Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 11:03
Sunday, 27 May 2012 10:30
by Gord Montgomery
Despite having a roomful of people that can lend a hand at the drop of a hat, Edmonton’s Steven Lecuyer said he’s already mapped out how he wants to approach his first year of play on the Canadian Tour.
Lecuyer, 23, who graduated from Central Arkansas University and played on their varsity golf team, made the grade in pro golf in his first attempt at getting his card.
He shot relatively consistent rounds of 75-71-73-74 to finish in a tie for 15th place at Q-School where the top 30 players in the field of 149 earned full status on the CanTour for the 2012 season.
As a youngster who grew up in a golfing family – his dad and two uncles are club professionals and his sister, Christina, appeared twice on Golf Channel’s Big Break – Steven said he felt he had as good a chance as anyone at the qualifying event in San Jancinto, California.
“I wasn’t really familiar with a lot of the players but going in I thought it was going to be a pretty good competition, and it was,” he noted. “I think if I play fairly decent I can compete at that level.”
As he went through the four rounds, Lecuyer said the fact he was close to the top of the leader board for the majority of the time didn’t really phase him at all.
“I really didn’t think about winning it,” he said. “You really don’t need to do that. There’s really no point. You’re not going to get anything extra. You’re basically there to get your card and get out of there.”
That’s exactly what he did, and despite never trying to qualify for his tour card before and only having tasted pro tournament golf a couple of times, said he knew the caliber of player he’d be facing given his college career.
“I think it’s pretty similar,” he said of the level of opposition he faced. “A lot of the guys just graduated, went to college somewhere in the States. It was a pretty young field but you can’t really make as many mistakes as you can in college and hang around the lead. It’s similar.”
When he was in college in the U.S. Lecuyer managed to post one NCAA victory and another 23 top-10 finishes, meaning he was generally in the hunt for the title.
“Every week I just wanted a chance to win. I had a lot of seconds, thirds. I was always around the top, very consistent.”
However, with the change of level, he’s not sure if those past results will help him in his future endeavours.
“I can’t really comment on that right now. I’ve played a couple of professional events but nothing like this, on an actual tour. I don’t know if I can answer that right now. After the first two or three events I’m going to be able to benchmark myself with everyone else.”
Asked about goals he may have set for himself for the upcoming season, which tees off in Victoria at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open, Lecyer was cautious with predictions but noted at the same time there are marks he’d like to attain.
“I’d like to be in contention in every event, make all the cuts and just have a chance to win every week,” he stated. “That’s what I did in college and I plan on doing the same thing as a professional. Always be in contention. That makes golf fun, if you have a chance to win. You don’t want to be missing cuts or just finishing top 50, you know?”
As for the family input on his new career, Steven said while there’s lots of help close at hand, so far it’s been pretty generic.
“They’re saying ‘Good job,’ and ‘Keep on working hard and see how far you can go.’ Nothing specific, just keep working hard, that’s basically it.”
Bateman Also Qualifies
Another Edmonton-area golfer, Wilson Bateman, will be the youngest player on the Canadian Tour this summer as he earned his non-exempt status after finishing in a tie for 32nd in California, with rounds of 73-77-73-74.
He just missed full playing privileges after bogeying Nos. 15, 16 and 17 in his final round before canning a birdie putt on No. 18 to earn his status.
"The way it works is that missing by just one shot I will basically still be able to get into every Canadian Tour event," said the 18-year old Bateman, the youngest player to receive his card and the second-youngest golfer in the field.
"I should be good for the entire year," he said.
Bateman admitted that his final hole was crucial after the 3 straight bogeys, "Yeah, that birdie was big," said Bateman, who plays out of Blackhawk. "It gave me high status without getting my full card."
Given the popularity of the Canadian Tour on its stop in Edmonton, it’s likely both men will have a large contingent of family and friends cheering them on in the Edmonton Telus Open from June 21-14.
The season kicks off in Victoria, June 7-10 and in all there are 11 events on the Canadian Tour this year.
About the writer: Gord Montgomery is the sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He has written for Inside Golf for the past four years with the majority of his coverage in north and central Alberta.
He can be reached at
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