Expert Picks - TOUR Championship of Canada pres. by Freedom 55 Financial
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Submitted by Brian Decker, PGA TOUR Canada Staff
Each week, our panel of Experts will select three players they have their eye on to win on PGA TOUR Canada. The panel is made up of media members, instructors, former players and others with a sharp eye on the best PGA TOUR Canada players.
The year-long standings see Experts count the total earnings of their top two picks each week, and the Experts must choose at least one Canadian per week. Here are the final standings from PGA TOUR Canada's inaugural season.
John Randle, Former PGA TOUR Canada Player @RandleGolf
John is a former PGA TOUR Canada member. He played the tour from 1990 to 1997. His playing career has been highlighted by over 50 professional wins including the PGA of BC Championship. John has been teaching the game full time since 1998 and is presently the Academy Director at the Bear Mountain Golf Academy. He was the PGA of BC Teacher of the Year in 2002 and 2007 and works with several tour professionals.
Nick Taylor - He’s had a solid year and a win this week would be a great way to close it out. Nick is a little less than $4,000 out of an exemption spot so he’ll be shooting for a high finish.
Mackenzie Hughes - A week too late for this pick but he’s the hottest player on the tour so no reason for him to slow down now...
Chris Epperson - A good week will launch him into “The Five” and gain him Web.com status for 2014. He’s coming off four straight top-10’s so he’s in great form.
Jason Logan, SCOREGolf Magazine @jasonSCOREGolf
Jason was born in Port Perry, Ontario and earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in 2001. He has been at SCOREGolf Magazine since 2003 and was named the magazine's editor in 2012. Jason has covered 10 Canadian Opens, the 2007 Presidents Cup in Montreal and the Tour Championship in Atlanta on two occasions. Jason is a multiple Golf Journalists Association of Canada award winner and began golfing at age six. He considers himself a #niceplayer (on occasion).
Ryan Williams – I planned on taking my boy R-Dub for the Tour Championship even before his runner-up finish last week. I'll stick with him even if he is a more popular pick now.
Kyle Stough – Consistent player all year with three top 10s including a pair of runner-ups.
Nathan Tyler — Seemed to have noticed this guy's name on the leaderboard quite a bit this year. Must be a nice player.
Scott Macleod, Flagstick Golf Magazine @Flagstick
Scott is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada and has been the full time Editor at Flagstick Golf Magazine, based in Ottawa, Ontario, since 2000. As both an author and photographer his work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites throughout North America. He has been involved in golf for more than 25 years. He is active as a tournament golfer himself and has been involved in player development for his regional golf association.
Joe Panzeri - Haven't picked him all year so now is my last chance.
Cory Renfrew - Canadian lurking outside The 5 wants his way in. No better motivation.
Carlos Sainz, Jr. - Started strong this year and has a slight lull. Undoubtedly he'll muster his best effort for the final push to The 5.
Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun @BradZiemer
Brad Ziemer joined the Vancouver Sun in 1985, after beginning his journalism career at the Canadian Press. A former sports editor at The Sun, Ziemer covered the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies before they departed for Memphis. He has been on the hockey beat since 2001. Ziemer, who also covers the local golf scene for The Sun, is a graduate of Western Washington University.
Joe Panzeri - Enters this week No. 5 on the money list. Looking for a repeat of last year's Tour Championship, where he finished second to Eugene Wong's miracle shot.
Nick Taylor - Five top 10s so far this year and desperately needs another one this week if he is to climb into the top 5.
John Ellis - Fifth place finish last week in Cape Breton was one of three top 6 finishes this year for Ellis, who likely needs to finish second or better to move into top 5.
Bryan Outram, Inside Golf @BryanOutram
Bryan Outram has been the editor of Inside Golf Magazine for 14 years. He also wrote columns for the Coquitlam Now and The Voice, two local weekly papers in the Vancouver area.
Nick Taylor - This may not qualify as an 'outside the box' pick, but the fact that Nick is currently outside The Five should be enough motivation (not that he lacks it regularly) to see him post a good result. The fact that he also leads the PGA TOUR Canada in birdies this year hopefully also bodes well for him to play aggressively in pursuit of that coveted top 5 spot.
