Player defeats coach for PGA Tour event spot
by Sean Martin
The playoff between Gunner Wiebe and Tim Mickelson for a spot in next year’s PGA Tour stop in San Diego didn’t disappoint. Wiebe, the son of two-time PGA Tour winner Mark Wiebe, holed a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to beat his college coach, 73-74.
The victory earned Wiebe, a junior at the University of San Diego, a spot in the Century Club of San Diego Invitational, which will be played Jan. 28-31 at Torrey Pines.
“I’m happy that he gets to play in it,” said Mickelson, who played the PGA Tour event in 1999. “I wish there was a way we could both play, but that’s not going to happen. I hope this will jump-start his career.”
Wiebe and Mickelson shot 69 last month to tie for first in a one-spot amateur qualifier for the Tour event. They halved four holes of sudden death before darkness halted the playoff, then decided to hold an 18-hole playoff to determine the winner.
The playoff put Mickelson in a tough spot. He wanted to play in the Tour event for a second time, but not at the expense of his player.
“I think he was a lot looser about it than I was,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t one of the most enjoyable rounds. Not because of the company, but because of the circumstances.”