Nine former Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada players secured their 2019-20 PGA TOUR cards Sunday at the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Regular Season, at the WinCo Foods Portland Open.
Leading the way was Robby Shelton, who finished second on the points list, earning his TOUR privileges for the first time. Others were Ryan Brehm, Bo Hoag—the winner of the WinCo Foods Portland Open—Chase Seiffert, Vince Covello, Michael Gligic, Michael Gellerman, Tyler McCumber and Mark Hubbard. McCumber and Gellerman moved to the Korn Ferry Tour from the Mackenzie Tour this season, with McCumber the Tour’s reigning Player of the Year.
Perhaps the biggest surprise among the players who earned their PGA TOUR cards was Bo Hoag, who began the week 31st on the Korn Ferry Tour points list. Hoag won the WinCo Foods Portland Open and parlayed his victory to a seventh-place points finish. There was disappointment for Australian Brett Coletta, who began the week in the 25th and final position for PGA TOUR membership but dropped to 27th after missing the cut.
McCumber was precariously close to not earning his card when the week began, starting the week at No. 23. He fired rounds of 70-67-69-66 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club to tie for 18th, and that was good enough for him to move into the 22nd slot, allowing him to follow in his father’s footsteps to the PGA TOUR. Mark McCumber played the TOUR full-time from 1979 to 1996, winning 10 times—including the 1988 PLAYERS Championship and the 1994 TOUR Championship.
“It feels good. Obviously, a lot of hard work led up to this. I’m really excited and stoked for what’s ahead, playing on the PGA TOUR. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” McCumber said. “This week was fun, exciting, nervous and all the adjectives you can think of were all in play this week. It’s fun, but good to be done. I feel like we came out and played well today. It’s why you play the game, to be in situations like this and to feel the highs and lows.”
Gligic, who played 52 Mackenzie Tour events from 2013-2018, is the lone Canadian to move on to the PGA TOUR. He secured his place with a victory at the Panama Championship earlier in the year, eventually placing 17th overall.
“It’s been pretty crazy. This might be, like, year 11 now. So, it’s been a lot of time on the mini Tours, a lot of time practicing with the goal of getting there. So, for it to happen has been pretty special,” Gligic said of his golf odyssey. “You dream about making it to the PGA TOUR, or at least it’s always on the back of your mind. It’s golf, so if anyone tells you they haven’t thought about quitting out here, they’re lying to you. So, to go through all those tough times and keep grinding and believe that you may get there one day—or you may not—so being here, with all the history, there’s no better place to it.”
The other player from the Mackenzie Tour Class of 2018 to gain PGA TOUR membership is Gellerman, the University of Oklahoma product. Although he didn’t win in his one season playing in Canada, Gellerman had five top-10s—including two runner-up finishes. He earned a win earlier this year at the Korn Ferry Tour’s KC Golf Classic, edging PGA TOUR Latinoamerica alums Harry Higgs and Nelson Ledesma, two players who also moved on to the PGA TOUR this week.
For a while during the week, Shelton looked like he might overtake China’s Xinjun Zhang for the No. 1 overall position. Eventually, Shelton settled for No. 2, with his tie for 11th here.
“It’s exciting to be heading to the big show. It’s been my dream since I was a kid. Ever since leaving college in 2016, I’ve been looking forward to it the whole time for three years,” said Shelton, who played college golf at the University of Alabama.
An additional 16 former Mackenzie Tour players retained their Korn Ferry Tour status for 2020. They do have the right to attempt to still earn their PGA TOUR cards when they play in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. The Finals consists of three tournaments, starting this week in Columbus, Ohio.
The tournaments feature the top 75 players on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and the top 75 players who didn’t qualify for the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. An additional 15 players who are either Special Temporary Members on the PGA TOUR or playing with medical exemptions are also entered. The top-25 finishers in the three Finals events will earn 2019-20 PGA TOUR membership. Those qualifying for the Finals are Brett Coletta, Joshua Creel, Dan McCarthy, Kevin Dougherty, Chad Ramey, Drew Weaver, Ben Taylor, Matthew NeSmith, T.J. Vogel, Wade Binfield, Andrew Novak, George Cunningham, Grant Hirschman, Dylan Wu, Lee Hodges and Greg Yates.