Mackenzie Tour alums to watch in 2020
January 07, 2020
By Brendan Stasiewich, PGATOUR.COM
- January 07, 2020
- With a full schedule slated for 2020, Doc Redman could be in store for a memorable rookie campaign. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
The 2019 season proved to be a record-breaking one for Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada alumni on the PGA TOUR. Not only were the 25 alumni the most to hold TOUR status in one season, the three wins (Adam Long at the Desert Classic, Corey Conners at the Valero Texas Open and C.T. Pan at the RBC Heritage) were the most in a wraparound season.
Since 2013, seven Mackenzie Tour alums have won on the PGA TOUR. In addition to the three 2019 winners, Nick Taylor (2014 Sanderson Farms Championship), Tony Finau (2016 Puerto Rico Open), Mackenzie Hughes (2017 RSM Classic) and Aaron Wise (2018 AT&T Byron Nelson) also have their names etched in the record books.
With 27 Mackenzie Tour alums entering the new decade with status, here are a few other players to keep an eye on.
Of all past Mackenzie Tour players, Dahmen may have the best resume among players yet to win. Building on a breakthrough 2018 campaign, where he finished second at the John Deere Classic and totaled 11 top-25 finishes, the 32-year old had his career-best season in 2019, finishing 55th in the FedEx Cup standings, a performance that included a runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 12th at THE PLAYERS.
It seems the next step for the 2014 Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year is a PGA TOUR victory. Already with two top-10s in the 2019 portion of the schedule, Dahmen is in good form heading into 2020. There’s also one thing nobody can doubt: Dahmen is having fun doing it.
One of the best Mackenzie Tour stories of 2019, Redman Monday-qualified for the Rocket Mortgage Classic less than 24 hours after shooting 69 during the final round of the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open.
While Redman still finished the Mackenzie Tour season 24th on the Order of Merit, Lethbridge was the 22-year old’s final Canadian stop. The Clemson University alum finished second in Detroit and was one of only five players to play The Open Championship without a round over par, eventually tying for 20th to solidify his PGA TOUR status. With a full schedule slated for 2020, Redman could be in store for a memorable rookie campaign.
McCumber’s 2019 Korn Ferry Tour season got off to a hot start following his Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year win four months prior. Placing within the top 10 in three of his first four starts, the 28-year old was well on his way to becoming the sixth former Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit topper to work his way to the PGA TOUR.
So far, the Ponte Vedra, Fla., native seems to be fitting in just fine among the world’s best, making five cuts in his first seven events of the season. Having previously won three Mackenzie Tour titles in a four-tournament 2018 stretch (having an “off week” and placing third in the other), McCumber has shown that he has the tools to win. One of the most interesting players on Tour, you never know where you might find him during the offseason.
In 2019, Shelton became the only alum to win twice in the same season on the Korn Ferry Tour, picking up his victories in May on his way to a second-place finish on the Tour’s points list. Having already proven his full-season acumen in 2017, when he placed inside the top 20 in seven of eight Makenzie Tour events, not to mention a Southeastern Conference Player of the Year honor playing at the University of Alabama, Shelton will test his craft against the world’s best with a favorable schedule in 2020.
“It’s the same thing as up in Canada, I got confidence and knew I could win out there... if I have confidence in my game I’m looking to win.”— Mackenzie Tour (@PGATOURCanada) May 19, 2019
With his @knoxvilleopen victory, Robby Shelton has assumed the top spot on the @WebDotComTour Points List 🙌🏽pic.twitter.com/YVu5POgRki
While the 2017 Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year likely expected more out of his rookie PGA TOUR season, a year that saw Hickok finish 130th on the Order of Merit, a good performance at Korn Ferry Tour Finals helped the 27-year old retain his card for the 2019-20 season.
With just one top-10 finish last season, Hickok is looking to return to his 2017 form that helped him earn two Mackenzie Tour wins and nine top-25 finishes in a 12-event stretch.
Other Mackenzie Tour alumni on the PGA TOUR include Ryan Brehm, Vince Covello, Cameron Davis, Michael Gellerman, Michael Gligic, Talor Gooch, Bo Hoag, Mark Hubbard, Hank Lebioda, Matthew NeSmith, Chase Seiffert, JJ Spaun, Sepp Straka, Sam Ryder and Ben Taylor.
