WATERLOO — The Canadian golf season is winding down and Ben Moser is already looking ahead to next year with great anticipation and high expectations.
Moser rebounded from a slow start last week to earn exempt status (full playing privileges) on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour in 2013. The University of Houston graduate finished at even-par 288 (76-71-69-72) at Burlington’s Crosswinds Golf and Country Club to finish in ninth place at the Canadian Tour’s fall qualifying school. The top 15 players on the week earned exempt status for the Canadian Tour in 2013, a group that includes Alex Carrigan of Guelph.
Waterloo’s Josh Bamberger finished in a tie for 27th and earned non-exempt status.
Moser waited until just five minutes before the Sept. 21st entry deadline to cough up the $2,500 entry fee and give Q-school a shot.
“I wasn’t really sure but then I decided to enter because I’m still young (26) and I don’t have mortgage payments and things like that. And I’ve been playing pretty good golf this year, which was also obviously important,” the left-hander said.
“I knew that even if I didn’t make it, I would be OK back where I was . . . and if I did make it, it would give me another opportunity to make something of it.”
Moser has been teaching and fitting clubs at the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear this year and also competing at Ontario PGA events, where he is currently fourth on the Assistants’ Order of Merit. A strong performance at the inaugural Southern Ontario Open in August — and event that featured a number of Canadian Tour players — also helped Moser with his decision.
“I did well (a tie for 22nd) and I didn’t play as well as I could have. I felt that I really left a lot out there and that really gave me the itch,” he said.
There was also plenty of encouragement from people at Whistle Bear.
“I talked to people at they said ‘Ben, if you don’t try, you’re an idiot,’ ’’ he said.
Moser has no idea what to expect from his rookie season on the Canadian Tour, which received a financial lifeline from the PGA Tour to operate in 2012. The Canadian Tour staged just eight official events this year and no one is sure what to expect in 2013.
There is still speculation that the PGA Tour could assume full responsibility for the Canadian circuit, which could lead to more events and bigger purses, but nothing has been announced.
Moser plans on spending a portion of the winter in Florida to work on his game and will also be seeking out potential sponsors to help with expenses.