Young, Nagy shoot 66s to take Mackenzie Tour Qualifying Tournament lead
March 11, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 11, 2020
- Wake Forest product Cameron Young shot 66 on Tuesday. (Mackenzie Tour)
DOTHAN, Alabama—Cameron Young had an interesting start to his first round of the Mackenzie Tour Qualifying Tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Highland Oaks. After a pair of birdies to open the event, Young missed his next two greens, both holes resulting in bogeys. After that, the Wake Forest product was 14 for 14 in greens hit, with four birdies and an eagle, which just so happened to be his first career hole-in-one in competition.
Michael Nagy wasn’t quite as spectacular, but he didn’t have any bogeys, either. Two ways to get to where they are, tied at 6-under 66 and holding a two-shot lead through 18 holes. The fivesome of Shintaro Ban, Sam Love, Chris Crawford, Mark David Johnson and Patrick Martin are tied for third. Five others are three shots back.
This is Young’s third Qualifying Tournament in the last six months, having previously missed earning membership on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. After preparing for this tournament in Jupiter, Fla., Young entered this week feeling his game was in good condition. “I’m just trying to keep the same feelings here that I’ve had at home practicing,” said the New York native, who plays out of Dye’s Preserve in South Florida and Sleepy Hollow Country Club in his home state.
Young’s six birdie putts came from 18 feet, 10 feet, eight feet, seven feet and a pair of three-footers to close his round. His ace on the par-3 13th was from 180 yards with a 7-iron, his ball landing on the green and one-hopping into the hole. “It was high-fives all around,” he said.
After his birdie-par-birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle streak, Young could only muster pars over his final five holes, preventing him from holding the lead outright.
Assessing his day, Nagy smiled as darkness closed in on the course. “All in all, I was pretty solid and didn’t get into too much trouble,” Nagy said. “I had a lot of short irons and wedges in.”
Ban could have drawn within a stroke of the leaders, but his eight-foot birdie effort at the last missed. “I thought it was going to curl left and then it darted out a hair right where we wanted our line then ever so slightly hung on its edge,” Ban said. He also lamented a three-putt bogey from 20 feet on No. 16 (his seventh hole), however he more than made up for things with six birdies, three coming in succession on his second, third and fourth holes of the day.
Did you know Cameron Young was the first and only amateur to win the New York State Open? At the tournament in 2017 at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., Young defeated Chris DeForest in a two-hole playoff but had to forego a $17,500 payday to maintain his amateur status.
- Last week, Michael Nagy’s friends in Winter Haven, Fla., had an extra ticket to the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Resort. “I watched Rory (McIlroy) warm up and watched him play nine holes,” Nagy said. “I just kind of kicked me into gear. It was motivating to see him. To see the best player in the world and watch his full warm up? It was lights out. You can learn a lot by watching those guys, and it’s just good to be in that environment and get some encouragement.”
- At the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Cameron Young made his PGA TOUR debut, missing the cut.
- Sam Love was bogey-free Tuesday, one of three players in the field without a bogey on his card. The others were Brant Peaper and Chris Crawford. Love and Crawford are both at 4-under, while Peaper is 2-under.
- In his rookie Mackenzie Tour season in 2019, Shintaro Ban, who reached as high as No. 9 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, played in 10 events and finished the season No. 123 on the Order of Merit. Ban’s best finish was a tie for 31st at the 1932byBateman Open in August.
- Josh Holling grew up in Horseheads, N.Y., and attended the University of Binghamton. Holling played golf with PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions veteran Joey Sindelar’s sons and is family friends with the Sindelars, also from Horseheads.
- Mark David Johnson finished his round with two birdies to get to 4-under and into a tie for second. He had one other run of two in a row (Nos. 3 and 4) and a three-consecutive streak (Nos. 10-12).
- Michael Nagy has played in two previous Mackenzie Tour Qualifying Tournaments, never earning membership. “It was kind of the worst golf I’ve played, both of those years. I wasn’t even in the mix, and I know I’m a lot better player than that. I was definitely gearing up for this year,” Nagy said.
