As many as 21 Canadians begin the quest Tuesday for a spot on the 2013 PGA Tour. Known as Q-School, the journey begins at six locations with another eight locations rounding out the first stage next week.
Among those in the field this week are a pair of two-time Canadian Amateur Champions in Cam Burke of New Hamburg, Ont., and Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont. They will begin their quest in North Carolina along with Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont., who made a remarkable comeback from a serious car crash to post a pair of top-10 results on the Canadian Tour in 2012.
David Byrne of Essex, Ont., the winner of the Golf Channel's Big Break Indian Wells reality show, and Victor Ciesielski of Cambridge, Ont., are among four Canadians playing in the Lakeland, Florida qualifier.
Eugene Wong of North Vancouver, B.C.,who made his professional debut in July and won two of his four starts on the Canadian Tour, is one of three Canadians playing out of the Dayton, Nevada qualifier. Three more Canadian Tour players - Adam Cornelson of Langley, B.C., James Love of Calgary and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C. - are all entered in the Lantana, Texas qualifier.
Kent Eger of Regina and Danny Dahl of Sherwood Park, Alta., are among six Canadians in action at Palm Desert, California while Ted Brown of Peterborough, Ont., and Toronto's Nick Kenney begin their Q-School quest in Madison, Mississippi.
Sam Saunders, the grandson of legendary great Arnold Palmer, was among the notable names scheduled to take part in first stage qualifying in Lakeland, Florida. But he withdrew in order to take part in this week's Web.com event in Jacksonville in hopes of climbing up the Tour's money list and earning his PGA card that way. Saunders currently sits 50th on the money list which should get him into the season ending Tour Championship where he will need to be in the top 25 in order to earn his card.
Shane Lowry was also scheduled to take part in the first stage of Q-School but following his win at the Portugal Masters, the Irishman has decided to finish out the season on the European Tour in hopes of improving his world ranking.
"I'm 74th in the world and I've got to back myself to do well and try to get into the top 50 before the end of the year," Lowry tells the Irish Independent newspaper. "I've now got four huge tournaments in five weeks, with lots of world ranking points. If you get into the top 50 you can pretty much play where you want, so that's obviously the main goal."
This is the final year where Q-School will graduate players directly to the PGA Tour. Next year, the qualifying tournament will only be used to gain entry onto the developmental Web.com Tour while a separate four stage tournament will be used to hand out a total of 50 PGA Tour cards.
THIS WEEK IN GOLF
PGA TOUR - THE McGLADREY CLASSIC
COURSE: Sea Island Resort, Seaside Course (7,005 yards, par 70).
PURSE: $4 million. Winner's share: $720,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.).
OH CANADA: David Hearn, Stephen Ames
NOTES: The tournament is the third of four Fall Series events. ... Jim Furyk is making his first start since the Ryder Cup. ...Last week's winner Jonas Blixt is in the field along with fellow 2012 winners Potter, Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis, Scott Stallings and Mark Wilson.
LPGA TOUR - HANABANK CHAMPIONSHIP
COURSE: Sky 72 Golf Club, Ocean Course (6,364 yards, par 72).
PURSE: $1.8 million. Winner's share: $270,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Friday-Sunday, 7:30-9:30 p.m.).
OH CANADA: None entered
NOTES: Top-ranked Yani Tseng has struggled after winning three times in the first five events of the season. The Taiwanese star tied for 49th in Kuala Lumpur. ...Michelle Wie and Cheyenne Woods received sponsor invitations. The slumping Wie has broken par in only 12 of 51 rounds this season. Woods is Tiger Woods' niece.
EUROPEAN TOUR/PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA - PERTH INTERNATIONAL
COURSE: Lake Karrinyup Country Club (7,143 yards, par 72).
PURSE: $2 million. Winner's share: $333,330.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 1:30-5:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1:30-5:30 a.m., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.).
OH CANADA: None entered
NOTES: South Africa's Charl Schwartzel is in the field for this inaugural event along with Americans Jason Dufner and Bo Van Pelt, Australia's Greg Chalmers, England's Paul Casey and Italy's Edoardo Molinari. Chalmers won the Australian Open and Australian PGA late last year. ... Ernie Els won the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic at Lake Karrinyup at 29-under 259, the lowest score in relation to par in European Tour history.
WEB.COM TOUR - JACKSONVILLE OPEN
COURSE: TPC Sawgrass, Dye's Valley Course (6,864 yards, par 70).
PURSE: $600,000. Winner's share: $108,000.
TELEVISION: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 5-7 p.m.).
OH CANADA: Stuart Anderson, Brad Fritsch, Adam Hadwin, David Markle, Richard Scott, Bryan DeCorso (alternate)
NOTES: This is the final full-field event of the year with the top 60 on the money list at the conclusion of the event qualifying for the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship next week at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. Fritsch, Hadwin, Scott are all within the top 60 while Anderson is over $50,000 behind the cut off. ...The top 25 at the end of th eyear will earn 2013 PGA Tour cards.
PGA TOUR Q-SCHOOL - FIRST STAGE (Six locations)
Kanapolis, NC: Cam Burke, Derek Gillespie, Mackenzie Hughes
Lakeland, FL: David Byrne, Victor Ciesielski, Craig Hicks, Christopher Ross
Lantana, TX: Adam Cornelson, James Love, Roger Sloan
Dayton, NV: Eugene Wong, Richard T. Lee, Ryan Yip
Palm Desert, CA: James Allenby, Matt Daniel, Kent Eger, Louis-Pierre Godin, Tyler Mancini, Danny Sahl
Madison, MS: Ted Brown, Nick Kenney
ASIAN TOUR - INDIAN OPEN
COURSE: Karnataka Golf Association Course, Bengaluru, India
OH CANADA: Ron Harvey, Jr.