This week, the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada holds the first of seven Qualifying Tournaments that will help determine its 2021 membership. A year ago, the Tour conducted three Qualifying Tournaments—two in Florida and one in Alabama—before issues surrounding the coronavirus caused the Tour to cancel its final four Q-Schools along with the entire 2020 season. With a 2021 season looking promising, the Tour returns to action, giving players an opportunity to earn Mackenzie Tour membership and with it a path to the Korn Ferry Tour. Here are nine players to watch at The Club at Weston Hills in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, suburb of Weston.
Camilo Aguado, Colombia
Aguado has been primarily a PGA TOUR Latinoamerica player since turning pro after a college career at Jacksonville State in Alabama. He first joined the Tour in 2019, enjoying five top-10s in 15 starts. In 2020, he played in three tournaments, including a tie for 10th at the Puerto Plata Open in the Dominican Republic. He also had a trio of top-fours on the LOCALiQ Series.
Rigel Fernandes, India
Born in Bangalore, Fernandes moved to the United States—via Dubai—as a youngster and continued to pursue the sport he bean playing in his homeland at age two. After a career at the University of South Florida, Fernandes has played sporadically on PGA TOUR Series-China, the Asian Tour and the PGA Europro Tour.
Jeremy Gandon, France
Gandon played his rookie professional season on the Mackenzie Tour in 2019, finishing 64th on the Order of Merit, failing to retain his playing privileges that went to the top-60 finishers. He earned medalist honors at the 2020 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Qualifying Tournament in Central Florida in January 2020, and earned Mackenzie Tour conditional status two months later, in Alabama. In two 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica starts, he had a pair of top-35 finishes.
Denzel Ieremia, New Zealand
Ieremia, a PGA Tour of Australasia mainstay has five top-10s between 2019 and 2020. He added another top-10 on the Japan Golf Tour, at the 2019 Asia Pacific Diamond Cup. Ieremia’s only PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour experience came on the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour, where he made back-to-back starts in July, tying for 23rd at the Price Cutter Charity Championship and tying for 22nd at the Pinnacle Bank Championship.
Niclas Johansson, Sweden
The veteran of the Nordic Golf League and the European Challenge Tour had a runner-up finish last August, at the NGL V Sport Golf Challenge at PGA Sweden National. His last victory on that circuit came at the Bravo Tours Open in May 2019. He’s never made a PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour start.
Raoul Ménard, Canada
Menard’s only full Mackenzie Tour season came in 2017, where he made nine starts. Last summer, he played in all four Canada Life Series tournaments, a tie for third at the first tournament at Bear Mountain his best outing.
Raúl Pereda, Mexico
The current PGA TOUR Latinoamerica player, Pereda boasts two top-10s in his three 2020-21 starts. He most recently tied for eighth at the Shell Open in Miami in December. Pereda first joined PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2019, making six cuts in nine appearances. On the 2020 LOCALiQ Series, the Jacksonville University product tied for second at The Championship at Echelon Golf Club in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Jason Thresher, United States
Thresher has spent the last three seasons on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, where he is a member for the 2020-21 season. He also played in seven LOCALiQ Series tournaments in 2020, making five cuts and turning in a tie for seventh at The Club at Weston Hills’ Tour Course—his best performance of the campaign.
Kyle Wilshire, United States
Last a full-time Mackenzie Tour member in 2016, Wilshire made 24 career starts before moving on to the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2018 season. Wilshire was also active on the LOCALiQ Series last summer. He played in five events and tied for second at the Challenge at Harbor Hills in Central Florida, a finish that came on the strength of a final-round 61.