Brian Decker – PGA Tour Canada
June 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – With two birdies over his final three holes and a 6-under par 66, Marysville, Ohio’s Stephen Gangluff became the winner of PGA TOUR Canada’s inaugural event, capturing the Times Colonist Island Savings Open by two shots over Nampa, Idaho’s Tyler Aldridge.
Gangluff, who captured the Order of Merit on what was the Canadian Tour in 2006, earned $27,000 for the win and put himself atop the standings for the The Five Web.com Tour cards for 2014 that will be handed out at season’s end.
“I haven’t been in this situation in a long time,” said Gangluff, who was a PGA TOUR member in 2012 before returning to PGA TOUR Canada Q-School this past April, where he earned exempt status. “This win means the world to me.”
Times Colonist Island Savings Open – Final Leaderboard
1. Stephen Gangluff (Marysville, Ohio) – 69-68-66-66 (-11)
2. Tyler Aldridge (Nampa, Idaho) – 67-68-67-69 (-9)
3. Riley Wheeldon (Comox, British Columbia) – 65-72-69-67 (-7)
T-4. Devin Carrey (Surrey, British Columbia) – 68-68-70-68 (-6)
T-4. Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, British Columbia) – 67-70-67-70 (-6)
T-4. Matt Marshall (Marana, Arizona) – 63-70-69-72 (-8)
T-4. David Skinns (Lincoln, United Kingdom) – 65-70-65-74 (-6)
Gangluff started the day three shots behind 54-hole leader David Skinns, but found himself tied for the lead with a front nine of 2-under 33 while Skinns, who fell to a tie for fourth with a 74, bogeyed two of the first three holes. Gangluff made birdie on 16 to reach 10-under par, a number Aldridge tied shortly after with a birdie on the par-3 17th.
Standing on the 72nd tee, Gangluff said he knew he could take control of the tournament with a solid drive and a birdie opportunity.
“I just stood up to it and said ‘hit it as hard as you can,'” said Gangluff. “I was trying to make birdie.”
After a 98-yard approach to five feet, Gangluff rolled in the birdie putt to post his second straight round of 66 and an 11-under par total. Aldridge had a 25-foot birdie putt to force a playoff on the 18th, but would go on to three-putt, giving Gangluff his first win in nearly seven years in Canada.
“It’s a new life for me,” said an emotional Gangluff. “To come out here and win in my first event since 2006 is pretty hard to describe.”
WHEELDON BECOMES FIRST FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL CANADIAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Comox, British Columbia’s Riley Wheeldon not only posted a career best third place finish on Sunday, he became the first Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week, earning a $1,500 annuity. Wheeldon shot a 3-under 67 on Sunday to finish 7-under overall, edging out fellow British Columbians Devin Carrey and Nick Taylor for low Canadian honours.
The 22-year old drew a large gallery on Sunday, playing alongside fellow Vancouver Islander Darren Griff of Nanaimo, and said the experience of being in contention and finishing as low Canadian were a valuable learning experience.
“Any time you can finish up the leaderboard and get in the hunt, you can draw again on that in the future,” said Wheeldon. “Each time you’re out here and get in contention it means a lot, and I hope I’m able to get in contention more often.”
The top Canadian on the Order of Merit will be named Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and receive a $10,000 cash prize.
RENFREW MAKES SUNDAY CHARGE: After making the cut on the number, Victoria’s own Cory Renfrew said he would be aiming at every flagstick on the weekend to try and get back into the tournament. He did exactly that on Sunday, firing a 4-under par 66 to finish four-under total and in a tie for eighth.
“On Friday afternoon I said I would be excited to get into the weekend and I was for sure,” said Renfrew, who finished tied for second here last year. “It was one of those days I went at everything and tried to make every single putt.”
Renfrew was followed by a gallery of friends, fans and family members who were treated to a round of five birdies and just one bogey. The 27-year old nearly won the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in 2012, taking the 54-hole lead and shooting a 68 on Sunday, but was surpassed by champion Andrew Roque, who shot a 61 to win by three.
LOOKING AHEAD: PGA TOUR Canada moves on to Calgary, Alberta in two weeks for the ATB Financial Classic presented by Telus, June 17-23 at Country Hills Golf Club.
– Weather: Sunny, 18 degrees Celsius, winds 26 km/h gusting to 40 km/h
– Gangluff won the 2006 Canadian Tour Order of Merit, capturing the Telus Edmonton Open and the Fallsview Casino Pro-Am Resort Classic and earning $65,154 for the season.
– Tyler Aldridge’s runner-up finish was a career best, topping a ninth place result at last year’s Times Colonist Island Savings Open.
– Stephen Gangluff (69-68-66-66) and Tyler Aldridge (67-68-67-69) were the only players to shoot rounds in the 60s all four days.
– Four Canadians, all from British Columbia, were in the top 10. Comox’s Riley Wheeldon led the way along with Surrey’s Devin Carrey (T-4), Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor (T-4) and Victoria’s Cory Renfrew (T-8).