Two Lead With One Day Left at Canadian Q-School

By Marty HenwoodJune 9, 2005, 4:00 pm
LANGLEY, BC -- Americans Ryan Camp and Byron Smith share the lead heading into Fridays final round of the Canadian Tours Spring Qualifying School.

Holding a comfortable four-shot edge as play began Thursday, the 24-year-old Smith posted a 3-over 73 at Belmont Golf Club in suburban Vancouver while Camp came in with a 69. Both have a three-day total of 6-under 204, one shot in front of former Tour member Nick Davey of New Zealand.

Reid Hatley of Spokane, Wash. and Aussie Luke Hickmott have made three trips around Belmont and come out at minus-4.

Billy Noon of Maple Ridge, BC is the top Canadian at 2-under 208 which, if the tournament ended Thursday, would be enough to earn the final exempt card for the 2005 Tour season.

Mike Mezei of Lethbridge, Alb. struggled to a 4-over 74 to drop into a tie for eighth at even par 210.

Camp, who played at Washington State University before turning pro last September, didnt have a memorable journey during his first attempt at qualifying for the Canadian Tour. Nine months ago at Royal Ashburn in Whity, Ont., Camp finished well back in 65th spot at Fall Qualifying School.

This time around, it has been a different story.

This week around has definitely been a lot more rewarding, said Camp. Last September, I had just turned pro and was extremely nervous heading into the first round. Combine that with the way I played and it made for a bad week. You have to be there to experience it, and I think that experience helped me for this week.

Mezei, who represented Canada at the Four Nations Cup last month, is also poised to join the Tour ranks Friday. Less than a week after turning professional, Mezei hit a speed bump on a day where the lift, clean and replace rule was in effect.

It was brutally easy out there today and I just didnt get it done, said Mezei. I didnt get any breaks at all and didnt play well. But Ive still given myself a chance to get my full card. Ill go out there (Friday) and see if I can make a move. I feel Ive got a good round left in me.

Camp was 2-over for the day and was poised to drop another shot on the par-5 ninth when he landed his third shot well short of the green. Facing a crucial up and down to save par, Camp instead kept his putter in the bag by chipping in for birdie.

With just one day to go, he would seem to be a lock to earn one of the seven exempt cards that will be handed out. Seven more players, plus ties, will earn non-exempt status.

But dont try telling Camp it is a done deal.

You have to play smart golf out here, he admitted. You have to give yourself those 15 to 20 footers and go after the pins when the opportunity presents itself. Im not changing anything for tomorrow. Im not playing against Byron or anyone else; its me against the golf course.

