Encinitas, California’s David Bradshaw cruised to an eight-stroke victory at PGA Tour Canada’s British Columbia Qualifying Tournament on Friday, carding a final round 73 to finish 17-under par for the week. Bradshaw was among 18 players to earn exempt status and 42 total players to earn PGA Tour Canada cards for 2014.
The 31-year old Bradshaw coasted easily to the win on the heels of a brilliant start, including a course record 62 in Wednesday’s second round at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community.
“Winning is always fun. I don’t care if it’s checkers or golf,” said Bradshaw. “I’m really looking forward to the first event, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Canada. This is my first time in Canada, and it’s been a heck of an experience.”
Bradshaw led by 11 strokes heading into the final day, and extended his lead with an eagle on the first hole. The Shepherd University graduate admitted he lost focus for a stretch of holes coming in, but was happy overall with his performance on the week.
“I think I had the bad mojo today I think, though I had my fair share and then some the first two days,” said Bradshaw. “I kind of felt like today was a little bit of a victory lap. I didn’t feel like anyone was going to be able to catch me. I knew I was playing well, but it’s so easy to get ahead of yourself.”
Bradshaw joins Qualifying Tournament medalists Jordan Krantz of Vermillion Bay, Ontario and Daniel Miernicki of Santee, California, who won the Florida and California Qualifying Tournaments, respectively. Eight shots behind Bradshaw were Timothy Madigan, who fired a 5-under 67 on Friday, and Adam Long, who both finished at 9-under for the week.
Clapp repeats Crown Isle success with playoff win
Chilliwack, B.C.’s Brad Clapp is no stranger to success at Crown Isle, having captured the PGA of BC Championship here in 2012. After finishing tied for 18th this week at 2-under, he repeated his success on Friday by prevailing in a six-for-one playoff to secure exempt status on PGA Tour Canada for 2014.
“This is probably the best thing I’ve done in golf so far, so I hope it’s the start of a good season,” said Clapp.
After making birdie on the first playoff hole at the par-5 10th hole, Clapp advanced along with Jacksonville, Florida’s Sean Dale and West Des Moines, Iowa’s Nate McCoy. After all three parred the par-4 17th, Clapp crushed a drive on the par-4 18th, knocked an approach to 20 feet below the hole and rolled in the birdie putt to secure his exempt status for 2014.
“It was straight uphill,” said Clapp of the clinching putt. “I had been too tentative all week, so I just said ‘make sure you hit it.’ My caddie gave me a good read and I knew I could make a four- or five-footer coming back so I didn’t mind being aggressive.”
Scottsdale, Arizona’s Phil Francis, La Canada, California’s Russell Surber and Chesterfield, Missouri’s Justin Bardgett qualified for the playoff but did not advance beyond the first extra hole.
Cornelson comes up clutch to secure exempt status
Standing in his final fairway of the day at 3-under par for the tournament, Langley, B.C.’s Adam Cornelson knew he needed a strong finish to lock up exempt status and avoid a playoff. He did exactly that, striping an approach to 10 feet and burying the putt to ensure a return to PGA Tour Canada for his fourth season.
“That was one of the most satisfying putts of my life,” said Cornelson. “When the chips were down and I had to birdie the last hole, I did it. I’ll hold this one in my memory for a long time.”
The 26-year old finished 81st on the Order of Merit last year, and admitted it ‘stung’ to lose his card. But with a renewed focus on and some solid results to show for – the University of New Orleans grad won the Vancouver Golf Tour’s Chilliwack Open by 10 shots last week – Cornelson said he’s thrilled to be returning on Tour this for 2014.
“Pretty much my whole year has been focused on this event, and sometimes that can be difficult if you’re looking ahead too much. I can finally exhale. This feels really good.”
Canadians to earn status
A total of 13 Canadians earned status on PGA Tour Canada for 2014, bringing the total number of Canadians with playing status to 42. B.C. golfers on that list (and their finish at Crown Isle) include:
Greg Machtaler, Summerland, T-4; Adam Cornelson, Langley, T-11; Brad Clapp, Chilliwack, T-18; Kevin Stinson, Mission, T-38.
– PGA Tour Canada