See results on the MacKenzie Tour Canada website here.

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B.C.’s Cornelson sizzles at Bayview Place Cardtronics Open

Mario Annicchiarico, Times Colonist
Photograph By DARREN STONE, Times Colonist

Written on June 6, 2016

Adam Cornelson finished off what he started, wrapping up the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by the Times Colonist title with a record-breaking finish Sunday afternoon at Uplands Golf Club.

The Langley native’s final-round 5-under 65 left him at a 20-under 260 total, establishing a PGA Tour-era 72-hole scoring record on the Mackenzie Tour, initially set by Brock Mackenzie (261) at the 2014 ATB Financial Classic and demolishing the local tournament’s previous low of 15-under that Albin Choi recorded here last year.

Cornelson made it back-to-back titles at Uplands for Vancouver-area golfers and he’s also the first left-hander to win on tour since 2007 (Adam Bland).

“The crowd, the way the tournament finished — I’ve never felt support like I did with that crowd. Every time I walked to the next tee it was, ‘Go Adam and go Langley.’ It was unbelievable,” said Cornelson, who chipped in for birdie from in front of the 18th green for an emphatic finish that brought on roars reserved for the likes of Tiger Woods.

“It gives me confidence knowing that I can do it. I always believed I could do it, but now I know I can do it. The way I went about my business this week, I think I should write a bit of that down and keep going.”

Cornelson — who had a piece of the lead after his opening 64 on Thursday — never let up, maintaining a grip on top spot through the four days. The 28-year-old, who, ironically, hit the first tee shot here in Victoria after the PGA Tour took over the circuit in 2013, earned the top $31,500 paycheque. He also added the $2,500 as top Canadian for a strong pay day.

His personal previous best on tour was a tie for fifth at the 2014 Wildfire Invitational in Ontario.

Cornelson always seems to save his best for the Island, however, recording his fifth straight top-25 finish here. His previous low in Victoria was a tie for 13th in 2013.

He certainly had a spring in his step Sunday. On his walk between the 15th green and 16th tee box he said he had “goosebumps” from the flock of 250-plus fans following his every move along the course.

“I told you I love Victoria,” he told the Times Colonist at that very point.

Taylor Moore, a former All-American who made his debut on tour at Uplands after representing the Arkansas Razorbacks at the NCAA championship last week, was second, five shots back after his final round 65 that followed his 69-66-65 start and introduction to PGA Tour Canada.

Moore, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was two shots better than Jeff Rein of Cibolo, Texas, who recorded a 1-under 69 Sunday for a 267 total.

“I’m happy. I did a lot of good things this week and made a good run at it,” said Moore.

Seann Harlingten of Vancouver was alone in fourth as he, too, fired a 5-under 65 on the day to sit at 268.

Dan McCarthy, who finished at 10-under 270 total, was in a tie for sixth and, after his win last week at the Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey, maintains top position on the tour’s Order of Merit.

“I’m happy with the way the week finished off,” said McCarthy, whose $37,363 leads Cornelson’s $32,148. Moore is now tied for third at $18,900 with last week’s runner-up, Tyler McCumber.

The top three players on that money list through the first six events of the 2016 season will earn exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open stop on the PGA Tour. The top finisher at the end of the schedule will have full exemption onto the Web.com Tour.

“That’s the goal,” admitted McCarthy. “Just keep tacking up the good finishes and run up the money total.”

Langley’s Thomas Hay shot 66 to finish tied with McCarthy at 10-under and Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp was tied for ninth at 9-under after his final 68.

Uplands assistant pro Ben Griffin, who like Cornelson had a piece of the first-round lead after a 64, finished 72-73-75 for a tie for 62nd.

The tour moves on to Kelowna this week.

 

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Longtime pro Rutledge headed back to Bayview Place Cardtronics Open

Mario Annicchiarico, Times Colonist
Photograph By DARREN STONE, Times Colonist

Written on May 18, 2016

For 56-year-old Jim Rutledge, life has almost come full circle.

The veteran PGA Tour Champions golfer will return to the tour where he first cut his teeth as a professional as he officially accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the Mackenzie Tour stop at Uplands Golf Club two weeks from today.

The man they simply call Rut will tee it up at the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist on PGA Tour Canada, which was known as the Canadian Tour in his early years, although it carried various sponsors.