Scores - Thursday after the third round of the Canadian Tour's Spring Qualifying School being held at the 6,416-yard, par-70 Belmont Golf Club (A-denotes amateur):
1. Camp, Ryan Spokane, WA 66  69  69  204  
1. Smith, Byron Palm Springs, CA 65 66 73 204
3. Davey, Nick New Zealand 68 71 66 205
4. Hatley, Reid Spokane, WA 72 70 64 206
4. Hickmott, Luke Australia 69 70 67 206
6. Yanagisawa, Will Sparks, NV 68 69 70 207
7. Noon, Billy Maple Ridge, BC 67 73 68 208
8. Bates, Lucas Australia 70 70 70 210
8. Mezei, Mike Lethbridge, AB 68 68 74 210
10. Wood, Chris Sardis, BC 69 70 72 211
11. Harlingten, Seann Rancho Mirage, CA 69 74 69 212
12. Koh, Hansoi New Westminster, BC 70 73 70 213
13. Dorothy, Dean Aiea, HI 69 72 73 214
14. Lee, Ju Young Korea 70 70 75 215
14. Maunder, Eddie Whitby, ON 74 69 72 215
14. McNally, Mike Billings, MT 70 68 77 215
14. Roberts, Dan (A) Victoria, BC 70 71 74 215
14. Tulk, Adam (A) Vancouver, BC 70 75 70 215
19. Brown, Anthony Australia 70 73 73 216
19. Shafer, Steve Phoenix, AZ 71 72 73 216
19. Wilson, Tim Surrey, BC 68 75 73 216
22. Frier, Steve Richmond, BC 75 68 75 218
23. Balloch, Jay Surrey, BC 78 72 69 219
23. Park, Pedro New Zealand 74 74 71 219
23. Tayler, Nik Australia 72 77 70 219
23. Weaver, Jordan Coquitlam, BC 71 75 73 219
23. Wilson, Wes Oklahoma City, OK 68 75 76 219
28. Lidkea, Ryan Delta, BC 69 79 72 220
28. Murray, Joseph Upland, CA 71 75 74 220
28. Wicks, Richard Australia 73 73 74 220
31. Dennison, Bevan New Zealand 71 75 75 221
32. Burraston, Dale England 72 79 71 222
33. Brown, Daniel (A) Creston, BC 73 76 74 223
33. Scoles, Marty Burnaby, BC 71 73 79 223
33. Smith, Blaise Chino, CA 72 73 78 223
36. Wiles, Trevin Sandy, UT 76 71 77 224
37. Karr, Jim Jupiter, FL 76 75 74 225
37. Robinson, John Orlando, FL 74 77 74 225
37. Young, Scott Australia 74 77 74 225
40. Moser, Nathan Surrey, BC 81 74 72 227
40. Rauberheimer, Anton (A) Smoky Lake, AB 77 73 77 227
42. Walker, Bruce Calgary, AB 79 76 74 229
43. Eide, Scott Henderson, NV 77 75 78 230
43. Jung, Johnny Maple Ridge, BC 80 73 77 230
45. Akizuki, Shingo Surrey, BC 77 79 75 231
46. Williams, Brendon Mackenzie, BC 80 77 78 235
47. Butterworth, Jim Surrey, BC 81 81 75 237
48. Keim, Kenneth (A) Calgary, AB 84 78 77 239
49. Cerrato, Jehu Surrey, BC 88 79 82 249
Getty Images

After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the Nelson's future ...

If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray

On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta

On golf and gambling ...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard

Getty Images

Wise continues whirlwind ascent with first win

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 3:13 am

DALLAS – Still shy of his 22nd birthday, Aaron Wise continues to prove himself to be a quick learner.

Wise went from unheralded prospect to NCAA individual champ seemingly in the blink of an eye while at the University of Oregon. After eschewing his final two years of eligibility in Eugene, he won in Canada on the Mackenzie Tour in his third start as a professional.

He continued a quick learning curve with a win last year on the Tour to propel him to the big leagues, and he didn’t flinch while going toe-to-toe with Jason Day two weeks ago, even though the result didn’t go his way.

Faced with another opportunity to take down a top-ranked Aussie, Wise made sure he got the job done Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson – even though it took until dark.

With mid-day rains turning a firm and fast layout into a birdie barrage, Wise seamlessly switched gears and put his first PGA Tour title on ice in impressive fashion with a bogey-free 65. Deadlocked with Marc Leishman to start the day, Wise made six birdies in his first 10 holes and coasted to a three-shot win as the leaders barely beat the setting sun to avoid an anticlimactic Monday finish at Trinity Forest Golf Club.

Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

As it turned out, the hardest part of the day was enduring the four-hour weather delay alongside his mother, Karla, as his afternoon tee time turned into a twilight affair.

“She was talking to me in the hotel about what a win could mean, what a second could mean, kind of taking me through all that,” Wise said. “I was like, I’ve got to calm down. I can’t just sit here. I said, ‘You’ve got to go.’ I kind of made her leave the room.”

Wise displayed some jitters right out of the gates, with a nervy three-putt par on the opening hole. But with several players going on birdie runs to turn what seemed like a two-man race into a much more wide-open affair, Wise went on a tear of his own with four birdies in a row on Nos. 7-10.

That gave him a window over Leishman and the rest of the chase pack, and he never looked back.

“I talked to myself and kind of made myself trust my putting,” Wise said. “These greens out here are really tricky, and for me to roll those putts in on 8 and 9 really kind of separated things.”

Leishman had held at least a share of the lead after each round, and the 34-year-old veteran was looking for his third win in the last 14 months. But a bogey on No. 10 coincided with a Wise birdie to boost the rookie’s advantage from two shots to four, and Leishman never got closer than three shots the rest of the way.

