×
  • Wheeldon coasts to five-shot Q-School triumph

  • Riley Wheeldon will have the ability to play a full PGA TOUR Canada season in the first year of the Fortinet Cup. (Media/PGA TOUR)
    Riley Wheeldon will have the ability to play a full PGA TOUR Canada season in the first year of the Fortinet Cup. (Media/PGA TOUR)
  • In This Article
  • COURTENAY, British Columbia—It wasn’t the most stress-filled day of Riley Wheeldon’s career. With a five-shot lead when the day began, Wheeldon played a clean front nine, with three birdies and six pars and eventually saw his advantage balloon to seven strokes before he finally settled on a five-shot win over China’s Yi Cao to capture medalist honors at PGA TOUR Canada’s seventh and final Qualifying Tournament.

    Wheeldon was clearly the best player at Crowne Isle Resort and Club all week, opening with a pair of 67s and never looking back. He trailed by one after the first round but took control and played flawless golf on a course he grew up playing. Wheeldon joins six other medalists this season, with Cao, Jared du Toit, Max Sear, Andrew Harrison, Brendan MacDougall, Jimmy Jones, Austin Ryan and Marc Bourgeois all picked up exempt through the first half of PGA TOUR Canada’s Fortinet Cup schedule. An additional 22 earned conditional status.

    “It’s definitely a great week, a storybook week for me. I played it off all week, but it means a lot to me to get back out here and prove that I can still play for people who maybe haven’t seen me play in a while,” said Wheeldon, who, like a lot of players, has been competitively idle due to the global pandemic. “I definitely appreciate all the support I had this week. I was just glad to play four solid rounds and basically choose my schedule this year.”

    That will be the rub for Wheeldon now. With a job working at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona, and with the ability to play a full PGA TOUR Canada season in the first year of the Fortinet Cup, leaves the 31-year-old with some decisions to make, especially after his tour de force performance the last four days.

    “Coming into this week, I wasn’t planning on playing a full schedule. I was going to see how this went. I saw a lot of good things this week and was able to get full status,” he added. “We’ll see. I’ll have to have a couple of conversations with my bosses, my first boss being my wife and then the bosses at the club where I’ve been working.”

    Whatever he decides, Wheeldon can always look back on what turned out to be an exceedingly enjoyable week. Particularly noteworthy was the way he dominated Crowne Isle’s four par-5s. He was 12-under on those holes, with 10 birdies and an eagle. He birdied No. 15 every day and had three birdies and the eagle on No. 1.

    “I’ll basically see where I stand with everything, and if my game continues to feel good, I’ll be up here more than I thought I would,” he continued.

    Did you know Canada’s Brendan MacDougall has played in one previous PGA TOUR Canada event but never as a professional? His lone appearance came in 2019, at the GolfBC Championship, where he couldn’t overcome an opening 76. He came back with a 3-under 68 on the second day but missed the cut.

    Key Information

    How the Tournament Worked

    There were 95 players starting this week, with 92 completing all 72 holes. Below is a breakdown of the various PGA TOUR Canada membership statuses earned this week.   

    Finish Position

    Status

    Medalist

    Riley Wheeldon

    Exempt membership for the 2022 season

    2nd through 9th (no ties)

     Yi Cao

    Jared du Toit

    Max Sear

    Andrew Harrison

    Brendan MacDougall

    Jimmy Jones

    Austin Ryan

    Marc Bourgeois

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

    10th through 30th (plus ties)

    Tony Gil

    a-Jeevan Sihota

    Robert Hudson

    James Davis

    Will Barnett

    Chris R. Wilson

    Ethan Marcus

    Chris Hickman

    Zach Anderson

    Jordan Loof

    Griffin Wood

    Mitchell Sutton

    Bryce Barker

    Tanvir Kahlon

    Trevor Yu

    Daniel Kim

    Sang Lee

    Tyler Saunders

    Thomas Code

    Marc Casullo

    Étienne Brault

    Jonathan Hewett

    Conditional membership

    • There were seven amateurs playing at Crowne Isle Resort, with six completing 72 holes. Leading the way was Jeevan Sihota, tied for ninth after shooting a 2-under 70. He locked up conditional status. Here is the rundown on the amateurs:

    Pos.

    Player

    Score

    T9

    Jeevan Sihota (Canada)

    70-74-70-70—284 (4-under)

    T59

    Kamyar Yamini (Canada)

    75-75-73-75—298 (10-over)

    T62

    Zachary Stanger (U.S.)

