event.
A look back at The Great Waterway Classic in 2013
The Great Waterway Classic played a pivotal role in the race for The Five in 2013, as Chile’s Hugo Leon earned his second PGA TOUR Canada victory and would go on to finish fourth on the Order of Merit, earning status on the Web.com Tour for this season. In addition to Leon, Order of Merit winner Mackenzie Hughes, Wil Collins and Mark Hubbard also finished in the top 10, helping to secure their spot in The Five. In all, 11 players who finished T10 or better would go on to earn status on the Web.com Tour for 2014, including Stonebrae Classic champion Tony Finau, who leads all 2013 alumni on the Web.com Tour money list at No. 6.
In last year’s final round at Upper Canada Golf Course, Leon would use birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to jump one stroke ahead of Brandon Harkins, who had earlier shot a 10-under 62 to take the clubhouse lead. Leon would then convert a two-putt par at the last to seal the victory and a 22-under par total, which was then the lowest 72-hole total of the PGA TOUR Canada era.
Hemmerich to make pro debut at Loyalist
Former Golf Canada National Amateur team member Chris Hemmerich is set to make his professional debut this week at The Great Waterway Classic, following a stellar amateur career that includes a win at the 2014 Ontario Amateur Championship. The Kitchener native, who played at the University of Guelph and won the OUA conference championship twice, is looking to join a list of National Amateur Team alumni in the professional ranks that includes Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Mackenzie Hughes, Albin Choi and Eugene Wong.
“I’ve had great support as an amateur coming up through the ranks not only as a member of Team Canada but also as a Guelph Gryphon,” said Hemmerich, 21. “I look forward to starting my professional career here at The Great Waterway Classic, and am excited to see what the future holds.”
Hemmerich has played two PGA TOUR Canada events this season under exemptions for Golf Canada’s National Amateur Team, making the cut at the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel where he finished tied for 35th.” He also received an exemption to compete in the 2014 RBC Canadian Open this past July.
Notes on the field
Eight participants from the 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.
2012 The Great Waterway Classic champion Eugene Wong is looking for his first PGA TOUR Canada win since his triumph at Smuggler’s Glen Golf Club in the inaugural playing of The Great Waterway Classic. Wong’s 2012 win was his second straight PGA TOUR Canada win after his dramatic triumph at the TOUR Championship of Canada. In seven starts this season, Wong has five top-25 finishes and ranks 10th on the Order of Merit.
Sponsor’s Exemption Austin James, the reigning Canadian Junior Boys Champion, is the son of Loyalist Golf and Country Club Head Professional Geoff James and will tee it up on his home course. Augusta James, Austin’s sister, is the reigning Canadian Women’s Amateur Champion.
Seven winners of all eight 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; Brock Mackenzie/ATB Financial Classic; Greg Machtaler/Forces & Families Open).
40 Canadians and players from Argentina, Australia, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Mexico, Scotland, South Africa and Sweden and the United States.
Race for The Five building
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 – $78,922
2. Tim Madigan – $57,002
3. Brock Mackenzie – $45,692
4. Matt Harmon – $40,232
5. Josh Persons – $38,428
The Great Waterway Classic sponsor’s exemptions:
Stuart Anderson (Strathmore, AB)
Chris Barber (Kingston, ON)
Chris Hemmerich (Kitchener, ON)
Austin James (Bath, ON)
Lucas Kim (Toronto, ON)
Brad Revell (Kingston, ON)
Jon Mills (Oshawa, ON)
Josh Whalen (Napanee, ON)
Below are this successful entrants from Open Qualifying, which took place at Bay of Quinte Golf and Country Club in Belleville (bold denotes Canadian, * = PGA TOUR Canada member).
1. Matthew Code (Belleville, ON) – 64
2. Kyle Morris* (Worthington, OH) – 67
T-3. Mach Boucher (Uxbridge, ON) – 68
T-3. Zack Kempa (Brantford, ON) – 68
T-3. Russell Budd (Toronto, ON) – 68
T-3. Brad Kerfoot (Toronto, ON) – 68
T-3. Matthew McMahon (Brockville, ON) – 68
T-8. Jesse Speirs* (Bangor, ME) – 69
T-8. Brett Cairns* (Courtland, ON) – 69
T-8. Cody Semmerlock (Pomfret Center, CT) – 69
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), Ty Capps (2014 Roberto de Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC), Julian Etulain (2013 Lexus Peru Open, 2014 Lexus Panama Classic), Tommy Cocha (2012 Mundo Maya Open).
Before Greg Machtaler’s come-from-behind win in Ottawa, six straight players converted the 54-hole lead into victories on PGA TOUR Canada this season.
PGA TOUR Canada alumni notes
With one week to go before the Web.com Tour Finals, seven PGA TOUR Canada alumni are in position to earn PGA TOUR Cards by finishing in the top 25 on the money list: Roger Sloan (23), Byron Smith (21), Mark Hubbard (20), Steven Alker (11), Adam Hadwin (10), Andres Gonzales (8) and Tony Finau (6).
Source: PGA TOUR