August 25, 2013, Morrisburg, ON (ISN) – With birdies on two of his final three holes, Santiago, Chile’s Hugo Leon won The Great Waterway Classic on Sunday, shooting a final round 67 to win by one over Scottsdale, Arizona’s Brandon Harkins.
Leon earned his second career PGA TOUR Canada win and moved to no. 4 on the season long Order of Merit, in position to earn one of The Five Web.com Tour cards available at season’s end.
“I’m feeling great. I’m still floating right now,” said Leon. “I knew if I got to 17 within striking distance I was going to have a shot. I trusted that my game was going to come through for me.”
Harkins, looking for his first PGA TOUR Canada win, tied the course record with a 10-under par 62 and posted the clubhouse lead at 21-under par just over an hour before Leon reached the 72nd hole. But with 10-foot birdie putts on the 16th and 17th holes, the 28-year old Leon took control of the lead on his own, making a two-putt par from about 12 feet at the last to secure the win.
“I saw the leaderboard on the 14th hole and that Brandon posted 21-under, and it actually gave me a little relief,” said Leon. “It’s nice to know that there’s a number you need to match.”
The Chilean said a clutch 10-footer for par on the 11th hole spurred his strong finish, rolling in a tricky downhill put to keep momentum alive.
“If I had bogeyed 11 I would have been three back with seven to go, so that gave me a big boost,” said Leon.
The win sees Leon return to his success from 2011, when he won the ATB Financial Classic. The following winter, Leon suffered a hip injury that kept him from playing his best, but the Chilean said he’s fully recovered and playing better than ever now.
“This one is big for me,” said Leon. “My game hasn’t been the same for me since November of 2011, and I’ve worked as hard as I ever have in my life the last year and a half to get back there. I feel very accomplished right now and I feel very happy.”
Harkins’ solo second finish was a career-best on PGA TOUR Canada, while 54-hole leader Sean Shahi shot a final round 70 to finish third at 20-under par, also a career-best. Will Strickler, Josh Anderson and Joe Panzeri finished in a tie for fourth at 18-under par.
Leon jumps inside The Five with win
With his win at The Great Waterway Classic, Hugo Leon moved inside The Five with $35,825 in earnings. Below are the standings with three events to go:
1. Riley Wheeldon – $39,938
2. Wil Collins – $39,708
3. Joe Panzeri – $37,355
4. Hugo Leon – $35,825
5. Stephen Gangluff – $30,111
Hughes earns Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours
With a final round 66 and a 16-under par total, Dundas, Ontario’s Mackenzie Hughes earned Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours, finishing in a tie for 10th. Hughes won in a tiebreaker of Victoria, British Columbia’s Cory Renfrew and Langley, British Columbia’s Darren Wallace.
Each week, the top Canadian player will earn Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours and a $1,500 prize, with the highest Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end winning Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and a $10,000 prize.
Hughes earns a measure of redemption from earlier in the year, when he lost a tiebreaker to Regina, Saskatchewan’s Kent Eger at The Players Cup.
– Weather: Partly cloudy, 22 degrees Celsius, wind 15 km/h
– Leon’s 22-under par total is the lowest winning score on PGA TOUR Canada this year
– Harkins’ round of 62 tied the course record at Upper Canada Golf Course set by Andrew Georgiou earlier in the week
– Four players shot in the 60s all four rounds: Hugo Leon, Josh Anderson, Tony Finau and Mark Hubbard
– Justin Shin finished tied for 18th at 14-under par in his professional debut
– Chris Epperson finished tied for 7th to post his fourth top-10 of the season, tied with Nick Taylor for the most on Tour
– Photos from the final round of The Great Waterway Classic will be available here.