Irishman Medallist at Canadian Q-School
The 27-year-old fired a final-round 6-under 66 to wind up with a five-day total of 15-under 345, seven shots in front of Australias Michael Curtain and reigning U.S. amateur runner-up Robert Hamilton. Chad Bellbin, Kyle Stinson and Kent Fukushima were Canadians who earned tour playing privileges for the remainder of the 2002 season.
Canadians earning non-exempt status were Mark Corrigan, Blair Buttar, Gord Burns and Jamie Kureluk.
The trio of Omelia, Hamilton and Curtain were paired together over the final three rounds of the 90-hole event and, with quite a cushion heading into the final day, seemed relaxed on the 7120-yard Dunes at Kamloops course.
Today I just went out with the attitude that there wasnt any pressure, said Omelia, a former member of the Ireland and Great Britain national squads. The three of us had set ourselves up quite nicely, but we still wanted to finish strong. There were a lot of good shots out there today, so we were all focused on the job at hand. It gave us a taste of what we can expect, because we are going to have to do that beginning next week (at the Bay Mills Open).
Curtain, 23, who also holds status on the Asian Davidoff Tour, had his sights set on obtaining a tour card when he arrived in Kamloops, and a quick start out of the gate earlier in the week pushed that target to a top-five showing. On Friday, he realized that goal, winding up tied for second.
This is a big step for me, and now I am looking forward to getting right out there, he admitted. I dont think I would have been in contention had I not had the chance to play with two guys like (Omelia and Hamilton). I am playing pretty confident right now, but there is still a lot to learn. And I know playing on the Canadian Tour will give me that chance to learn.
When the 24-year-old Hamilton dropped his final putt Friday, so too came an end to a stellar amateur career. Playing with Arnold Palmer during the legends final round at The Masters last month turned out to be Hamiltons amateur swan song, and he cant think of a better way to go out. Now he will face a new challenge beginning next week in Brimley, Mich.
I just talked to my parents, and they are excited - they have waited 24 years to see me turn pro, said Hamilton shortly after his round. I had done all I could as an amateur, but playing with Arnold Palmer in his final round at Augusta was like a storybook ending. But now it is time to embark on a new journey - there are a lot of great players here, and I am looking forward to it.
Scores Friday after the final round of the Canadian Tour's Spring Qualifying School held at the 7120-yard, par-72 The Dunes at Kamloops (x-earned exempt card in playoff):
EARNED EXEMPT CARD:
Omelia, Bryan Ireland 72-69-70-68-66_345 -15
Curtain, Michael Australia 70-71-69-71-71_352 -8
Hamilton, Robert Carmichael, CA 73-71-69-72-67_352 -8
Correa, Larry San Diego, CA 73-75-69-69-73_359 -1
Forsman, Johan Sweden 74-70-70-72-74_360 Even
Carr, Dave Sacremento, CA 71-75-78-69-68_361 1
Wood, Jeff Fortuna, CA 69-76-75-70-71_361 1
Belbin, Chad Kamloops, BC 77-72-70-71-72_362 2
Brunson, Daniel Greenville, SC 73-72-77-72-68_362 2
Fisher, Jason Bakersfield, CA 77-75-74-68-72_366 6
Stinson, Kyle Edmonton, AB 72-75-72-76-71_366 6
Scaletta, Paul Richmond, VA 73-77-72-73-72_367 7
Yamanaka, Moto Norwalk, CA 73-71-71-76-76_367 7
x-Valentin, Jerome Mission Viejo, CA 73-74-76-73-72_368 8
x-Fukushima, Kent Grande Prairie, AB 72-73-80-71-72_368 8
EARNED NON-EXEMPT CARD:
Corrigan, Mark Cornwall, PEI 72-73-79-72-72_368 8
Serna, Antonio Mexico 75-71-75-77-70_368 8
Buttar, Blair Leduc, AB 76-79-70-71-73_369 9
Flugstad, Brian Kenmore, WA 72-78-72-79-68_369 9
Gibbs, Jonathon Boise, ID 72-73-75-79-70_369 9
Snelling, Justin Boise, ID 74-75-73-70-77_369 9
Davey, Steve Tallahassee, FL 78-69-73-73-77_370 10
Gentry, Brian Tahoe City, CA 75-73-72-74-76_370 10
Nelson, Birk Philomath, OR 77-74-77-70-72_370 10
Bensel, Ken Belligham, WA 74-74-77-72-74_371 11
Burns, Gord Toronto, ON 74-77-72-74-74_371 11
Kureluk, Jamie Calgary, AB 73-75-79-74-70_371 11
Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ
Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET
An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.
Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.
Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.
''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''
Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.
Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.
''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''
Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).
''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''
Day (68) just one back at Australian Open
Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.
Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)
What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.
Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.
Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.