“My first year was 1979 and Glen Meadows was my first one [locally in 1981]. The Victoria Open — that was my first year travelling on the road with John Morgan and Cec Ferguson in what was then the Peter Jackson Tour,” Rutledge recalled on Tuesday at Uplands, his home course.

“Those were my first encounters,” he added. “Fabulous memories; it’s been a good tour. Here we are like 38 years later and we’re playing at home and it’s another Canadian Tour, which is now the Mackenzie Tour.”

And Rutledge, who this season is going through Monday qualifying on the PGA Tour Champions, has tasted plenty of success on Canadian soil.

A lot of the information isn’t in PGA Tour Canada’s databases since it took over this tour, but Rutledge was No. 2 in all-time earnings with $403,384 before the takeover. He won six times, three of them at the B.C. Open in 1979, ’81 and ’89; the 1984 Canadian PGA championship; 1994 Alberta Open; and 1995 P.E.I. Classic. He also topped the field in the 1995 Indian Open as he was a veteran of the Asian Tour.

Rutledge also represented Canada at the 1984, ’85 and 2006 World Cups and the 1993 and ’96 Dunhill Cups.

Now he has back at his home track. “I’m very, very excited to play. The past few years I’ve been exempt on Champions Tour and this tournament always ran up against Des Moines. This year I don’t have that [full playing] status so I’m more than proud to play here,” he said.

And he’s helped draw in fans locally.

“This is big for us,” said local organizer Keith Dagg, who along with tournament director Murray Thomas talked Rutledge — who is still an honorary chairman of this event — into playing. “The name of the game is to get sponsors and when you get big crowds and have a guy like Rutledge, it makes it easier.

“He’s such a good player and a Victoria guy. The last time he played [2010] he had 500 people following him around, alone.”

He had a huge following in 2008 when Brian Im won in a playoff as Rutledge missed by one stroke.

PGA Tour Champions has been a struggle so far this year as Rutledge attempts to Monday qualify for events. He did play in Houston two weekends ago as a sponsor’s invite. He would obviously be an easy selection for the senior event slated for Bear Mountain in September.

“I have to go through the process, just like everybody else,” said Rutledge, who is playing the Cedar Hill Open this weekend on the course he grew up on. “I’ve talked to some of the people running the [senior] event and it’s the way it is. I’m hopeful, being local, so we’ll wait and see.

“I’d like to work my way into it, prior to that event when we play at Pebble Beach, so if I can get a top-10 there and work my way in without having to give the sponsor’s invite away, would be perfect.”

CHIP SHOTS: The BPISO also announced an exemption for the June 2-5 tournament for Gordy Scutt of Olympic View. The Zone 5 amateur champ is the only spot to be determined, outside of Monday qualifiers.
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Choi wins Bayview Place Island Savings golf tournament

Mario Annicchiarico, Times Colonist
Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

Written on June 7, 2015

The drought is finally over.

Albin Choi became the first Canadian to win the Bayview Place Cardtronics Open presented by Times Colonist in 10 years.

The Surrey native, who now resides in Toronto, got off to a spectacular start in the final round of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event at Uplands Golf Club, recording birdies on his first three holes and five of the opening seven.

His 4-under 66 on Sunday left him at 15-under 265 after the four rounds, three shots better than fellow Canadians Adam Svensson of Surrey and Eugene Wong of Vancouver and American Jason Millard.

It was Choi’s first win on PGA Tour Canada and he becomes the first national to win in Victoria since Craig Taylor did it in 2005, also at Uplands.

“I feel like I just won a battle, there was a lot of giving and taking out there, for sure and I’m really thrilled and happy,” said Choi, who not only earned the $31,500 first-place cheque, but added $2,500 for being the top Canadian from Freedom 55 Financial.

“It feels awesome,” he said of his initial victory. “It feels even better to do it early on in the year. There are so many more events coming up. It gives me so much confidence and momentum going forward. So this win, besides the trophy, just means a lot for me.

“It’s always nice to see a lot of Canadian flags at the top of the leaderboard. I’m just really glad that things worked out the way they did this week.”

Along with the $4,375 from his 10th-place finish last week at the PC Financial Open in Vancouver, he now leads the tour’s Order of Merit. The leader of that statistic at year’s end will earn playing privileges on the Web.com Tour, the main feeder to the PGA Tour. The bonus money for top Canadian does not count towards total money earned.

Victoria’s Cory Renfrew finished in a tie for fifth place after his final round 68 left him with a 269 total, along with American John Ellis.

 

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