Blake Elliott fires second straight 69 to lead Mackenzie Tour Q-School
February 20, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- February 20, 2020
- Blake Elliott has shot back-to-back 69s. (Courtesy of McNeese Athletics)
SAN ANTONIO — Through two rounds of the first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Q-School event of the season, Blake Elliott has managed difficult conditions one-stroke better than anybody else in the field on the Canyons course at TPC San Antonio, firing rounds of 69-69 to take a one-stroke over Rhett Rasmussen into the final 36 holes.
After making six birdies offset by three bogeys in the first round, the 2019 McNeese University graduate opened his second round with a birdie before stumbling with a bogey on hole No. 2 and a double bogey on No. 6.
How did the 2018-19 Southland Conference Men’s Player of the Year respond? With four birdies in-a-row and five in his following six holes.
“The double I made was from 77 yards, so I was kind of mad at myself,” said Elliott, who registered a 70.48 scoring average during his Player-of-the-Year-worthy season. “The four birdies in-a-row always helps, so I just kept my head down and kept pushing.”
Fighting crosswinds on nearly every hole, Elliott managed eight second-round birdies, the most of any player in the field, to match Scott Stevens for the second-best round of the day, topped only by Steven Chervony’s spectacular bogey-free 66.
“You just knew stuff was going to happen today because it was playing so tough,” said the Liberty Hill, TX native, who peaked at No. 49 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. “There were going to be bogeys out there, so I felt like I did a good job of managing my game despite that.”
Elliott, who envisioned a professional career throughout his playing days at McNeese, will head into the third round, once again, in the same group as Rasmussen, his closest chaser.
Thunder Bay, Ontario native Evan DeGrazia is the low Canadian after 36 holes, finding himself in a tie for eighth following a second-round 72.
How the Tournament Works
There are 86 players competing this week with hopes of earning Mackenzie Tour membership for the 2020 season. Below is a breakdown of the status available this week.
Exempt for the 2020 season
2nd through 10th (no ties)
Fully exempt for the first six tournaments and subject to the re-shuffle
11th through 28th (plus ties)
• A senior at BYU, Rasmussen is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow alums Tony Finau and Patrick Fishburn. Finau played on the Mackenzie Tour in 2013 before winning on the PGA TOUR while Fishburn placed fifth on the Order of Merit in 2019 and now holds Korn Ferry Tour status.
• Scott Stevens, who registered the lowest scoring average in University of Southern Carolina history (71.57), rebounded from an opening-round 74 with a 69 and is five-strokes off-the-pace.
• Twice in Brian Dwyer’s career has he finished inside the top 60 on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit. The first time, in 2016, he fired three-straight sub-70 rounds at the Cape Breton Open on his way to a T8 finish. His second full Mackenzie Tour season, in 2017, was even more successful as the 30-year old finished in the top 10 twice on his way to a 35th-place finish on the year-end standings. Since 2019, Dwyer hasn’t held status on any Tour. Dwyer is on a mission to change that this week, making 11 birdies to sit at 4-under heading into the final 36-hole stretch.
• On hole No. 15, Traverse City, MI native Patrick Colburn hit a 3-wood towards the slightly-elevated green, directly at the pin. While the group didn’t see the ball enter the hole, Colburn soon realized he made his first-career albatross. Colburn fired 74 on Wednesday and is currently T56.
“We played in super tough conditions today, but I hit the ball really well and I’m happy with how I played. I made it pretty easy on myself. I’ve been really consistent this year, I haven’t done anything crazy but have been playing good solid golf.” – Rhett Rasmussen
“Playing professional golf has been my goal since I was six-years old.” – Rhett Rasmussen
“It’s hard to play in these conditions, but coming from Utah where it’s 30-degrees all winter, this isn’t anything I’m not used to.” – Rhett Rasmussen
“It was a mix yesterday. I made some putts and hit some really close ones. Everything went my way when I made birdie and even the bogeys, I hit good shots but ended up in bad spots, so it was kind of a weird round.” – Brian Dwyer
“Today was completely different. I had to be more defensive and it was more of a grind. I was just trying to get it in the fairway and onto the green and try to hole a couple of putts. On the back nine it got a bit tough with the pin locations, it was hard to think shot-by-shot, but that’s what I had to do.” – Brian Dwyer
“You don’t want to be thinking about score, so I was trying to hit as good of shots as I could and smart shots in the correct spots. If you’re not making birdies you have to realize you aren’t losing strokes to the field like you would have been yesterday.” – Brian Dwyer
“It was almost crosswind on every hole. There were very few straight in or straight-down wind holes today. It seemed like the wind was hurting on every hole, I know it wasn’t, but it feels like that sometimes when you always have cross winds. I enjoy the challenge of it.” – Brian Dwyer
“The good thing was I teed off late yesterday, so I got a taste of the bad weather on the back nine. I knew it would be similar to today, so I had a better game plan on the back and felt more comfortable in the wind and in the cold” – Steven Chervony
“I felt like I was playing well early but wasn’t hitting it quite close enough to get opportunities. I made some good pars on the front and on the back hit the ball a lot closer. All-in-all I hit it pretty well.” – Steven Chervony
“Those doubles came yesterday when the cold front came through. It was just tough out there, so bad shots could happen on any hole. After yesterday, I wanted to shoot at least four (under) just to get back to level and give myself a chance the next few days. I probably got two extras as a bonus today.” – Steven Chervony on his second-round 66.
Second-Round Weather: Rainy. High of 8. Wind at 25 KPH.