With a final round 3-under 69, Bear Delaware’s Eric Onesi earned medalist honours at PGA TOUR Canada’s British Columbia Qualifying Tournament, finishing with a two-stroke advantage over Kansas City, Missouri’s Michael Letzig and Galloway, Ohio’s Ethan Tracy.
44 players in total earned status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015, including five Canadians. Onesi joins fellow Q-School medalists 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,” said Onesi.
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.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
66: The round of the day from Cary, N.C.’s Zachary Edmondson, moving him from T63 to T24.
5: Canadians who earned status for 2015: Stuart Anderson (Strathmore, Alta./T8), Wilson Bateman (Edmonton, Alta./T8), Thomas Hay (Langley, B.C./T24), James Allenby (Langley, B.C./T28), Ben Itterman (White Rock, B.C./T34).
1: Player who finished with all four rounds in the 60s (Eric Onesi – 69-69-67-69).
The medalist this week earned exempt status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015. Finishers 2-18 are exempt through the first six events and subject to the re-shuffle, with the rest of the top 40 (plus ties) earning conditional status. The cutoff for the top 18 finished at 1-under, with the cutoff for the top 40 at 2-over.
“It’s almost like playing a Monday qualifier. You either do it or you don’t. There were no nerves or anything. I knew I had to play well, and luckily I made a few birdies.” – Ben Itterman, who moved up 33 spots into a tie for 35th with a 5-under 67 on Friday.
“I’ve definitely grown a lot since last year. I think I’ve matured a little bit and learned how to be humble and take things as they go. I think it’s one of those things where you have to be humble all the time. When I was younger, I wasn’t, and you grow up and learn and hopefully I learn more things as they go. I still have a long ways to go,” – 22-year old Wilson Bateman, on the lessons he’s learned since turning professional at age 19.
– Weather: 20 degrees Celsius. Sunny. Winds 10 km/h.
– At 47 years old, Jaime Gomez becomes the oldest member on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015.
– 31 Canadians have earned status for 2015, via last year’s top-60 on the Order of Merit, the three 2015 Qualifying Tournaments and through the Web.com Tour. 13 Canadians earned status through the 2015 Qualifying Tournaments.
– University of Washington star C.T. Pan, who was named a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award on Wednesday, finished tied for fifth at 9-under.
– 2012 The Players Cup champion Chris Killmer carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to move into a tie for 34th and earn status. The player he defeated in a four-hole playoff to win the title, Vince Covello, finished tied for fifth.
– PGA Tour Canada