CANADIAN TOUR STORYLINES – THE PLAYERS CUP
TALE OF THE TAPE
Pine Ridge Golf Club
Par 71 – 36/35 – 6,600 Yards
Designed: Donald Ross, 1912
Course Record: 62 (Wes Martin 2001, Mark Slawter 2001, Michael Walton 2008, Dustin Risdon 2008)
Tournament site www.theplayerscup.ca
RUMBLE AT THE RIDGE
Since 2010 Jonathan Toews' involvement with the Players Cup the tournament has raised $175,000 for local charities. Tuesday at Pine Ridge pits Team Toews versus Team Shane Hnidy in the first Rumble at the Ridge benefiting Tallman Foundation, the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. A total of 18 celebrities including 2011 Stanley Cup Champion with the Boston Bruins Shane Hnidy, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian, New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone and St. Louis Blues tough guy Ryan Reaves are battling in the match play format. The team competition includes nine teams of four including one Canadian Tour professional and two amateurs.
RBC CANADIAN OPEN EXEMPTIONS
Two RBC Canadian Open exemptions are the line this week in Winnipeg. The top two players from the Order of Merit following The Players Cup will be invited to participate in the PGA TOUR event the week of July 23. Currently rookies Matt Hill of Sarnia and Cory Renfrew of Victoria are holding on to the top spots. Mathmatically anyone in the top 12 on the Order of Merit can secure one of two spots. The top 12 players are Canadian's Hill, Renfrew, Michael Gligic, Nick Taylor, Derek Gillespie, Roger Sloan, American's Andrew Roque, Matt Marshall, Will Strickler, Scott Harrington, Joe Panzeri with Brazilian Lucas Lee as the lone non North American among the dozen.
WONG DEBUTS IN THE PEG
Eugene Wong of North Vancouver, the 2012 PAC 12 player of the year (beating out number one ranked amateur Patrick Cantley) will be making his professional debut this week. The 21-year old recently finished his college career at the University of Oregon under the tutledge of golf coach Casey Martin where he won three times since his freshman year. Wong's impressive amateur career includes a Jack Nicklaus award for the best college golfer in 2010 as well as the BC Junior and Amateur Championships on two occasions each.
YOUNG GUNS CONTINUE TO ROLL
Matt Hill's victory kept the average age of 2012 Canadian Tour winners down as the 23-year old joined Gligic 22, Roque 23 and Renfrew 26 in the winners circle. The average age in the top 10 on the Order of Merit is 25.3 years old. Gligic is the youngest at 22 while Derek Gillespie is the oldest at 34.
CAN HILL AVOID THE POST-WIN HANGOVER?
Will Matt Hill be the first to avoid a missed cut after a win? All three winners up until the Dakota Dunes Casino Open last week have followed up their victory with a missed cut. Cory Renfrew was the latest victim after winning the Syncrude Boreal Open. Andrew Roque and Michael Gligic round out winners who have MC'd after a victory.
The Canadian Tour has seen three playoffs in row since Edmonton. The last time a playoff happened in Winnipeg was in 1989 where Stuart Hendley defeated Dave Barr and Steve Chapman.
DONALD ROSS DESIGNS
Pine Ridge Golf Club is the first of two Donald Ross designs the Canadian Tour will play this season. Built in 1912, the 6700 yar par 71 is celebrating its 100th year. In August the Tour will visit Roseland Golf Club which has a celebration of its own this season. The original layout has been renovated to more closely resemble the original drawings done by Ross in 1926. Roseland celebrated its grand re-opening last month in Windsor.
CANADIANS CLAIM THREE IN A ROW
Last week in Saskatoon marked the first time since 2009 that three Canadians in a row have claimed victory on the Canadian Tour. The last time three Canadians won in a row was in 2009 when Graham DeLaet won The Players Cup, Ryan Yip won the Jane Rogers Championship and Stuart Anderson won the Montreal Open. Coincidently, all three players are now graduates of the Canadian Tour playing on the PGA TOUR and Web.com tours respectively. There has not been a run of four consecutive Canuck winners since 1985 when Danny Mijovic, Dave Barr, Sandy Harper and Rick Gibson had an all Canadian run. Three wins in row has now happened four times since the Tour incorporated in 1985. In 1986 Gordie Smith, Dave Barr and Frank Edmonds accomplished the feat while in 1988 Dave Barr, Matt Cole and Brent Franklin earned the Canadian trifecta.
LOCALS IN THE FIELD
A total of 10 Winnipeggers are the field this week including three Canadian Tour members Matt Johnson, Scott Loewen and Tyler Mancini. Rounding out the seven locals are three time Canadian Tour winner Rob McMillan, former Canadian Tour member and Pine Ridge Head Professional Shane Dick, PGA of Manitoba representative Geoff Kehler, Pine Ridge club champion Todd Teplitsky, Manitoba provincial junior champion Ryan Shouldice, 2011 Manitoba Amateur runner up Josh Wytink and Monday qualifier Myles Sullivan.
Brock Mackenzie and Ryan Thornberry are celebrating birthdays on Wednesday July 18th. Aaron Goldberg and Craig Leslie are celebrating birthdays on July 19th. Both Thornberry and Leslie are in the field this week. Goldberg is in Utah for the Web.com event while Mackenzie is out of action.