The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada begins a stretch of three tournaments in three weeks to close out the season this week in Baddeck, N.S., with the Cape Breton Open being played at Bell Bay Golf Club.
Players will be looking to improve their status on the tour Order of Merit, in which the top five at the end of the season will earn Web .com Tour status. The top player gets a full exemption, with the next four earning conditional status.
As it stands, Dan McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y., leads the Order of Merit with $106,383. Adam Cornelson of Langley, B.C., is top Canadian, in fourth place with $53,493.
Ryan Williams of Vancouver is eighth, while dual citizen Austin Connelly is 10th going into this week’s event.
Finishing between sixth and 10th will earn a player an exemption into the final stage of Web .com Q-school, while 11th through 20th earns an exemption into the second stage.
This is a homecoming of sorts for Connelly, who grew up playing the Clare Golf Club in Church Point, N.S.
Also, two players from Nova Scotia will make their professional debuts this week while playing on sponsor exemptions, including former Golf Canada national team member Eric Banks of Truro and Ally Tidcombe of Wolfville.
Banks played collegiate golf at the University of Florida, while Tidcombe was a nominee for the NAIA Jack Nicklaus Award as a senior at Coastal Georgia.
Several other Nova Scotians and Canadians will join Banks and Tidcombe as sponsor exemptions. Below is a full list:
Eric Banks, Truro, N.S.
Trevor Chow, Hammonds Plains, N.S.
Brad Curran, Hammonds Plains, N.S.
Troy Howe, Moncton, N.B.
Zack Kempa, Brantford, Ont.
Brett McKinnon, Glace Bay, N.S.
Brian Mogg, Orlando, Fla.
Ally Tidcombe, Wolfville, N.S.
Monday qualifers include Matt McQuillan of Kingston, Ont., Michael Blair of Ancaster, Ont., Brian Affleck of New Glasgow, N.S., and Sean Bozuk of Burlington, Ont.
For the full field, click here.