Riley Wheeldon will be in elite company this week when he competes at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.
The field at the PGA Tour event (Jan. 23-26) includes defending champion Tiger Woods.
Wheeldon, who calls Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community his home course, recorded a 6-under 66 on Monday qualifying at El Camino Country Club in Oceanside, Calif., grabbing one of four available spots. The 23-year-old Comox resident started on the back nine and started in style – with an eagle.
Making the turn at 3-under 34, Wheeldon birdied his 12th, 13th and 16th holes and went on to finish tied for third with Will Strickler. Chris Riley and Chris Smith finished tied for first at 7-under 65.
Wheeldon finished second on the PGA Tour Canada money list in 2013, earning a partial exemption onto the Web.com Tour this season. He won the Syncrude Boreal Open for his first PGA Tour Canada title in 2013 and also finished third at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in Victoria.
He qualified for last year’s PGA Canadian Open but missed the cut after shooting identical rounds of 3-over 75s.
Along with Woods, other high-profile entries at this week’s tourney include Phil Mickelson and Canadians Graham DeLaet, Brad Fritsch, David Hearn, Mike Weir and Stephen Ames.