“He holed putts he needed to hole, and I didn’t,” Leishman said. “Hit a couple loose shots where I could have probably put a bit of pressure on him, and didn’t. And that’s probably the difference in the end.”

Instead of sitting next to a trophy in Dallas, Wise could have been closing out his senior season next week with an NCAA appearance at Karsten Creek. But the roots of his quick climb trace back to the Master of the Amateurs in Australia in December 2015, a tournament he won and one that gave him confidence that he could hold his own against the best in the world. He returned to Eugene and promptly told his coach, Casey Martin, that he planned to turn pro in the spring.

The same dogged confidence that drove that decision has been the guiding force behind a whirlwind ascent through every rung of the professional ladder.

“I just have a lot of belief in myself. I didn’t come from a lot. A lot of people don’t know that. I didn’t get to travel a bunch when I played junior golf,” Wise said. “Kind of all along it’s been very, very few moments to shine and I have had to take advantage of them.”

Despite that belief, even Wise admits that he’s “shocked” to turn only his second real chance to contend at this level into a maiden victory. But fueled by the memories of a close call two weeks ago, he put the lessons learned at Quail Hollow to quick use while taking the next step in an increasingly promising career arc.

“It was awesome, everything I dreamed of,” Wise said. “To walk up 18, knowing I kind of had it locked up, was pretty cool.”

Getty Images

Grace celebrates birthday with final-round 62

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:51 am

DALLAS – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday in style, making the biggest charge of the final round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Grace closed out a 9-under 62 as the sun began to set at Trinity Forest Golf Club, moving from outside the top 10 into a share of third place, four shots behind Aaron Wise. It equaled Grace’s career low on the PGA Tour, which he originally set last summer at The Open, and it was one shot off Marc Leishman’s course-record 61 from the opening round.

“Good birthday present. It was fun,” Grace said. “Little bit of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”

Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

Weeks after Grace’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, he now has his best result on the PGA Tour since winning the RBC Heritage more than two years ago. As a world traveler and former Presidents Cup participant, the South African embraced an opportunity this week to go off the beaten path on an unconventional layout.

“It feels like a breath of fresh air coming to something different. Really is nice. I really enjoyed the golf course,” he said. “Obviously I think we got really lucky with the weather, and that’s why the scores are so low. It can bite you if it settles in a little bit in the next couple years.”

Getty Images

Scott barely misses qualifying for U.S. Open

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:33 am

DALLAS – A birdie on the 72nd hole gave Adam Scott a glimmer of hope, but in the end even a closing 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson wasn’t enough to earn an exemption into next month’s U.S. Open.

Scott entered the week ranked No. 65 in the world, and the top 60 in next week’s rankings automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills. The cutoff was a big reason why the 2008 tournament champ returned for Trinity Forest’s debut, and midway through the final round it seemed like the Aussie had a shot at snagging a bid at the 11th hour.

Scott needed at least a solo ninth-place finish to pass an idle Chesson Hadley at No. 60, and while his 5-footer on the 18th green gave him a share of sixth place when he completed play, he ultimately ended up in a three-way tie for ninth at 15 under – barely short of a spot in the top 60.

Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

“I tried to make the most of really favorable conditions today, and I did a pretty good job of it. Just never really got a hot run going,” Scott said. “I feel like I struggled on the weekend reading the greens well enough to really get it going, but I think everyone but the leaders did that, too. They’re not the easiest greens to read.”

Scott has played each of the last three weeks in an effort to earn a U.S. Open exemption, and he’ll make it four in a row next week when he returns to the Fort Worth Invitational on a course where he won in 2013. Scott still has another chance to avoid sectional qualifying by earning a top-60 spot at the second and final cutoff on June 11 following the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Scott has played 67 majors in a row, a streak that dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia among active players. While he’s prepared to play each of the next three weeks in a last-ditch effort to make the field, he’s taking his schedule one event at a time with the hope that one more good result might take care of business.

“I’ll play next week and hopefully play really well, and give myself a bit of cushion so I can take a week or so off and try to prepare the best I can for the U.S. Open,” Scott said.