J.J. SPAUN WINS STAAL

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J.J. SPAUN WINS STAAL FOUNDATION OPEN PRESENTED BY TBAYTEL

(July 19, 2015 – Thunder Bay, Ont.) – Newport Beach, California’s J.J. Spaun broke through for his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada win on Sunday, shooting a final round 5-under 67 to win the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel.

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The 24-year old moves into the top spot on the season-long Order of Merit with $70,263, earning an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open to make his PGA TOUR debut next week at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.

“It’s a huge relief. I knew if I at least made pars on my way in I'd have some sort of chance at winning,” said Spaun, who finished at 18-under par, one shot ahead of Moscow, Pennsylvania’s Nicholas Reach. “I've put in a lot of hard work. I had to change a few things with my regimen and putting my career in the top priority spot, and it shows that the hard work has been paying off.”

The win gives Spaun a $25,813 lead atop the Order of Merit over Drew Weaver, who will join Spaun next week at Glen Abbey along with Albin Choi as the top three players on the season-long money list. The San Diego State University grad has been the most consistent player on the Mackenzie Tour this season, never finishing outside the top-16 and posting five straight 10 finishes capped off by the win.

“I'm in a good position. I've got to keep playing solid and keep that top spot under my belt and see how it goes,” said Spaun of the season-long quest to earn status on the Web.com Tour.

Starting the day one shot off the lead held by Corey Conners, Clayton Rask, David McKenzie and Chase Marinell, Spaun came out of the gate quickly with birdies on his first two holes to grab the early lead. After Reach made eagle on the 72nd hole to post 17-under par as the clubhouse lead, Spaun responded with four birdies in five holes, including three in a row on holes 12-14 to take control of the lead.

“I've been playing well enough where I don't make many mistakes, and fortunately making a lot of birdies as well. I've been playing solid, and eliminating the mistakes has been key for how I've been playing lately,” said Spaun, who has seen a remarkable turnaround from a dismal 2014 season that saw him miss six of seven cuts and return to Q-School this Spring. Since a T8 finish there, Spaun has been on a tear to build his Order of Merit lead and put himself in excellent position to earn status on the Web.com Tour for next season.

“Now it's just kind of stress-free golf and going out and having fun. The hard work has kind of been taken care of and it's time to go out and cruise,” said Spaun.

Reach, a University of Georgia graduate and a rookie on the Mackenzie Tour, notched his best finish as a pro along with Conners, who will play at the RBC Canadian Open on a sponsor’s exemption alongside fellow Golf Canada Young Pro Squad and Mackenzie Tour members Taylor Pendrith and Adam Svensson.

NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

5: J.J. Spaun’s consecutive top-10 finishes on the Mackenzie Tour (T10-T8-P2-3rd-1st).

$25,813: J.J. Spaun’s lead atop the Order of Merit.

$825: J.J. Spaun’s earnings on the Mackenzie Tour in 2014.

CONNERS WINS FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL TOP CANADIAN AWARD, EARNS STATUS

With a total score of 16-under, Listowel, Ont.’s Corey Conners claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours on Sunday along with a $2,500 prize. Each week, the top Canadian on the leaderboard will earn the award, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end earning the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and a $25,000 prize.

As one of the top three non-members on the Order of Merit through six events, Conners also earns conditional status for the remainder of the season on the Mackenzie Tour. Conners moves to the 16th spot with $16,450 in earnings, joining Adam Svensson (8th/$24,617) and Christopher Trunzer (44th/$7,438) as players to earn status.

Notes:

  • Weather: 27 degrees (30 degrees with Humidex). Partly cloudy. Winds 27 km/h.
  • As part of his victory, J.J. Spaun received a free AVIS car rental for a week. The winner of each Mackenzie Tour event will receive a free car for a week at any point during the summer as part of their win.
  • Spaun is the first player of the PGA TOUR era to record five top-10s and three top-3 finishes in a row on the Mackenzie Tour.
  • Spaun is the fifth winner in his 20s in six events this year on the Mackenzie Tour.
  • Spaun is the fourth player to win on the Mackenzie Tour this season after earning status at the 2015 Qualifying Tournament, joining Drew Weaver, Albin Choi and C.T. Pan.
  • Drew Weaver will make his 11th PGA TOUR start and first since the 2011 Greenbrier Classic next week.
  • Albin Choi will make his first PGA TOUR start since the 2013 RBC Canadian Open. Overall Choi has made three starts at the RBC Canadian Open, with his best finish a tie for 73rdin 2012. 
 


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