Naidoo earns conditional membership in Canada

Feb 27, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Two consecutive closing bogeys cost Dylan Naidoo his chance of exemption on the Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada for 2021, but his closing 68 on Friday saw him finish the Q-School-USA East 1 in Weston, Florida in the United States in ninth place.

Naidoo achieved that by shooting rounds of 73-69-68-68 to earn conditional status on the tour. The former Arkansas Razorback from South Africa turned pro in 2019, playing full seasons at home on the Sunshine Tour in both 2019 and 2020. He made 15 2019 starts, getting to the weekend eight times. His best performance was a tie for ninth at the Sun Sibaya Challenge, falling by four shots to winner Hennie Otto. A year later, in 17 appearances, Naidoo made 11 cuts and posted one top-10 –at the Betway Championship in August. That week he tied for ninth, finishing six shots behind winner Darren Fichardt.

Naidoo raced out to five-under through the turn, making birdies on one, two, five, six and nine, and he got it to six-under with a birdie on the 11th. But things tightened up for him on the home stretch, as he made three bogeys in the final four holes – on 15, 17 and 18. They were punctuated by his seventh birdie of the round, which came on 16.

The tournament was won by Colombia’s Camilo Aguado, who led from wire to wire, opening with the best round of the tournament, a 62, and closing with a level-par 72 for a three-stroke victory over America’s Jason Thresher. That gave Aguado exemption for the whole of the Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada season.

Players from positions two through six are exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season, while those from seventh to 25th – including Naidoo –gained conditional membership.

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