“I knew where I stood but I didn’t realize that I made seven birdies in a row,” said the 23-year old Roque. “It took a lot out of me today and I’m glad I was able to stay present and pull out the win.”
Roque’s score of 61 tied a course record set by Canadian Tour member Roger Sloan in 2010. The Monterey Park, CA native started his closing run with a chip-in birdie on 12 and followed with six more birdies to finish at 14-under par, three shots ahead of Lucas Lee of Brazil and Victoria, BC native Cory Renfrew.
Third round leader Corey Renfrew pulled briefly into a tie with Roque after 15, but had to settle for 3rd place, despite a final round 68 (Photos by Mark Yager – ISN).
“If I wasn’t in contention I would have been pulling for Cory, He’s a great guy, but what can I say,” said Roque, who admitted he was mentally drained from the emotions following he record matching round. “I was really focused today and stuck to my plan of staying aggressive,” added Roque who earned $24,000 for the victory.
The aforementioned Renfrew had tied Roque briefly with a birdie of his own on the 15th, delighting the hometown fans who turned out in droves to cheer him on. But then, Roque added birdies at 16, 17 and 18 to run away from the field.
Renfrew, a UBC graduate, was also hoping to accomplish what Roque did and win his in his first attempt on the Canadian Tour, but fell just short despite a final-round 68 and the support of hundreds of locals.
Renfrew led by three heading into the final round, and was the only player in the field to break 70 in all four rounds. Despite his second place showing the Victoria rookie has to be proud of his performance in his Canadian Tour debut.
Lucas Lee made a charge of his own today posting his second 5-under round of the tournament. The Brazilian now has four second place showings to his credit since joining the Canadian Tour in 2009.
Derek Gillespie, who is playing in 2012 on a medical exemption after suffering severe injuries in a car accident in April of 2011, certainly served notice that he is ready to contend once again. The Oshawa, ON native last won on the Canadian Tour in 2003 and sits in fourth spot on the all time money list.
Gillespie finished in fourth spot alone with a final 4-under 66.
With his second place showing Renfrew grabbed the early lead in the Canadian Rookie of the Year race on the Canadian Tour presented by The Great Waterway. Renfrew earned $11,700 and has a $6,800 lead over fellow rookie Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, BC.
The Canadian Tour’s next full field event is the ATB Financial Classic in Edmonton at Windermere Golf & Country Club. Hugo Leon of Chile will be defending his title beginning June 21, 2012. Next week a select group of Canadian Tour players will be playing in the Home Hardware Sun Rivers Pro Am in Kamloops which goes June 14 and 15 (unofficial event).