McQuillan 54th in PGA debut

MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

KINGSTON -- Though it was not a super Sunday in Hawaii, Matt McQuillan’s debut on the PGA Tour certainly will go down as a success.

The Kingston golfer made the trimmed-down cut with a big finish in the second round of the rain-delayed Sony Open on Saturday, allowing McQuillan to play the final 36 holes on a gruelling Sunday.

While McQuillan settled for a tie for 54th (56 players played the final two rounds instead of the usual 70 and ties due to the rain-out on Thursday), just earning Sunday playing privileges was quite a feat for a man ranked 1,000th in the world golf rankings. For his efforts, McQuillan earned $12,705 US.

McQuillan, who was five-over for the final two rounds to finish at two-over for the tournament, qualified for Sunday play by notching birdies on his final two holes on Saturday. He made a clutch 12-foot birdie putt on his 17th hole and then two-putted on his final hole ― the par-5 ninth ― to move on.

“He wasn’t sure if he needed one or two (birdies heading to his 17th hole),” Kevin Dickey, McQuillan’s coach, said. “When he walked up to (the final) green, he knew he needed to two-putt.”

Playing 36 holes with no more than a half-hour break on Sunday proved to be a daunting task.

In the big picture, however, the result has to please McQuillan. Twenty-seven rookies teed off at the Sony Open and just five were still playing on Sunday.

Three Canadians were in the field (the others were David Hearn of Brantford and Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C.), but only McQuillan survived the axe.

And 144 players started play and many big names exited before McQuillan, including Vijay Singh, John Daly and Charles Howell III.

“Overall, it’s fantastic,” Dickey said. “He’ll make some money and everything helps in the re-shuffle. He got up and down quite a bit. He knows even when he’s not playing great, he can hang in there.”

American Mark Wilson won the tournament at 16-under.

McQuillan heads back to California on Monday. He is the third alternate for this week’s Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, so he has to play the waiting game.

Next week’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego features a bigger field ― meaning McQuillan is a very good bet to get in for that tourney.


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