WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Earlier in the week, Doc Redman texted a few of his friends on the Mackenzie Tour-Canada wishing them luck in their season finale, the Canada Life Championship.
Had he wanted to jab them with a very big needle, he could have signed off by typing, “Wish you were here.”
Redman, the 2017 U.S. Amateur champion, is competing in this week’s season-opening event on the PGA Tour, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. But for one magical week in July—not far from the Canadian border, coincidentally—Redman instead could well be among the players grinding it out at Highland Country Club in London, Ont., where Korn Ferry Tour status will be determined for the top finishers on the Mackenzie Tour money list.
Total purse in Canada is $225,000. A two-way tie for eighth at The Greenbrier, where the purse is $7.5 million, will net a player $226,875.
“Yeah, it’s pretty crazy to think about it, how fortunate I feel to be here,” Redman said Friday after his three-under-par 67 on the Old White TPC Course lifted him to four-under 136 and inside the cutline. “Obviously, I played pretty well at the right time. I’m definitely enjoying this a lot more.”
Redman, 21, hasn’t competed on the Canadian circuit since the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open in late June, when he finished T-34. It was his fourth event of the season after finishes of T-40, second and T-19. He was 10th on the money list with $26,150 when that tour took a break.
Redman used the hiatus to try to Monday qualify for the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Championship in Detroit. He finished as the medalist to get into the field and then nearly joined Corey Conners as Monday qualifiers to win on the PGA Tour last season. Redman shot 19-under 269 to finish second behind Nate Lashley.
Not only did Redman get a bunch of FedEx Cup points (plus $788,000), but he and Lashley earned berths in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush, where Redman continued to play well. He ended up T-20 and, thus, secured his PGA Tour card by finishing among the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings as a nonmember.
No more Mackenzie Tour. No stopover on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“Yeah, that’s pretty nice to be able to do that,” said Redman, who is playing for the first time since he missed the cut in the Wyndham Championship. “I definitely didn’t think it would come this fast. I never really thought I’d be here after playing those first few events in Canada. But here I am.”
Does he feel like pinching himself? What do you think?
Nevertheless, Redman said he would have been fine with playing out the string in Canada and trying to work his way up the ladder with a stop on the Korn Ferry Tour. He knew he was playing well and with confidence.
Of course, he wouldn’t trade with any of his buddies hacking it out this week north of the border. He’ll not only be competing this week, but Redman is feeling fresh and plans to enter the next four tour events.
“I think it would have gone well if I were still playing in Canada. I was playing pretty solid,” Redman said. “But if I stop and think about it, I have even more of a perspective on things. This is where everyone wants to play, and I’ve already proven to myself that I can play out here, so, yeah, I'm enjoying it.”
In other words, he doesn’t wish to be anywhere else.