If you were to create your perfect golfer from tee to green using only Canadian golfers, whose driving abilities would you take? Whose putting skills? Whose silky-smooth swing? Let’s break down what the ultimate golfer might look like when comprised of some of Canada’s very best.
When it comes to hitting off the tee, it’s not hard to find a few names. One that comes to mind is Taylor Pendrith. Pendrith is currently one of the heaviest hitters on the Korn Ferry Tour circuit. For the 2020-2021 season, his average driving distance is 319.9 yards. Currently ranked fourth in driving distance on the Korn Ferry Tour, he is just over 4 yards off the first-place number. Back in September of 2020, Pendrith made his major debut at the U.S. Open where he finished third in average driving distance among some of the best in the world.
A decade ago, Graham DeLaet was making similar impact on the PGA Tour. In his first season back in 2010, DeLaet ranked sixth in driving distance with a 305.7-yard average. Between 2012 and 2017, DeLaet routinely ranked inside the top 40 in the same statistic. In 2013, DeLaet had the fourth longest drive on the PGA Tour that season, hitting one drive 420 yards.
If we’re talking about driving excellence, Brooke Henderson’s name must be there. For the past five seasons, Henderson has ranked inside the top 25 on the LPGA Tour for driving distance. Last season, she matched her career high ranking of eighth, with an average driving distance of 266.784 yards. However, she doesn’t just bomb the ball – there’s something to be said about her accuracy as well – Henderson ranked 35th for driving accuracy last season. Currently, Henderson is ranked sixth for average driving distance at 278.654 yards.
One of the best Canadians to ever play the game, Stan Leonard won three times on the PGA Tour and eight PGA of Canada Championships. At one point in the 1940’s, Leonard’s tee shots were already averaging 275-280 yards, according to a 1948 Maclean’s article.
On the LPGA Tour, Dawn Coe-Jones had enviable irons. Between 1992 and 2000, she almost routinely finished inside of the top 25 for greens in regulation percentage, and for the two seasons where she was outside, she was still in the top 60 on the LPGA Tour.
Over on the PGA Tour, Stephen Ames’s approach shots were also enviable. Between 2004 and 2008, Ames consistently finished inside the top 50 on the PGA Tour when it came to strokes gained: approaching the green. In 2004, he also finished 24th for greens in regulation.While on the PGA Tour Champions, between 2015 and 2019, Ames consistently finished inside the top 35 in greens in regulation. At his most recent win at the Principal Charity Classic on the Champions Tour on June 6, Ames led the field in greens in regulation with 87.04 per cent – nearly four per cent clear of Fred Couples in second.
Before Ames, there was Dave Barr. Between 1987 and 1994, Barr was consistently in the top 15 for greens in regulation percentage on the PGA Tour. In 1988, he ranked second with a 73.63 per cent average, and in both 1989 and 1992 he finished third.
One of Canada’s best current golfers, Alena Sharp has been playing on the LPGA Tour since the mid-2000’s and was a member of Team Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Over the course of her career, Sharp’s greens in regulation percentage have been impressive. Between 2007 and 2011, Sharp finished inside the top 50 on the LPGA in greens in regulation, and between 2007 and last season, she’s only ranked outside of the top 65 at the end of the season three times. She’s currently ranked 48th in the category this season.
It wouldn’t be a list comprising of some of Canada’s best golfers if Mike Weir weren’t on it. Currently on the PGA Tour Champions, Weir has the best sand save percentage out of anyone with 67.44 and is ranked at 15th in scrambling at 61.70 per cent. Between 2005 and 2014, while playing on the PGA Tour, Weir was ranked in the top five of sand save percentage four times. Twice, Weir had the best strokes gained: around the green number on the PGA Tour – in 2005 with .521 average strokes gained, and again five years later with .559 average strokes gained.
With two wins on the PGA Tour, Nick Taylor is one of Canada’s best current male golfers. In 2017, Taylor was ranked 58th in strokes gained: around the green, 33rd in scrambling, and 16th in scrambling from the rough. In 2018, Taylor was ranked inside the top 30 in scrambling and sand save percentage, and just last season, he ranked 21st in scrambling from the fringe.
With four wins on the LPGA Tour, Lorie Kane is one of the best Canadians to play the game. Between 1997 and 2005, Kane had some of the best greens in regulation statistics on the LPGA Tour – never failing to fall outside of the top 25, including sixth in 2001. Accompanying that, between 1997 and 2011, Kane also had some incredible sand saves statistics, finishing inside the top 25 six times and in 2011 she was ranked second with a 63.33 percentage.
