With a final round 3-under 69 on Friday at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, Eric Onesi earned medallist honours at PGA Tour Canada’s British Columbia Qualifying Tournament.
The Bear, Delaware golfer finished with a two-stroke advantage over Kansas City, Missouri’s Michael Letzig and Galloway, Ohio’s Ethan Tracy.
A total of 44 players earned status on PGA Tour Canada for 2015, including five Canadians. Onesi joins fellow Q-School medallists Albin Choi and Julien Brun and will be exempt on PGA Tour Canada for the 2015 season.
“I hung in there. It’s been a long time coming and I’m kind of at a loss for words, but it feels good,” Onesi told PGA Tour Canada.
The Old Dominion University graduate found himself with a three-stroke advantage over Tracy with three holes to go, and after slipping with a double bogey on the 16th, rebounded to birdie the 18th and secure a two-stroke victory.
After having conditional Web.com Tour status in 2011 and 2012, Onesi took time away from competing over parts of the past two years, serving as a caddie at Bay Hill Club and Lodge and working on his game. With a refreshed perspective, the 27-year old decided to take on 2015 in the pro ranks again, and will be able to plan out his season on PGA TOUR Canada.
“It’s huge. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to set my schedule with a couple of up-and-down years,” said Onesi. “To nail that down and be exempt through all 12 events puts a big smile on my face. It’s one of the best days of my golfing career for sure.”
Letzig, a veteran of 114 events on the PGA Tour, carded a final round 69 to share second place with Tracy, who was unable to convert the 54-hole lead into victory.
Strathmore, Alberta’s Stuart Anderson and Edmonton, Alberta’s Wilson Bateman were low Canadians, both finishing in a tie for eighth at 6-under.
Olympia, Washington’s Cameron Peck emerged victorious in a 6-for-1 playoff, going birdie-par on the 10th and 17th holes in sudden victory to earn the 18th spot and exempt status through the first six events of the 2015 season.
“Everything was fantastic,” said Brian Decker of PGA Tour Canada in summing up the event. “Personally, I always say it’s my favourite week of the year because we love coming to Crown Isle so much.
“For us, everything is so easy. The club staff is phenomenal, the course is great and we stay right on site. We love being out on the West Coast,” Decker added.
“From a Tour perspective, it was great. The course was the right level of challenging and the guys who finished top 40 and top 18 and earned their cards for the year, they really earned it because it was a great test of golf. I think the guys who played well are going to go on to do some pretty good things on the Tour this year,” Decker said.