Nine Mackenzie Tour Alums Earn PGA TOUR Cards


It’s funny how inauspiciously a PGA TOUR journey can start.

For Kramer Hickok, tying for 15th at the 2017 PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament didn’t raise any eyebrows. But what came next certainly did.

After a relatively slow start to his Mackenzie Tour season -- failing to find a top-10 finish through the first month -- Hickok suddenly caught fire, winning The Players Cup and quickly following it with a tie for second at the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel.

Add another win and a tie for 19th at the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open, not to mention the No. 1 spot on the Mackenzie Tour money list, and the Texan knew he was ready.

“I’ve known for so long that I’ve been good enough. Last year was such a big stepping stone for me,” said Hickok upon receiving his 2019 PGA TOUR card Sunday in Portland, Oregon. “There are eight or nine guys I play golf with from that 2011 (high school) graduating class that are buddies of mine that I know I can beat. It’s nice to know when I go home and play with Jordan (Spieth) or whoever, that if I can beat the No. 6 player in the world, I can beat other players as well.”

That is exactly what Hickok did on the 2018 Tour. Following his stellar Canadian campaign, he picked up seven top-25s, including a second- and a third-place showing, ending the year at No. 23 on the money list, enough to earn his PGA TOUR card.

“Although I didn’t win (this season), I was able to use those past memories, looking back and drawing on past experiences to help me throughout the year,” said Hickok of his lone Mackenzie Tour season. “That gave me a lot of confidence to know I’m able to play at a high level.”

Hickok isn’t alone. He is joined by seven other Mackenzie Tour alums who earned their cards at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz.

Chase Wright

Making the jump alongside Hickok from the Mackenzie Tour to the Tour in 2018, Chase Wright found the winner’s circle in Calgary at last season’s ATB Financial Classic, shooting a final-round 67 for his lone victory of the season.

Wright parlayed his eighth-place finish on the Order of Merit into a spot at the Tour Qualifying Tournament and picked up the biggest win of his career, at the Rust-Oleum Championship in June. With the win, Wright earned enough money to eventually finish the season as the ninth-ranked player on the Tour.

Adam Long


In 2014, his lone season on the Mackenzie Tour, Long racked up a pair of top-10s, including a T2 finish at the Great Waterway Classic.

Building off the momentum, Long finished in the top-75 on the Tour in each season from 2015-2017, before finally breaking through this past year on the Tour with five top-10 finishes to come 13th on the money list.

Adam Svensson

Adam Svensson of Surrey, British Columbia, played with confidence during the 2015 Mackenzie Tour season, placing in the top 20 in all six events he played. His season included two ties for second, a tie for third and a tie for fourth. Keeping the momentum going, Svensson won Tour Q-School Finals later in the fall and hasn’t relinquished his status since, having his best season in 2018, placing 14th on the money list, thanks to a win at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club in January.

Proving he can play at the highest level, Svensson’s PGA TOUR history includes a tie for 34th at the 2015 RBC Canadian Open and a tie for 47th at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.

Julian Etulain

For others, it was the journey to reach the PGA TOUR. For Julian Etulain, it was the quest to return. While he made five cuts on the Mackenzie Tour in 2014, Etulain made his statement on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica that year, winning twice and picking up three other top-three finishes to earn Tour status as the Tour’s top money winner.

Finishing in the 20th spot on the 2016 Tour money list to earn his PGA TOUR card, Etulain is reclaiming membership via his 17th-place finish on the 2018 money list due in large part to a victory at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER.

Joey Garber

While Joey Garber’s 2015 Mackenzie Tour campaign resulted in just a single top-20 and three made cuts, it was a top-30 finish at Tour Qualifying Tournament in the Fall of 2017 that set up the Petoskey, Michigan, native for success. That came when he won the Rex Hospital Open in June, a tournament where he enjoyed four consecutive rounds in the 60s.

Though Garber has only managed three made cuts since, his hot start to the season has set him up to begin his PGA TOUR career as the 19th-ranked player on the Tour money list.

Brady Schnell

Brady Schnell’s professional golf journey has led him across the globe, playing on four separate PGA TOUR-sanctioned Tours since 2007. In 2014, Schnell found success on the Mackenzie Tour, finishing in the top 10 on three separate occasions to finish the season No. 16 on the Order of Merit. Earning full status from Tour Q-school in 2017, Schnell had the best season of his career in 2018, winning the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth in June, the same tournament PGA TOUR winner and Mackenze Tour alum Aaron Wise claimed a year prior.

For the first time in his career, Schnell, a Spencer, Iowa, native has PGA TOUR status after his 22nd-place finish on the Tour money list, a position he will look to improve on his position in the Tour Finals.

Hank Lebioda

Hank Lebioda earned his PGA TOUR card by less than U.S. $2,000 over 26th-ranked Kevin Dougherty, and he did so despite not claiming a Tour win this past season. Lebioda, a 2017 Mackenzie Tour winner, claiming the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval, completed the 2018 Tour season with three top-10 finishes, good enough to place him 11th on the money list.

Playing his way onto the Tour, with two consecutive top-10 finishes in the Bahamas in January, Lebioda continued succeed on the circuit, tying for second at the Rex Hospital Open and tying for fourth at the LECOM Health Challenge.

Lebioda, along with the other seven Mackenzie Tour alums, are set to make their PGA TOUR debut this fall.

John Chin

With two top-10 finishes and four top-25s, Chin brought his A-game to the Tour in 2018.

In what can best be described as a clutch final tournament of the regular season, Chin shot a final round 66 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz to finish 10th on the money list.