The first step on the path toward the PGA TOUR begins this week at TPC Sawgrass, as 132 players take to the Dye’s Valley Course to earn status on the 2018 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Below are the details for the USA East Q-School #1, the second of five qualifying tournaments this season, along with storylines to follow this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
There are 12 Canadians among the athletes, including former National Amateur Squad members Matt Hill (Sarnia, Ont.), Austin James (Bath, Ont.) and Eric Banks (Truro, N.S.).
Winner of the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit in 2012, Hill has spent time on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Web.com Tour in recent years. The North Carolina State product was the author of one of the greatest seasons in collegiate golf history in 2009, when he won the NCAA Championship, seven other individual tournament titles and the Jack Nicklaus Award as the country’s top collegiate golfer.
James was the 2016 Big South Conference Player of the Year, thanks to a win at the 2016 Big South Conference Championship, while competing at Charleston Southern University. James won the 2014 Canadian Junior Championship and made it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 U.S. Amateur.
CANADIANS IN THE FIELD
Eric Banks (Truro, N.S.)
Raoul Menard (Granby, Que.)
Max Gilbert (St-Georges, Que.)
Vincent Blanchette (St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que.)
Austin James (Bath, Ont.)
Matt Hill (Sarnia, Ont.)
Sameer Kalia (Campbellville, Ont.)
James Jones (Tampa, Fla.)
Branson Ferrier (Barrie, Ont.)
Andrew Jensen (Ottawa, Ont.)
Cooper Brown (Renfrew, Ont.)
Joseph D’Alfonso (Caledon, Ont.)