Locals Earn Mackenzie Tour Status for 2016
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (April 11, 2016) – The Mackenzie Tour (PGA TOUR Canada) is in the midst of its spring Qualifying School tournaments, and several locals have gained status for the upcoming 2016 season. The PGA TOUR acquired the Canadian Tour in 2012, developing the circuit into a prime training ground for up-and-coming professional golfers to develop their games for the Web.com Tour and eventually the PGA TOUR.
Five locals secured conditional status for the 2016 Mackenzie Tour season by finishing inside the top 40 at the Q-School tournament held on the PGA Village’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Reigning Met Open champion Ben Polland finished tied for 17th at 4-under 284 in the 72-hole event. Also posting a 284 total was Sean Kelly, a native of Staten Island, New York who is in his redshirt senior season at University of South Carolina. Though Polland and Kelly both registered under-par scores for the final round—70 and 69, respectively—the pair narrowly missed having exempt status through the first reshuffle, which was awarded to the top 16 finishers.
Others securing conditional status include two-time Ike champion Mike Ballo Jr. (T21, 285), 2006 Carter Cup champion Christopher DeForest (T31, 287) and 2013 MGA Player of the Year Max Buckley (T36, 288), who carded a final round 69. Ballo Jr. and Buckley both made 11 starts on the Mackenzie Tour in 2015.
Additional Met Area competitors potentially competing on the Mackenzie Tour this summer include Mike Miller and David Pastore. The pair each own conditional status on the Web.com Tour for 2016, but also retained exempt status for the Mackenzie Tour this season thank to finishes inside the top 60 on the 2015 Order of Merit. Miller finished 21st and Pastore 31st.
The Mackenzie Tour has two more Q-School tournaments (April 26-29 in Santee, California and May 3-6 in Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada) before the season officially starts at the Freedom 55 Financial Open, May 26-29 in Vancouver.