With a crucial up-and-down for birdie at the 72nd hole yesterday, Wes Homan of the U.S. claimed the inaugural Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel.
The 30-year-old prevailed in a dramatic fight to the finish over rookie Greg Eason of England, who made a clutch birdie of his own at the last to force Homan’s hand.
Homan calmly stepped up and drained a six-footer, punctuated with a pump of the fist, to secure his first win in four seasons on PGA Tour Canada.
The win moves Homan into the fifth spot on the Order of Merit halfway through the 2014 season, in position to earn Web.com Tour status in the season-long chase for The Five.
He began the day with a two-stroke advantage over Eason, a promising pro rookie.
Homan would lead by as many as four shots during the front nine, but came to the 72nd hole with a one-stroke lead. Eason, needing at least a birdie, struck a brilliant wedge shot to within two feet, setting the stage for Homan, who needed to get up-and-down from some 60 feet away.
He responded beautifully with a chip that caught a piece of the hole and ran out to six feet, then poured in the putt to seal the victory.
The $27,000 winner’s check put him at $35,692 in season-long earnings.
PERSONS SECURES RBC CANADIAN OPEN SPOT WITH CLOSING BIRDIE
Though he didn’t know where he stood exactly, American Josh Persons knew a birdie at the 72nd hole would go a long way in helping him move up to No. 3 on the Order of Merit and secure a spot in this week’s RBC Canadian Open.
As it turns out, the birdie Persons posted made all the difference, allowing him to finish in a four-way tie for 11th and make just enough to sneak by incumbent No. 3 Matt Harmon, who missed the cut. One shot higher, and he would have missed out by $155.
Order of Merit leader Joel Dahmen, who finished T5 to extend his lead at the top, and No. 2 Tim Madigan had already secured spots in the top three for this week and will both make their PGA Tour debuts.
In addition to the top three, three other PGA Tour Canada members have already gained entry into the field. Burlington’s Michael Gligic and Montreal’s Beon-Yeong Lee won regional qualifiers to get in, while North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong was extended a sponsor exemption last night to confirm his fifth RBC Canadian Open start.
PGA Tour Canada
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