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|Luke Swilor, shown here at a pro-am in Wyoming, will soon be playing on a bigger stage. (Courtesy bbhc.org/golf/home.cfm)|
As a young golfer working his way up the pro-golf ladder while writing about it online, Luke Swilor has become something of a favorite among golf bloggers, who are quick to celebrate his successes and commiserate with his failures.
Lately there's been more of the former for the 25-year-old University of Utah grad, who recently earned a Canadian Tour card. Swilor talked to WorldGolf.com about this new stage in his burgeoning golf career.
WorldGolf: What did you have to do to get a Canadian Tour card?
Luke Swilor: The Canadian Tour Q School was down in San Diego this year. There were around 140 players [trying] for 30 fully exempt cards. I went down, got off to a rough start, and played great the last three days to finish tied for 15th. It was a very strong field, so I really had to battle down the stretch to get a card.
WG: What does this mean for your career?
LS: It is another step in the right direction. The Canadian Tour is one of the seven recognized international tours. This is a true international tour. The events have the setup and feel of what a tour event should feel like - gallery, media, the course to ourselves for a week. So it should add another level of experience that will help me to continue my progression as a player.
WG: Will you be spending most your time in Canada now? How many tournaments will this make you eligible for, and what are purses like?
LS: I'm fully exempt, so I'll be able to play every event on the schedule. The only exception is the Canadian Open [a PGA Tour event], which I will have to be in the top six on the Order of Merit to qualify for.
The purses aren't huge, especially when you compare them to the Nationwide and PGA tours, but they're not mini events either. They range anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000, so they are at or above mini-tour levels.
WG: Will you still compete on other tours?
LS: I also earned my U.S. Pro Golf Tour card this winter, so I'll probably play a little bit there as well. I will also play in a few "open" events around the West, along with various Nationwide qualifiers throughout the year.
WG: Will this give you a shot at getting into PGA Tour events, or help the process of getting your Tour card?
LS: Being in the top six on the Order of Merit will get you into the Canadian Open. The top so many will also get exempt [for the] second stage of Tour school. The [Canadian] tour also feeds into some of the other international tours, like the South African Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour. World ranking points are also in play every week, although on an obviously small scale.
WG: Anyone you want to mention as far as thanks?
LS: I have to always thank my family. They've been there throughout it all, so their support has been priceless. Financially, a little help is always needed in this game. They know who they are, and I can't thank them enough.
WG: How's your game, and do you feel excited, ready for this new challenge?
LS: My game is good. I've always struggled during the spring season, but any rust seems to be gone. I feel like I'm in mid-season form, so I'm very excited to get this underway. I'm pumped. New doors can be opened, and I'm comin' a knockin'.
May 9, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
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