Sandra Post is one of the most legendary golfers to come from Canada. Post was the first Canadian to play on the LPGA Tour, and won eight times. In an article from Maclean’s from 1968, Post herself says that putting is the best part of her game.
On the PGA Tour, Mackenzie Hughes’s putting is top-notch. In 2020, Hughes finished eighth in strokes gained: putting with a .681 average and had the ninth best overall putting average at 1.566. In 2019, Hughes sunk the longest putt of the season when his putt from 85’8” out found the hole. The year before that, he had the 16th longest successful putt, and in 2020 he held the 20th spot. He’s currently ranked third in avoiding three-putts with only 19 occurrences in 70 rounds of golf.
Adam Hadwin is another name that comes to mind when talking about putting. Back in 2016, Hadwin had one of the hottest putters on the PGA Tour. He ranked 11th in strokes gained: putting, fifth in putting average, 25th in one-putt percentage, and 12th in three-putt avoidance. In 2017, he ranked 26th in strokes gained: putting, and 11th in one-putt percentage.
Moe Norman is a legend in the golf universe. Known for his incredible golf swing, Norman had enviable accuracy that is still talked about today – nearly 70 years after playing in his first PGA Tour event.
George Knudson is another golf legend, and he achieved an incredible eight wins on the PGA Tour. And, like Norman, Knudson was known for having an incredible swing – playing a huge role in his accuracy.
Currently, Corey Conners is one of the best Canadian golfers on the PGA Tour and a big part of his success is due to is his accuracy. In 2020, Conners placed 20th in driving accuracy percentage and sixth in greens in regulation percentage. In 2019, he ranked 42nd in driving accuracy percentage and first for greens in regulation percentage. That season, when he did miss, it wasn’t by much – he ranked fourth in distance from the edge of the fairway with an average of 19’8”. Currently, he’s ranked 10th in greens in regulation, with 69.71 per cent.
With two wins on the LPGA Tour, Gail Graham is one of Canada’s best. Winning in 1995 and 1997 – Graham’s driving accuracy was consistently enviable. Between 1992 and 1997, Graham routinely ranked inside the top 60 on the LPGA Tour in driving accuracy. In 1996, she even ranked 21st.
So, who would you choose to create your ultimate Canadian golfer?
Korn Ferry Tour announces new restart schedule and combined 2020-21 season
GREAT EXUMA, BAHAMAS - JANUARY 13: Korn Ferry Tour pin flag on the 15th green during the second round of the Korn Ferry Tour's The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay golf course on January 13, 2020 in Great Exuma, Bahamas. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The Korn Ferry Tour announced today additional modifications and details regarding the restart of the 2020 schedule and a fall calendar of events that will be part of a one-time, combined 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour season.
The announcement of a fall schedule comes after the PGA TOUR announced last week that, due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancelation or postponement of 13 events from the 2019-20 TOUR Season, eligibility has been extended for exempt 2019-20 PGA TOUR members for the 2020-21 season. These adjustments will result in the Korn Ferry Tour not having a graduating class in 2020; however, the TOUR has established a performance benefit for the top 10 from the Korn Ferry Tour points list following the conclusion of the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. Those players will be granted access into all PGA TOUR additional events for the 2020-21 season.
The newly created 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour schedule that will bridge two seasons will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
With six events completed through the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA, the remaining 2020 schedule – subject to change – now consists of 23 events. Korn Ferry Tour events to be contested in 2021 as part of the combined 2020-21 schedule will be announced later this year.
“While we won’t have the opportunity to graduate a Korn Ferry Tour Class in 2020, we feel our reimagined wraparound schedule – with newly created playing opportunities – is the best solution to our season that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “We greatly appreciate the support of our tournaments, title sponsors and Player Advisory Council in getting to this point. As we’ve said on several occasions, we will resume play only when it is deemed safe to do so by leading health authorities and government agencies and our tournaments do not negatively impact the critical efforts in the healthcare world and our communities.”
The restart to the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season will begin as previously announced with the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The event will now be followed by a second event in Northeast Florida at The King & Bear Course at World Golf Village in St. Augustine. This new tournament takes the place of the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, which will move to one of the newly created fall dates.
The Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank – the Tour’s first event back on Golf Channel – will remain as scheduled the week of June 22-28 in Farmington, Utah, while the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes in Berthoud, Colorado, moves up one week into the June 29-July 5 date.
Following the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, the Tour will contest two new events at TPC San Antonio – host of the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open – in back-to-back weeks, starting July 6-18. The first event will be played on the Canyons Course, while the second event would be hosted on the Oaks Course, which is the official tournament course for the Valero Texas Open.
