My latest Sympatico column, about the final weeks of the Nationwide Tour and the Canadians involved, is now online. Lorne Rubenstein in the Globe coincidently wrote on a similar topic that can be found here.
Here’s a taste from my column:
While the PGA Tour winds down after the $10-million FedEx Cup, a number of Canadian golfers are still battling through a handful of tournaments that could play an important role in the direction of their careers.
. They may not be playing for millions of viewers on television, but in terms of their future, it is equally important.
“All I need is a good week of some sort,” says Vernon, B.C. native Chris Baryla, while walking The Country Club Soboba Springs in California, home of this week’s Nationwide Tour stop. “A Top 3 finish might put me in the mix.”
Baryla is one of those players on the bubble on the Nationwide Tour, golf’s version of Triple-A baseball. There are really only two ways to make the jump to the big leagues of the PGA Tour “ through the meat grinder that is PGA Tour qualifying school or by being one of the Top 25 players on the Nationwide Tour money list. Baryla enters this week at #53, but only $50,000 out of the group that will play on the PGA Tour next year. He’s one of a number of notable Canadians in the same predicament. Oshawa’s Jon Mills, who spent the 2008 season on the PGA Tour, is #42, while Alberta native Dustin Risdon is at #35 in his rookie season on the Nationwide Tour. Other Canadians hoping for a break from farther down the money list include Brantford, Ont.’s David Hearn, Aurora, Ont. native David Morland IV, Cambridge, Ont. veteran Ian Leggat and longtime standout Jim Rutledge.