Brian Hadley shot a sizzling 5-under 66 to win Tuesday's RBC Canadian Open Ontario Regional Qualifier at Greystone GOlf Club in Milton, Ont.
With the win the 32-year-old Sarnia, Ont., golfer earned an exemption into this month's Canadian National Open Championship to be played at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., July 25-28.
The win was the latest in a stretch of good golf for Hadley, an assistant golf pro at Thames Valley Golf Club in London, Ont.
“I’ve been playing pretty well of late; I had a few good rounds at Magna last week and felt like today I got the ball rolling pretty good again,” said Hadley, who made it all the way to the quarterfinals at last week's PGA Championship of Canada.
“I’ve never played or even been to Glen Abbey before so I’m looking forward to seeing the golf course and even that famous bunker on 18.”
The bunker Hadley is referring to is the one Tiger Woods made famous at the 2000 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey. Holding a one stroke lead over Grant Waite, who was on the 18th green with an eagle opportunity, Woods hit a 6-iron out of a fairway bunker some 216 yards away, flying the pond that protected the front of the green, ultimately leaving himself with a birdie putt for the win. The shot is considered one of the best ever produced in PGA Tour history.
Hadley will be making his second career PGA Tour start having previously Monday qualified for the 2007 Buick Open.
“It’s pretty exciting to play against a world-class field in the (RBC) Canadian Open,” said Hadley. “Just to get back out into that atmosphere. You get a taste of it and you want that again.”
Twenty other players finished even par or better to advance to the final Monday qualifier to be held July 22nd at Heron Point Golf Links in Alberton, Ont. Among them were Cam Burke of New Hamburg, Ont., Yohann Benson of Montreal, Christopher Ross of Dundas, Ont., David Markle of Shelburne, Ont. and amateur Brian Churchill-Smith of Oakville, Ont.,
Among the notables who failed to qualify were Andrew Parr of London, Ont., Victor Ciesielski of Cambridge, Ont. and Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont.
A third and final regional qualifier will be held Wednesday at Club de Golf d l’ile de Montreal (Irlande Course) in Montreal.