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  • Four jump to lead at Arizona Q-School

  • A year ago, Cooper Dossey played in this Qualifying Tournament at The Wigwam while still an amateur. (Media/PGA TOUR)
    A year ago, Cooper Dossey played in this Qualifying Tournament at The Wigwam while still an amateur. (Media/PGA TOUR)
  • In This Article
  • LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona—On a day where early rain and heavy wind gave way to bright sunshine late in the afternoon, a quartet of Americans finished atop the leaderboard on the first day of PGA TOUR Canada’s fourth Qualifying Tournament of the year. Second-year pros Cooper Dossey and Riley Casey, Big 12 Conference rivals at Baylor and Oklahoma, respectively, PGA TOUR Canada veteran Eric McCardle and amateur Hunter Reed all shot 4-under 68s. They will take a one-shot lead over amateurs Jun Ho Won and Gavin Cohen and professional Joe Fryer.

    Of the four leaders, Reed and Casey have the least amount of experience at The Wigwam, the venerable golf course in this part of metro Phoenix.

    The duo played practice rounds Monday, the first time they had seen the course. Reed had planned on playing in an Outlaw Tour tournament here two weeks ago but withdrew due to illness.

    “I hit it really well and made a few putts,” said the amateur who played college golf at Long Beach State. “I played the wind really well today, and I didn’t short side myself too much. When I did, I was able to get up and down.” Reed’s only bogey of the day came on his second hole.

    “That was probably the only ball I misjudged,” he said of his approach shot that landed on the green and went back down the hill. From there he wasn’t able to get up and down.

    “I played solid today and never put myself in too many bad places. I was able to make pars and give myself looks,” Reed added. On six of those “looks,” he made birdies, to go with a pair of bogeys—at Nos. 3 and 16.

    Casey had a nice close to his day, making one of the five birdies at No. 18 Tuesday. “It was good finish. It’s a tough one,” he said of The Wigwam’s closing hole. After his drive split the fairway, he hit a 9-iron approach from 147 yards to 15 feet and drained the putt.

    McCardle had a disappointing finish to his day. He was 5-under through 15 holes but finished with two bogeys against a 17th-hole birdie.

    On the par-3 16th, his tee shot caught the lip of the bunker and ended in a footprint in the sand. He was unable to get up and down. McCardle stopped the bleeding a little when he hit his approach shot on No. 17 to two feet for a tap-in birdie before missing the 18th-hole green in regulation and failing to make his par putt.

    “On 18, it’s always tough. You always want to get it in play, and I got a little aggressive with the wind off the right. I hit it left of the creek, so I had to come back. I had a chance at making par. I just didn’t make it. Still, I’ll take a 68 every single day,” conceded McCardle.

    A year ago, Dossey played in this Qualifying Tournament at The Wigwam while still an amateur and walked away disappointed, with no status on the Forme Tour, where PGA TOUR Canada players competed in 2021. He was 4-under through 54 holes in 2021 and tied for 15th place but fired a 3-over 75 on the final day to fall into a tie for 30th. His five-birdie, one-bogey performance Tuesday was two strokes better than his opening round a year ago.

    “I think the wind made some of the easy holes on the back nine easier but the hard holes harder,” Dossey explained. “I was just trying to get it as close on the green as I could on the downwind holes and then just get it on the green on the holes that were into the wind.”

    There is a logjam of 10 players at 2-under 70 and two strokes behind the leaders.

    Did you know Puwit Anupansuebsai is Thailand’s second-ranked amateur, trailing only Ratchanon Chantananuwat? Anupansuebsai is No. 60, and Chantananuwat is No. 30. Anupansuebsai opened this week’s tournament with a 2-under 70 and is tied for eighth as he winds down his college career at San Diego State. He is the reigning Mountain West Conference individual champion.

    Key Information

    There are 107 players in this field. Below is a breakdown of the various PGA TOUR Canada membership statuses available this week.

    Finish Position

    Status

    Medalist

    Exempt membership for the 2022 season

    2nd through 9th (no ties)

     

    Exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season

    10th through 30th (plus ties)

    Conditional membership

    • There are 25 amateurs playing this week. Leading the way is Hunter Reed, who opened with a 4-under 68 and shares the first-round lead with three others. Here is how all 25 fared in the first round.

     

    Player

    Score

    T1

    Hunter Reed (U.S.)

    68

    T5

    Gavin Cohen (U.S.)

    69

    T5

    Jun Ho Won (South Korea)

    69

    T8

    Puwit Anupansuebsai (Thailand)

    70

    T8

    Zihao Jin (China)

    70

    T8

    Joey Vrzich (U.S.)

    70

    T8

    Thomas Hutchison (U.S.)

    70

    T18

    Kyle Cottam (U.S.)

    71

    T18

    Dylan Ellis (U.S.)

    71

    T18

    Youssef Guezzale (U.S.)

    71

    T32

    Tristan Mandur (Canada)

    72

    T32

    Jackson Solem (U.S.)

    72

    T46

    Mason Andersen (U.S.)

    73

    T46

    Patrick Sullivan (U.S.)

    73

    T57

    Steve Sugimoto (U.S.)

    74

    T57

    Ollie Osborn (U.S.)

    74

    T57

    Jon Gresco (U.S.)

    74

    T71

    Fabian Sunden (Sweden)

    75

    T77

    Reece Nilsen (U.S.)

    76

    T84

    Thomas Giroux (Canada)

    77

    T84

    Blake Tomlinson (U.S.)

    77

    T100

    Shane Muldowney (U.S.)

    80

    T100

    Austin Davis (U.S.)

    80

    T102

    Cole Wilczek (U.S.)

    81

    105

    Ash Hakim (U.S.)

    82

    • Players in this week’s field come from 10 different countries and territories. There are eight Canadians playing this week: Amateurs Thomas Giroux (77) and Tristan Mandur (72), as well as Étienne Papineau (71), Sudarshan Yellamaraju (72), Keaton Veillette (84), P.A. Bédard (74), Travis Fredborg (74) and Jamie Sadlowski (70). The leading non-American, non-Canadian player through 18 holes is South Korean amateur Jun Ho Won. He opened with a 69 and is tied for fifth.

    • Arizona State’s Mason Andersen played in The Patriot All-America college tournament in December 2021. Right after Christmas, Andersen fired rounds of 65-66-68 to tie for third, four strokes behind champion, Georgia Tech’s Connor Howe. Andersen had a disappointing start to this tournament, firing a 1-over 73. He turned at 3-over, making two birdies and seven pars over his final nine holes.

    • Not surprising, the 18th hole was the day’s toughest, the par-4 playing to a stroke average of 4.374. The Wigwam’s opening hole was the easiest, with almost half the field making birdie there (52). Its stroke average was 4.486.

    • Amateur Kyle Cottam of Clemson opened with a 4-under 32 then cooled over his final nine holes, making four bogeys—including three on his final four holes—to finish at 1-under and tied for 18th.

    • Kyle Cottam skipped Clemson’s tournament this week, the Valspar Collegiate at The Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Florida. Clemson finished the 54-hole event in 10th place. Jacob Bridgeman, the medalist three weeks ago at the PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament in Dothan, Alabama, tied for third with Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg, three strokes behind champion Dylan Menante of Pepperdine.

    • It was an interesting scorecard for amateur Gavin Cohen, who played his final nine holes at The Wigwam shooting nothing but pars. His front nine was a little more of an adventure. He began his day with an eagle on the first hole followed by a birdie on No. 2. After three consecutive pars, Cohen, a former University of Arizona golfer who transferred to Loyola Marymount where he still plays, birdied No. 6 then finished par-bogey-par for a front-nine 33 and an opening 69.

    • Eric McCardle has previously played one full PGA TOUR Canada season, that coming in 2019. He earned his status that year with a tie for 11th at the Qualifying Tournament held at The Wigwam. That season, McCardle entered the final event of the season, the Canada Life Championship, in the 60th position on the Order of Merit, the last spot to keep his playing privileges. All he did on the final week was open and close with a pair of 65s in London, Ontario, good for a third-place finish that moved him to 26th on the final Order of Merit. A year ago, using that PGA TOUR Canada status, he played on the Forme Tour, making two cuts in eight starts.

    Quotable

    “I had to really dial in my (yardage) numbers. I had a few 135-yard shots, but the ball goes a little farther here, and the wind is not as thick as it is in Texas.” –Cooper Dossey

    “I had to trust that I picked the right club, and I was able to do that today.” –Cooper Dossey

    “I think that’s one of the best rounds I’ve played, and I’ve played some good rounds recently. I grinded my butt off today.” –Cooper Dossey

    “This course with the trade wind, it’s always blowing the same way. That means seven of the nine holes to finish are into the wind. So, you play good on the front and then hang on for dear life on the back.” –Eric McCardle

    “I’m based in Las Vegas, so I’m OK with desert golf. I’m used to the wind. You just have to club up and make sure you swing easy.” –Eric McCardle

    “Teeing off later in the afternoon, it was windy the whole way then it picked up on the last few. I think it was good that it was consistent.” –Hunter Reed

    “It was a pretty easy day. It could have been pretty good actually.” –Hunter Reed on some missed opportunities on his way to an opening 68

    “You just had to play smart. I played college golf at Oklahoma, and I’m from West Texas. It’s been windy back home lately. Walking up to the tee today, it just felt like home.” –Riley Casey, an Abilene, Texas, native

    “I’ve been trying to get a little money together and play some events when I can.” –Riley Casey on what he’s been doing since graduating from Oklahoma

    First-Round Weather: Overcast and cool in the morning, with a steady rain for approximately 90 minutes. Heavy E wind in the morning and the afternoon at 15-18 mph, with gusts to 25. Mostly sunny later in the afternoon, with little to no wind. High of 71.