- Between 2015 and 2017, Josh Holling worked as a financial advisor after graduating from college. While looking for a different job—“I was trying for a treasury analyst position”—he decided to walk away from the corporate world and give professional golf a try. “I decided I really didn’t want to be behind a desk 60 hours a week,” he explained.
- There were 30 under-par rounds Tuesday and an additional 14 players at even-par.
- There are 16 amateurs entered this week. Garrett Reband, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, fired a 3-under 69 and is tied for eighth through 18 holes. The only other under-par rounds from amateurs came courtesy of Reband’s Sooner teammate Quade Cummins and Mason Overstreet of the University of Arkansas. They both shot 2-under 70s and are tied for 13th.
- The first non-American on the leaderboard is Canada’s Luke Moser. He fired a 2-under 70 and is tied for 13th going into the second round.
- Besides Luke Moser, there are four other Canadians in the field this week: Thomas DeMarco, Kevin Gordon, Sonny Michaud and amateur Calvin Ross. Of that quartet, DeMarco leads the way at 1-under (tied for 18th).
“It kind of freaked me out a little bit. On the next tee, I thought, Please don’t snap hook this into a hazard.” – Cameron Young on pressure he felt on his tee shot on No. 14 after making his hole-in-one
“Tomorrow is a new day. If you’re going to give me a few shots over the field, I’ll take it.” – Cameron Young
“There were some pins you could fire at. You were either going to hit a really good shot or be in a bad spot. These bowls (on the green) get a little dicey if you don’t hit a good shot.” – Michael Nagy
“My lag putting was good. I hit quite a few (approaches) to 30 feet and had no three-putts and no bogeys.” – Michael Nagy
“It was nice to get off early with no wind. Fortunately, I’m hitting it pretty solid. On the first couple of holes, the pins were right in the middle, and I got a little confidence.” – Josh Holling
“I was playing mostly to the middle of the greens considering how undulating the greens are. Hitting to the middle of the green is a good play.” – Josh Holling
“This course is not playing easy given that they’ve shortened the tee boxes a little for us on the par-3s. Not hitting those greens (makes) it pretty tough, and I was 1-under on them today. I think I took advantage of those holes.” – Shintaro Ban
“Twenty-footers out here are good looks, honestly. It’s not easy. Even if I stripe my drive down the middle and have 280 (yards) out, I still laid up and just gave myself good yardages, giving myself good looks because Robert Trent Jones greens are not fun.” – Shintaro Ban
“I feel like some of the bigger numbers are coming from the par-3s.” – Shintaro Ban
“It was a pretty stress-free day overall.” – Sam Love
“There was a three-hole stretch on the front nine—my back nine—where I made two probably four- or five-footers for par and one 10-footer for par.” – Sam Love
“Honestly, I just kept it kind of simple and made sure I hit it on the safe side of the pin, getting it on a lot of greens because chipping is kind of hard around here.” – Sam Love
“I figured if I kept it on the green and gave myself as many looks as I could, it would be pretty simple from there.” – Sam Love
“It’s pretty crazy to say, but even if you land it on the green [the ball] still has the ability to roll off. Being safe with it, ball-placement, is pretty important.” – Shintaro Ban
“The course is very demanding. You have to drive it straight—straighter than you think you do. You have to really control your ball coming into these greens because these greens are crazy. You have to put them in the right positions on the right slopes.” – Brant Peaper
“When I was in the fairway, if I didn’t have a good number, I was playing it dead middle of the green. If you miss one of these greens, it’s kind of dicey to chip around here.” – Brant Peaper
“Hitting driver on this course reminds me of the northern golf courses I grew up on.” –Josh Holling
First-Round Weather: Overcast and warm. High of 24. Wind SW at 13-16 kph.
How the Tournament Works
There were 119 players in the field when the week began, with 118 still competing. Below is a breakdown of the various Mackenzie Tour membership statuses available this week.
Exempt for the 2020 season
2nd through 14th (no ties)
Fully exempt for the first six 2020 tournaments and subject to the re-shuffle
15th through 40th (plus ties)
Conditionally exempt for the 2020 season