“As we look toward a return to golf, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Korn Ferry Tour and our communities will remain our No. 1 priority,” said Baldwin. “With the impact sustained thus far to our 2020 schedule, it was imperative that we strive to create new playing opportunities for our membership, including these four events that were not on our original schedule.”
The Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS in Springfield, Illinois, will move from the week of July 13-19 to one of the new fall dates, which leaves the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper in Springfield, Missouri, as the first of six events on the original 2020 calendar that will remain as scheduled through the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.
In addition to the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS and the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, the Evans Scholars Invitational in Chicago, and the Savannah Golf Championship in Savannah, Georgia, were also rescheduled for the new fall season. The inaugural Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39 will be played near Orlando the week of October 5-11.
Revised 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Season schedule
June 8-14: Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass, TPC Sawgrass (Dye’s Valley), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
June 15-20: The King & Bear Classic at World Golf Village, The King & Bear GC at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida (Saturday finish)
June 22-28: Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, Oakridge CC, Farmington, Utah
June 29-July 5: TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, TPC Colorado, Berthoud, Colorado
July 6-12: TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons, TPC San Antonio (Canyons Course), San Antonio, Texas
July 13-18: TPC San Antonio Championship at the Oaks, TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas (Saturday finish)
July 20-26: Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, Highland Springs CC, Springfield, Missouri
July 27-August 2: Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, The Club at Indian Creek, Omaha, Nebraska
August 3-9: WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, Pumpkin Ridge GC (Witch Hollow), North Plains, Oregon
August 10-16: Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, Hillcrest CC, Boise, Idaho
August 17-23: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Ohio State University GC (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio
August 24-30: Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Indiana
August 31-September 6: Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS, Panther Creek CC, Springfield, Illinois
September 7-13 : Evans Scholars Invitational, TBD, Chicago, Illinois
September 21-27: Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, Crestview CC, Wichita, Kansas
September 28-October 4: Savannah Golf Championship, The Landings Club (Deer Creek), Savannah, Georgia
October 5-11: Orange County National Championship presented by Knight 39, Orange County Golf Center & Lodge (Panther Lake), Winter Garden, Florida
The Korn Ferry Tour will resume play with at least the first four events closed to the general public while continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the recommendations of local and state authorities in order to determine the most appropriate on-site access in each market. Decisions on fan attendance at all events thereafter will be dependent on available protocols that could be implemented to ensure the health and well-being for all involved.
For more information on the Korn Ferry Tour, please visit PGATOUR.com.]]>
David Hearn secures PGA TOUR card with final-round 66
BOISE, IDAHO - AUGUST 23: David Hearn of Canada lines up a putt on the 2nd hole during the second round of the Korn Ferry Tour Albertson's Boise Open at Hillcrest Country Club onon August 23, 2019 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
NEWBURGH, Indiana — David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., rallied in the final round at the Korn Ferry Tour’s season-ending championship with a 6-under 66 to secure status for the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR season. He finished the championship in a tie for fourth at 13 under par, helping boost his ranking over the three-event final series to No. 13.
Fellow Canadian Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., fell just short, finishing outside the top 25. The 23-year-old relinquishes his current PGA TOUR status and will compete on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019-2020.
The Korn Ferry Tour awarded the first set of 25 PGA TOUR cards for the 2019-20 season at the conclusion of the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz in August, with a second set awarded this week after the conclusion of the Finals.
Tom Lewis carded a final-round 65 to win by five strokes. Lewis joined 24 other players in earning 2019-20 membership through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
University of Texas alum Scottie Scheffler earned the top spot on both The Finals 25 and the combined points list after a T7 finish on Monday, in addition to his win and T11 finish over his previous two starts. The 23-year-old earns fully exempt status on the PGA TOUR during the 2019-20 season as well as an exemption into the 2020 PLAYERS Championship. Scheffler becomes the first player to top both lists since Chesson Hadley in 2017.
Never give up. Never stop trying to get better. @PGATOUR 2020 here we come!
“It’s great to be able to play in THE PLAYERS next year,” said Scheffler, who finished with 10 top-10s and two wins in 20 starts this year. “I have some family close by in Jacksonville so it will be nice to have them come out to the event. It’s awesome to be able to compete against one of the best fields in golf, and becoming fully exempt, to be able to set my schedule, that’s huge.”
