Newfoundlander Blair Bursey will be in Ile Bizard, Que., on Tuesday to take part in qualifying day for the MacKenzie Investments Open, a MacKenzie Tour (PGA Canadian Tour) event. And besides his clubs, the 22-year-old Gander should be carrying the confidence he gained this past week in Tottenham, Ont.
It was there that Bursey registered one of his best results as a professional golfer, finishing in a tie for fourth place at the Ontario Open, which wound up Thursday at Woodington Lake Golf Club.
The event featured an opening field of 144.
Bursey, who had led after the first round, concluded with a three-over-par 216 total at the par-71 course to earn $3,000 from the guaranteed $40,000 prize purse,
A three-time Newfoundland and Labrador amateur men’s champion, Bursey keyed the province’s first-ever win in Willingdon Cup inter-provincial team play in 2016. This was while attending Utah Valley University on an NCAA Division One golf scholarship.
This season, his first as a professional, saw him win the Orange Tree Shoot-Out, an Outlaw Tour event held in Scottsdale, Ariz., in April. And this came after a serious health scare. Suffering from diverticulitis and experience sepsis, Bursey had undergone surgery last Christmas Eve, requiring weeks of recovery.
It should be noted that field of competitors in Scottsdale was less than a third of that at Woodington Lake, where half the competitors were professionals. That includes Ontario Open winner Greg Eason of Kissimmee, Fla., who takes part in the PGA’s Latin American Tour. Eason was five-under par in winning the event.
Besides the Outlaw and MacKenzie Tours, Bursey has also competed in the Great Lakes Tour, as well as the New Hampshire Open this summer. He has conditional status for the MacKenzie Tour, meaning he must qualify for events on that circuit.
He has had a fairly rough go on the MacKenzie Tour, failing in three qualifiers, and missing the cut of a mid-July event in Halifax, However, in his nine other events, he has made the cut eight times. And Bursey had recent success in qualifying; that’s how he earned his berth into the Ontario Open.