The Canadian Tour has announced its 2008 award winners:
Rolex Player of the Year
John Ellis won the Stockton Sports Commission Classic in a playoff over Tommy Barber for his first Canadian Tour title and followed up with a win the next week at the Mexican PGA Championship. where his five stroke lead after the first round set a tour record.
In July, Ellis won the Telus Edmonton Open and finished second at the Players Cup the next week in Winnipeg.
By season’s end, Ellis had made 11 of 12 cuts, won the Order of Merit with $113,315 and finished outside the top 10 just once. He also qualified for the U.S. Open and the RBC Canadian Open.
Daniel Im made an immediate impact on the Canadian Tour in 2008. The Irvine, Calif., resident earned his card at the Florida Q-School and won the Riviera Maya Classic in his first tour start.
After a tie for 13th at La Loma, Im took the Times Colonist Open in a playoff against Canadian James Lepp.
Im also finished second at the Seaforth Country Classic and lost a playoff to Graham DeLaet at the Desjardins Montreal Open. He finished third on the Order of Merit with $82,954 and qualified for the RBC Canadian Open.
Canadian Rookie of the Year
Kent Eger, who joined the Tour at the California Q-School, had just one top 10 coming into the Seaforth Country Classic and had missed three of the previous four cuts.
However, everything fell into place at Seaforth, where rounds of 65-64-65-64 gave him not only a tour record for lowest cumulative score, but also his first tour title and a two-year exemption.
Most Improved Canadian (tie)
Andrew Parr joined the Canadian Tour at the spring, 2007 Q-School, but finished 121st on the Order of Merit, forcing a trip to fall Q-school.
Having regained his card, Parr finished second at both Modesto and Edmonton and picked up additional top 10s in Montreal and Seaforth. He also earned a berth in the RBC Canadian Open and Monday qualified for the Houston Open.
He finished ninth on the Canadian Tour Order of Merit.
Fighting injuries in 2007, Dale Vallely slid to 150th on the money list, but made a strong return this year.
Starting the year on a partial medical exemption, Vallely finished fourth at the Saskatchewan Open, where he opened with a 62.
He also earned a tie for sixth at the Tour Championship and by the end of the season, he had jumped 129 spots on the Order of Merit to 21st.
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