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Markle leads final four into RBC Canadian Open

David Markle of Shelburne, Ont. carded a round of 5-under 66 to top the 52-player field during Monday's Final Qualifier at Heron Point Golf Links near Hamilton, Ont., and earn an exemption into this week's RBC Canadian Open.

Markle, who got into the qualifier by posting the low round at the regional qualifier in Épiphanie, Que. earlier this month, will be making his first appearance at the RBC Canadian Open.

Jon Mills of Belleville, Ont., a veteran of eight Canadian Opens, also earned a spot in the 103rd playing of Canada's National Open Golf Championship by finishing second with a round of 68. Victor Ciesielski of Cambridge, Ont. and Ben Ferguson of Ancaster, Ont. also qualified by finishing tied for third at 2-under 69.

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The 27-year-old Markle is a former standout at Kent State University and a former Team Canada member. A quarterfinalist at the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship in 2007, Markle represented Canada internationally at both the Four Nations Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship.

Also a product of Kent State University, Mills will be making his ninth appearance in the Canadian Open and his first since 2010. This year has been a bit of a struggle for the two-time Tour winner. After barely missing out on his PGA Tour card two years ago, Mills has limited status on the developmental tour in 2012 and has missed four of five cuts. He also failed to make the cut in his only PGA Tour start at the Greenbrier Classic.

Ciesielski will be making his third appearance in Canada's National Open Championship and his first in five years. A product of both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Waterloo, the former Team Canada member earned a spot in the Final Qualifier by finishing tied for fifth at a regional qualifying event in Ontario last month.

Ferguson was the 2004 Great Lakes Order of Merit Winner and Player of the Year. He competed in both the 2001 and 2007 Canadian Opens, missing the cut on both occasions.

The addition of the four players brings the total number of Canadians who will be in the field this week at Hamilton Golf and Country Club to 23.

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