By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Canadian David Markle is making his first appearance in the RBC Canadian Open and first PGA TOUR after carding a 5-under 65 in Monday’s qualifier at Heron Point Golf Links.
Jon Mills (68), Victor Ciesielski (69), and Ben Ferguson (69) also qualified.
The 27-year-old Markle and 34-year-old Mills are both natives of Ontario and former golfers at Kent State University. Markle now lives in Orlando, and Mills resides in Pennsylvania.
Mills, a qualifier at The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR earlier this summer, makes his ninth appearance in the RBC Canadian Open and comes in with two career Web.com Tour victories, including the 2005 Canadian PGA Championship and the 2007 Albertsons Boise Open.
Victor Ciesielski makes his third appearance in the RBC Canadian Open field. The 28-year-old resident of Cambridge, Ontario and former golfer at Virginia Commonwealth made an ace in the second round of the 2008 RBC Canadian Open.
At 39, Ferguson is the elder statesman of the qualifying group. The Australian competed in the 2001 and 2007 RBC Canadian Opens, but missed the cuts in both. After going to q-school and earning his PGA TOUR card for the 2001 season, Ferguson played 30 events and made seven cuts, with a tie for ninth at the Shell Houston Open.
It's been a couple of years since Canadian Jon Mills has been out on TOUR, but the 32-year-old from Oshawa, Ontario says its always in the back of his mind.
Mills could have played this week in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational -- one of the biggest tournaments on the year on the Nationwide Tour -- and at 26th on the money list, he certainly needed the boost the $800,000 purse could have provided.
But Mills wasn't going to miss the RBC Canadian Open no matter where the tournament was held.
"I looked at it as wanting to play my Canadian Open, but also using it as kind of a motivation to get out here and play with these guys and kind of get my motivation back to want to be back out here next year," Mills said. "I would have played it no matter where it was, but obviously St. George's is a course I've played a lot at, played a lot of junior golf here. So it's definitely familiar to me, so that helps, but it wasn't the only reason."
Mills shot a 65 on Saturday to improve his position somewhat, and he knows he will have to shoot lights-out on Sunday in order to secure a top-10 and a spot in next week's Greenbrier Classic.
"It's obviously a little thought in the back of my mind, but it's not something I'm thinking about right now," Mills said. "I just want to get out there and post a good number and see what happens."
With Mike Weir missing the cut and Stephen Ames mired deep in the pack, the low Canadian right is ... Adam Hadwin.
And yes, he is making his first PGA TOUR start. So far, it's been a pretty good one.
This much we know about Hadwin: He made it to the second stage of q-school last year and played collegiately at the University of Louisville, where he majored in Business Management.
Right now, he is 1 under on the day and 7 under on the tournament, a shot ahead of fellow Canadian Jon Mills, who is is 6 under. Mills played on the PGA TOUR in 2008 but lost his card and had to go back to the Nationwide Tour, where he sits 26th on the money list.