Lewis lapped the field after two separate strings of three birdies in a row during the final round. After collecting birdies at the third and fifth, countered by a bogey at the sixth, Lewis tacked on six more from Nos. 8-10 and 15-17. His 29 birdies this week was five more than anyone else in the field.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play on the PGA TOUR,” said Lewis, who finished T11 in the 2019 Open Championship. “Obviously I’ve achieved some good things on the European Tour and hopefully I can achieve better things on the PGA TOUR. I’m looking forward to the year I’ve got ahead, just to see what the future brings.”
While Lewis wrapped up a dominant performance, several other players provided dramatic finishes coming down to the final putt. Local legend Chris Baker, who grew up in Brownstown, Indiana, saved par on the 72nd hole to earn his first PGA TOUR card after more than a decade as a professional. The par save came after a double bogey at the penultimate hole to put his status in doubt. Doug Ghim, the low amateur at the 2018 Masters Tournament, got up and down out of a greenside bunker to claim his first PGA TOUR card.
D.J. Trahan and Richy Werenski tied for the 24th spot, securing the final available cards with 186 points in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Justin Harding finished 26th in The Finals 25, just 0.125 points behind Trahan and Werenski.
Four of the 25 players who secured their PGA TOUR cards solely through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals will be rookies during the 2019-20 season. The top 25 are:
PGA TOUR announces Korn Ferry as umbrella sponsor of newly named Korn Ferry Tour
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) announced today a 10-year agreement making the Los Angeles-based, global organizational consulting firm the Umbrella Sponsor of the newly named Korn Ferry Tour.
In replacing Web.com, Korn Ferry’s sponsorship takes effect June 19 and extends through the 2028 season. The Korn Ferry Tour will continue to award PGA TOUR membership to the Tour’s 50 leading players, including the top 25 from the Regular Season points list and the top 25 from the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals points list.
The announcement was made jointly by PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, Korn Ferry Chief Executive Officer Gary Burnison, and Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin on Wednesday morning in New York City.
“We welcome Korn Ferry to the PGA TOUR family with today’s announcement,” said Monahan. “Our thanks to Gary Burnison and his team for a partnership that will promote Korn Ferry’s mission of helping people and organizations exceed their potential, collaborating with a Tour that has proven to identify the next generation of PGA TOUR talent over the last 30 years.”
Korn Ferry also becomes a PGA TOUR Official Marketing Partner as the “Official Leadership Development Firm” of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and Korn Ferry Tour. Additionally, Korn Ferry will assume sponsorship of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance in Evansville, Indiana – the third and final event in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
“We’re excited to partner with the PGA TOUR. Our organizations are both all about talent – getting players and people to that next level and advancing their careers. People will never discover their full potential until they are provided an abundance of opportunity. Korn Ferry and the Korn Ferry Tour provide that opportunity,” said Burnison. “This sponsorship will further elevate our brand as a global organizational consultancy and extend awareness of our firm to new audiences around the world.”
Korn Ferry develops and coaches 1.2 million people a year, puts someone in a new job every three minutes and has worked with companies to evaluate and assess nearly 70 million professionals. The firm has offices in more than 50 countries and 8,500 employees.
Korn Ferry works with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. The firm helps them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. Korn Ferry also helps professionals at all levels navigate and advance their careers.
“This is a tremendous day for our organization, and we are eager to work with Gary and his team as we continue to build the Korn Ferry Tour from the strong foundation already in place,” said Baldwin, the first female to be named president of one of the PGA TOUR’s six global Tours earlier this year. “Korn Ferry has an impassioned desire to enhance the careers and brands of our players through this incredibly competitive Tour. This partnership will allow us to further those goals while elevating the Tour and our tournaments for our partners and fans.”
With 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the following season (since 2013), the Korn Ferry Tour is the path to the PGA TOUR. Twenty-five TOUR cards are reserved for the leading points earners at the end of the 24-event Regular Season. Another 25 are up for grabs at the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals that follow the Regular Season in August and September.
During the PGA TOUR’s 2017-18 season, eight players from the Korn Ferry Tour Class of 2017 won titles, including Aaron Wise, whose victory at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson was the 500th by a former Korn Ferry Tour player – a list which includes 23 major championships and eight PLAYERS Championships.
Four players from the Class of 2018 have won on the PGA TOUR this season – Cameron Champ (Sanderson Farms Championship), Adam Long (The Desert Classic), Martin Trainer (Puerto Rico Open) and Max Homa (Wells Fargo Championship).
Other notable PGA TOUR players who got their start on the Korn Ferry Tour include major champions Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson.
For more information on the Korn Ferry Tour, please visit PGATOUR.com.