Storylines: ATB Financial Classic
August 08, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- August 08, 2018
- In Calgary, 156 golfers look to become the latest winner of one of the longest-running tournaments on the Tour's schedule. (Claus Andersen/Mackenzie Tour)
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada heads to southern Alberta this week for the ATB Financial Classic.
156 golfers look to become the latest winner of one of the longest-running tournaments on the Tour’s schedule which boasts past champions like Graham DeLaet (2009) and Michael Gligic (2012). Last year’s winner, Chase Wright, sits 10th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2018 (after capturing the Rust-Oleum Championship) and is on the cusp of earning a PGA TOUR card – proving once again that the Mackenzie Tour is the first step on the journey to the TOUR.
Dates: August 9-12
Course: Country Hills Golf Club – Talons Course
2017 Champion: Chase Wright
Purse: $200,000/$36,000 winner’s prize
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Third time’s a charm?
What more can you say about Tyler McCumber, other than “watch out?”
McCumber captured the Osprey Valley Open a few weeks ago and moved into fourth on the money list after a steady Sunday saw him find the winner’s circle for the fourth time in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. After a week off during the week of the RBC Canadian Open – McCumber fell just short of the third position prior to the cut-off date – where McCumber hiked and explored Banff, Alta., he must have discovered something in that fresh mountain air.
The son of Mark McCumber – a 10-time TOUR winner and the designer of the course in Edmonton where the Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON took place – fired an 8-under-par 63 Sunday to slide up the leaderboard and win his second straight title.
He came the first golfer in the PGA TOUR-era of the Mackenzie Tour to capture back-to-back events, and in the process he moved to No. 1 on the money list.
Not only that: McCumber has finished T6-T2 in the last two years, respectively, at the ATB Financial Classic. If there was ever a tournament for McCumber to notch win No. 3, it would be here.
Update on The Five
With Tyler McCumber’s victory Sunday, he’s taken a commanding lead in The Five, with just four tournaments left in the Mackenzie Tour season.
Zach Wright sits in the second spot at $67,060 for the year with George Cunningham – who also made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open along with Wright – just $900 behind.
Sam Fidone and Ben Griffin round out the top five, while fellow winner Mark Anguiano is less than $3,000 behind the No. 5-spot.
Less than $15,000 separates No. 10 from No. 5 on the list, which means it will be a race to the finish over the next four tournaments – starting this week in Calgary.
No. 60 up for grabs
Not only is the No. 1 spot on the money list a coveted one throughout the season, but the rest of the order of merit has started to take shape as well – and golfers are jockeying for a spot in the top-60.
Being in the top 60 on the money list at the end of the year means guaranteed status on the Mackenzie Tour in 2018, as well as a spot in the Freedom 55 Financial Championship – the season-ending event in London, Ont.
Tyler Collier currently holds the 60th spot by a mere $62 over Josh Hart, and is only $72 ahead of Theo Humphrey at No. 59. Less than $1,000 separates No’s 60-70, which means any solid finish by one of the golfers currently on the outside looking in could mean a season saved.
The first step on the path to the PGA TOUR
The Mackenzie Tour represents the first step on the path to the PGA TOUR, with players competing to earn a promotion to the Web.com Tour and then on to the game’s biggest stage. Heading into its sixth season, the Mackenzie Tour counts 14 players on the PGA TOUR and an additional 72 with Web.com Tour status among its alumni, featuring TOUR winners Mackenzie Hughes, Nick Taylor, Tony Finau and most recently Aaron Wise.
Below is a breakdown of the performance benefits players will compete for this season:
Order of Merit Position
Exempt for 2019 Web.com Tour
2nd through 5th
Conditional status on 2019 Web.com Tour, exempt to Final Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
6th through 10th
Exempt to Final Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
11th through 20th
Exempt to Second Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
· Craig Dale, a sponsor exemption, is one of the associate golf professionals at the golf club and is looking for a home-course advantage this week.
· Greyson “The Streak” Sigg has found his groove… well actually, he’s been in a groove this entire season. In fact, he’s yet to play a round over par this year, with his worst score being a 71. Out of Sigg’s 28 rounds on the Mackenzie Tour this season, 23 have been played in the 60s. With a T6 finish last season at the ATB Financial Classic, including a second-round 63, Sigg looks to improve on his 13th place spot on the Order of Merit.
· Few players on the Mackenzie Tour have had a stretch of golf as good as George Cunningham. Fresh off a top-30 finish at the RBC Canadian Open, the 22-year-old’s first PGA TOUR event, Cunningham notched a third-place finish at last week’s Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON. Despite the finish, Cunningham dropped from second to third spot on the Order of Merit and will be chomping at the bit to improve his standing.
· Chris Williams, who has knocked on the door plenty of times in his Mackenzie Tour career, is coming off a fourth-place finish in Edmonton. The result is his third top-10 of the season as he is in search of his maiden PGA TOUR Canada win. Williams finished T9 at the ATB Financial Classic last season.
· Englishman Charlie Bull, winner of the 2016 ATB Financial Classic, successfully Monday qualified into this year’s event. Playing on the Latinoamerica Tour this year, Bull missed out on his 2018 Mackenzie Tour card by seven spots, finishing 2017 in 67th spot on the Order of Merit, but his best finish, a T6, came at Country Hills.