United Leasing & Finance Championship 2017: Tour member Bryden Macpherson shot a 6-under 66 at Monday’s open qualifier for the United Leasing & Finance Championship, securing one of 12 available spots in this week’s field at Victoria National GC outside Evansville.
Macpherson, a University of Georgia alum, was powered by eight birdies on his card at Oak Meadow Golf Club, two of which came on his final three holes to offset a closing bogey.
Macpherson struggled as a Web.com Tour rookie in 2015, losing his card, but regained status by winning the 2015 PGA TOUR China Order of Merit. He never quite gained traction in 2016 either, recording just two top-25 finishes in 21 starts and finishing a distant 115th on the money list.
As players like JT Poston show, though, all it takes is one successful Monday-qualifying attempt and a good tournament week to turn a status-less season into something special. Poston open-qualified for last year’s United Leasing & Finance Championship, chipped in for eagle on his final hole to finish inside the top 25 and gain entry into the next event, and continued the magical run all the way to a PGA TOUR card.
Macpherson is no stranger to the big stage – the Australia native won the 2011 British Amateur to earn a spot in the 2012 Masters – and he’d love nothing more than to take the opportunity this week at Victoria National GC and run with it.
A field of 217 players, spread across two sites, competed for the 12 available spots this week.
Joining Macpherson in advancing from the Oak Meadow site were Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island, Georgia (66); Conner Godsey of Rogersville, Alabama (66); William Kropp of Edmond, Oklahoma (66); Justin Lower of Charlotte, North Carolina (67); and Brandon Crick of McCook, Nebraska (67).
Three players shared medalist honors (6-under 66) at the Sultan’s Run GC site: Matt Davidson of Greenville, South Carolina; Zach Wright of St. Gabriel, Louisiana; and Ryan McCormick of Middletown, New Jersey.
Davidson, a Web.com Tour veteran, was forced to return to Q-School after finishing No. 104 on last year’s money list. He advanced to Final Stage but earned only conditional status for 2017, so a strong week in Evansville would do wonders for his status in subsequent reshuffles.
Wright, albeit a younger player, finds himself facing similar stakes this week: he earned conditional status via Final Stage of Q-School, and every dollar he can make at Victoria National will be significant for the reshuffle.
McCormick, 25, played a full season on Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada in 2015, finishing 76th on the money list. He also open-qualified for the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open last month, where he missed the cut with rounds of 73-73.
Five players finished at 5-under 67 at Sultan’s Run, necessitating a playoff for the final three spots in the field. The playoff consisted of Clayton Portz, Trevor Smith, Taylor Pendrith, David Gazzolo and Trey Rule. Results were not available as of late Monday night.