Cory Renfrew - Another Canuck who's had a pretty steady season. Coming off a rare MC last week, even when Cory does miss a cut his scores are not all that bad. And he seems to follow up with fairly strong results the following week. This would be a good time to continue that trend.
Joel Dahmen - This is my 'almost' outside the box pick. Joel has two rounds of 62 this year and the fact that he has 9 eagles kind of jumps out at you. Sunningdale appears to have 3 and possibly 4 reachable par 5's, I'm hoping that may just appeal to Joel enough to add to his eagle total. Maybe he has another 62 in his bag….or better. (PS - My honourable mention pick is Joe Panzeri, just so I can wring my hands if he wins).
Todd Halpen, Todd Halpen Golf @GolfProYYC
A graduate from the University of Victoria, Todd was a member of the Golf Canada National Team in 2007, PGA TOUR Canada Member in 2009, co-founder of Swinkey Golf Inc., has competed in two Canadian Opens (2006 and 2008) and now coaches full time at the Golf Canada Centre in Calgary. He also operates toddhalpengolf.com and enjoys beer league hockey, power lifting, and skiing #sendit #deepball #yyc #lifestyle @GolfProYYC
Wes Gilbertson, Calgary Sun @SUNGilbertson
Wes Gilbertson is a sports reporter and golf feature writer at the Calgary Sun. As a lifelong Alberta resident, he's living proof that thin mountain air doesn't turn everybody into a long-drive specialist.
Robert Thompson, Sympatico.ca @Going4theGreen
A bestselling author and award-winning reporter, Robert Thompson has been an influential sports and business journalist for more than a decade. Currently a columnist with Sympatico, and Ontario Golf, and a Senior Writer at SCOREGolf, Robert has been a multiple winner at the Golf Journalists Association of Canada awards in each of the past two years.
Mackenzie Hughes - because you always pick the hot hand
Ryan Williams - see above and because he's sleeping in my basement this week.
Mike Mezei - see previous comment.
Jeff Dykeman, PGA of Canada @jeffdykeman
Before he became Director of Business Development & Brand, Jeff served as the Manager of Education & Employment as well as the Assistant Tournament Director for the Canadian PGA National Championships. Prior to that, he spent time as the Sales & Marketing Manager at Crimson Ridge Golf Club and in the Game Day Promotions Department of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL). In 2010, Jeff was voted one of the Most Interesting People in Ontario Golf by Ontario Golf Magazine.
Joe Panzeri – holding down that 5th spot in THE 5…..Panzeri knows he needs to finish strong to avoid getting leapfrogged.
John Ellis – Coming off the 5th place finish last week….Ellis is no stranger to playing well when it matters.
Cory Renfrew – taking Renfrew as the anchor for my picks. He has 126 feathers on the year and that pace should continue for him at Sunningdale GCC.
Morgan Bell, Golf Canada @vallogolfer
A former professional on the LPGA Symetra Tour Morgan also spent one season caddying on South Africa's Sunshine Tour and has caddied in various PGA Tour Canada events. Now retired from professional golf she is the Media/PR Coordinator at Golf Canada and can be found on twitter at @vallogolfer.
Joe Panzeri - Doubt he'll want to sit on the bubble and a good finish will lock up a spot in The 5.
Cory Renfrew - Coming off a MC last week in Cape Breton a win would go a long way and could notch him a card.
Albin Choi - Nice finish last week. Can never go wrong picking a former Team Canada dragon.
Adam Stanley, Freelance golf writer @Adam_Stanley
Adam Stanley is a golf writer based out of Ottawa and Toronto. His work appears in SCOREGolf, Golf Canada Magazine, ClubLink Life, Fairways Magazine, and Ontario Golf News. He's also a communications specialist for the golf industry and a journalism graduate from Carleton University.
Nick Taylor - After a season of consistency, but no victories, I have a feeling Taylor will finally get one to close out the year, and move in to The Five
Eugene Wong - Good vibes after visiting Scarboro on Monday will translate into a solid performance this week.