    72-78-76-74—300 (12-over)

    81

    Cole Ruelling (Canada)

    80-74-74-79—307 (19-over)

    T83

    Andrew Widjaja (Canada)

    82-74-77-76—309 (21-over)

    92

    Kirk Chen (Canada)

    87-86-84-91—348 (60-over)

    • The following 34 amateurs qualified for the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season via this year’s Qualifying Tournaments, Jeevan Sihota the latest. Sihota had a shot at earning the right to play in every tournament in the season’s first half, but he and Tony GIl lost in a playoff to Marc Bourgeois.

    Player

    Qualifying Tournament

    Finish

    Parker Gillam

    Weston, Florida

    T7

    Kieran Vincent

    Weston, Florida

    T7*

    Ryan Gerard

    Weston, Florida

    T15

    Easton Paxton

    Weston, Florida

    T15

    Joseph McCarthy

    Weston, Florida

    T20

    Varun Chopra

    Weston, Florida

    T29

    Cougar Collins

    Weston, Florida

    T29

    Spencer Cross

    Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida

    T21

    Mark Reppe

    Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida

    T25

    Jacob Bridgeman

    Dothan, Alabama

    Won

    Parker Coody

    Dothan, Alabama

    T6

    Harrison Ott

    Dothan, Alabama

    T18

    Mark Goetz

    Dothan, Alabama

    T20

    Joey Vrzich

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    3

    Youssef Guezzale

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T11

    Thomas Hutchison

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T11

    Blake Tomlinson

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T17

    Kyle Cottam

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T20

    Puwit Anupansuebsai

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T26

    Steve Sugimoto

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T26

    Patrick Sullivan

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T26

    Jun Ho Won

    Litchfield Park, Arizona

    T26

    Noah Goodwin

    San Jacinto, California

    T5

    Jack Avrit

    San Jacinto, California

    T8

    Amol Mahal

    San Jacinto, California

    T11

    Cameron Sisk

    San Jacinto, California

    T13

    Camden Price

    San Jacinto, California

    T17

    Eddy Lai

    San Jacinto, California

    T22

    James Song

    San Jacinto, California

    T22

    Noah Woolsey

    DuPont, Washington

    3

    Finigan Tilly

    DuPont, Washington

    13

    Taylor Sundbom

    DuPont, Washington

    T14

    Sean Mullan

    DuPont, Washington

    T25

    Jeevan Sihota

    Courtenay, British Columbia

    T9

    • Amateur Jeevan Sihota already knew he would be playing in the season-opening Royal Beach Victoria Open presented by the Times Colonist in early June by virtue of the sponsor’s exemption the tournament granted him. He will hope his conditional status will lead to more starts this season. Sihota, a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, considered attending college after high school, and he received north of 50 different offers from colleges and universities desiring his services. Ultimately, the 18-year-old elected to eschew college and turn pro, something he will do following this week.

    • The only player with four sub-70 rounds this week was champion Riley Wheeldon (67-67-65-69).

    • Three additional players posted four sub-par rounds this week: Max Sear, Yi Cao and Brendan MacDougall.

    • Jared du Toit qualified at Q-School for a second consecutive year. In 2021, du Toit earned his playing privileges by finishing second at the tournament in DuPont, Washington. He held simultaneous PGA TOUR Latinoamérica status a year ago, something he will enjoy again this year. In November 2021, du Toit picked up PGA TOUR Latinoamérica conditional status with his tie for 23rd at the Mexico Qualifying Tournament in Mazatlan. A year ago, du Toit finished 114th on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Points List.

    • A year ago, on the Tour PGA TOUR Canada conducted for players based in Canada, Andrew Harrison had a difficult finish to his season, missing a putt that hung on the lip on the final hole that dropped him into a playoff. He got knocked out in the extra session, earning no 2022 PGA TOUR Canada status. “Last year, I played really well all season. That was pretty devastating at that time. I felt like I had earned it and deserved it, so it felt good to come out and play really well in the second and third rounds (this week) and basically ride those two rounds to get the status,” Harrison said.

    Quotable

    “That is why I came out. Being able to play in front of everybody and ultimately come in first was a storybook ending.” –Riley Wheeldon

    “It means a lot. I haven’t had a chance to yet (turned in 2020). I’m taking a shot playing PGA TOUR Canada this summer. I’m looking forward to it.” –Andrew Harrison

    “Being up here all summer should be fun. I have six guaranteed starts, so I’ll try to make the most of it.” –Max Sear

    “I’ve played a few Q-Schools, so I know what to expect. My game was really sharp coming into this one. I prepared really well.” –Max Sear

    “The last couple of days was a little easier. I was too far back to catch Riley, but more so trying to play my own game and make sure I got the job done.” –Max Sear

    Final-Round Weather: Mostly cloudy and cool. High of 53. Wind ESE at 8-12 mph.