Korn Ferry Tour
Mackenzie Tour players have recently exploded onto the scene on the Korn Ferry Tour, with alums claiming 11 tournament wins in 2018 and 10 in 2019. Eighty-five alumni have Korn Ferry Tour status in 2020, two more than 2019. Here are a few players to keep an eye on as they look to earn PGA TOUR status for the first time of their careers.
Beginning the 2019 Mackenzie Tour season with 28 consecutive under-par rounds, the Dumbea, New Caledonia, native pieced together one of the best seasons in the Tour’s history. Barjon was one of just two players (Lorens Chan the other) to make every cut, picking up two wins along the way in addition to six other top-10s in 12 events to win Player of the Year honors.
This won’t be Barjon’s first visit to the Korn Ferry Tour. In 2017, following Barjon’s sixth-place finish on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit, a then-24-year old Barjon struggled, making only four cuts in 20 appearances. However, after leading the Mackenzie Tour with 234 birdies in 2019, Barjon hopes his second time is a charm.
One of the top moments from Paul Barjon’s Order of Merit winning season— Mackenzie Tour (@PGATOURCanada) September 17, 2019
A huge cut around the trees during the final round of the @dc_place, and then the rinsed eagle putt. He went on to win by one stroke over @doc_redman pic.twitter.com/93fQdmYDtb
In 2018, Cunningham shot 67 or better 24 times in 40 tournament Mackenzie Tour rounds, picking up six top-10 finishes in 12 events, including a win at the GolfBC Championship on Father’s Day with his dad, Tracy, on the bag.
Finishing 2018 second on the Order of Merit, Cunningham earned full status on the Korn Ferry Tour after three-consecutive top-20 performances in the early portion of the season. At No. 67 on the points list at the close of the year, and with plenty of miles racked up on the family RV, the former University of Arizona standout is set for his first exempt Korn Ferry Tour season.
While he didn’t win Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year in 2019, Pendrith could still chalk up the season as the most successful by a Canadian in the Tour’s history. The 28-year old won twice and proved he’s not afraid to take it deep, firing 63 or better six times on his way to a second-place showing on the Order of Merit.
While injuries plagued his previous attempt on the Korn Ferry Tour, in 2016, a healthy Pendrith, who will be among the longest hitters on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, looks to join former Golf Canada Young Pro Squad teammates and friends Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes on the PGA TOUR.
Sigg is the definition of trending. Beginning his professional career with a 20th-place showing on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit in 2017, he upped it to an 18th-place showing in 2018. In 2019, Sigg became the second player in Mackenzie Tour history, and first since Brady Schnell at the 2014 ATB Financial Classic, to post a 59, which he accomplished during the final round of the GolfBC Championship.
Ending the season ninth on the Order of Merit, Sigg assured himself starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, thanks to a tie for seventh at the final stage of the Qualifying Tournament. With his ability to go low and consistency proven by 30 made cuts in 36 career Mackenzie Tour events, Sigg could be on the fast track to PGA TOUR status.
While country-mate Ryan Ruffels could have been the Australian to make the list after posting two top-five Mackenzie Tour finishes and placing seventh on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Order of Merit, Coletta’s hot 2019 season on the Korn Ferry Tour cannot be ignored. Coletta, who posted six top-25 finishes on the Mackenzie Tour in 2018, narrowly missed earning his PGA TOUR card last season, hovering around the all-important 25 spot for the duration of the season before ending the year 27th.
At age 23, Coletta shows maturity beyond his years on the course and, already coming within strokes of earning a PGA TOUR card in 2019. This season could be the Melbourne, Australia, native’s breakthrough year.
“Today was something special”— Mackenzie Tour (@PGATOURCanada) December 9, 2018
🇦🇺Brett Coletta shot a final-round 63 to finish at 19-under at @WebDotComTour Q-School
He finished 22nd on the 2018 @PGATOURCanada Order of Merit, and has now secured starts on the #WebTour 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/G2EiD3emrN
This list would feel incomplete without the addition of the third two-time Mackenzie Tour winner from 2019. Sporting a hairstyle that would make even Jaromir Jágr proud, Knapp put his effortless power on display early during the Mackenzie Tour season, winning two out of the first three events to take the early season money lead. He also made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open, where he saw his name within the top 10 in Driving Distance that week.