Cory Renfrew - Third on tour in birdies with 126(!) this year. He's due for a big week, and at 13th on the money list, he wants to at least move to the Top 10.
Gord Holder, Ottawa Citizen
Gord Holder has been the Citizen's golf columnist since 1997, and an avid golfer even longer than that. The game and the stories of the people who play it have taken him all over Eastern Ontario and West Quebec and to several other parts of both provinces, as well as to Scotland and Sweden. He has also covered LPGA and PGA TOUR events and national, provincial and regional championships too numerous to mention at the amateur and professional levels. A graduate of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, he worked at newspapers in Portage la Prairie and Brandon, Man., before joining the Citizen.
Well … I flopped last week with my "these guys need good finishes to get into top-five position" theory, so for the final event of the season I'm going with two of the top five on the money list and a longshot who needs a really good finish to get there.
Mackenzie Hughes - Couldn't pick him last week because of the prohibition on selecting the same golfer twice in a row, so I'm making up for it here by taking the tour's overall money leader.
Hugo Leon - No. 3 in earnings, he needs to play well to secure one of the five available Web.Com Tour cards for 2014.
Lucas Lee - Two top 10s (second and T7) and two finishes in the 30s (T31 and T36) have been good, but missed cuts in the other four events have left him in 17th on the list with $22,374. I'm pinning my own hopes of moving up on his need to finish at or near the top of the leader board this week.
Curtis Stock, Edmonton Journal @CurtisJStock
A sports writer for the Edmonton Journal, Curtis has been covering golf for almost two decades. A member of SCOREgolf magazine's Top 100 panel, Curtis was recently presented with an Order of Merit by Golf Canada (Royal Canadian Golf Association).
Jeremy Estey, VIGolf.ca @VIGolf
Mackenzie Hughes - Despite a few too many missed cuts this year, the tourneys he has made the cut in he finished in 3rd, 2nd, followed by a win last week....enough said.
Joe Panzeri - The guy is on the bubble of "The 5", I would think that is enough to get him focused on having a good week.
Cory Renfrew - I know how bad he wants to be playing The Web.com tour next year, and with this being the final tourney he will have the all or nothing attitude. And let's be honest the guy is too good not to be there next year.
Todd Saelhof, Calgary Sun @SaelhofGolf
Todd Saelhof is your average golfer -- more a hacker than a low-handicapper -- who loves the sport and how it challenges patience and potential. Todd is the Calgary Sun’s golf editor. He's hoping one day to crack 80 to prove that a golfer with a slice in his 40s can indeed get better with age. After traveling all over North America to golf, Todd believes you can't beat Alberta/B.C. golf, where the mountains offer a fantastic backdrop and a magnificent canvas from which to carve the best courses on the globe.
Fraser Mulholland, Former PGA TOUR Canada Player and Commissioner of the Vancouver Golf Tour. @vancouvergolf
The Scottish-born Fraser Mulholland had golf in his genes since the age of 7. Fraser kept his attention to golf while he studied at UBC and played on the Men’s Varsity Golf Team. A PGA member of Canada since 1992, Fraser has accumulated 19 years of experience in professional golf instruction, tournament play and golf course & tournament operations. Fraser has become one of the most accomplished professional golfers in BC and in Canada, winning 38 professional tournaments. In 2006 Fraser embarked on a journey to create a Developmental Tour for the local talent and created the Vancouver Golf Tour, now recognized as Western Canada’s Premier Developmental Tour.
Nick Taylor – So many good weeks out on PGA TOUR Canada. Any player that leads the birdie stats on tour is bound to finally win!
Kevin Stinson – This 2-time winner on the VGT has shown some great form as of late.
Riley Wheeldon – After a couple of missed cuts, Riley’s game is back on form with a top 10 finish last week.
Rick Young, SCORE Golf @RickSCOREGolf
Into his 30th year as a golf journalist Rick Youngcurrently serves the Canadian golf industry as Business & Equipment Analyst for SCOREGolf, back page columnist for Golf Canada Magazine and as a regular contributor for Pro Shop, Macleans and PGA of Canada's Pro:Formance Magazine. He is Past President and one of the founding members of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC).