Brian Decker – PGA Tour Canada
September 15, 2013, London, ON (ISN) – Max Gilbert of St. Georges, Quebec won the TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial Sunday, making birdie at the penultimate hole to take the lead and two putting for the win by one shot over Scottsdale, Arizona’s Trevor Murphy.
Gilbert, a 23-year old in his first year as a professional, carded a final round 66 to capture his first professional victory and the $27,000 winner’s cheque, putting him 13th on the Order of Merit.
Final leaderboard – TOUR Championship presented by Freedom 55 Financial
(Bold denotes Canadian)
1. Max Gilbert – 66 (-20)
2. Trevor Murphy – 68 (-19)
T-3. Jose Toledo – 66 (-14)
T-3. Eugene Wong – 67 (-14)
T-5. Nathan Tyler – 68 (-13)
T-5. Alex Kang – 73 (-13)
“When I arrived here this week I didn’t think I could win. It’s unbelievable,” said Gilbert, who played one year for the Université Laval Rouge et Or before turning professional.
Starting the day one shot behind Murphy, the 54-hole leader, Gilbert got out of the gate quickly with a birdie on the first hole and went out in 32 to take the lead at 19-under par. He would get to 20-under par with a birdie on 12 but after a bogey on 13 and a Murphy birdie at 15, the two were tied at the top.
After a 9-iron approach from 150 yards on the 17th hole, however, Gilbert rolled in a 20-footer for birdie to regain the lead at 20-under par. Murphy would give himself a 20-footer of his own at 18 to force a playoff, but his putt carried too much speed and bounced off the back of the cup, giving Gilbert a simple two-putt from 15 feet for the win.
“I knew I was going to need a birdie coming in, and thought I would need another one at 18,” said Gilbert, who qualified for the Order of Merit-only TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial thanks to a T-22 finish at The Players Cup, which he Monday qualified for.
Murphy carded a final round 68 to finish a season-best 2nd place, while defending champion Eugene Wong shot a final round 67 to place tied for third alongside Oak Park, California’s Alex Kang.
Big moves made on Order of Merit
Several players made big moves up the Order of Merit on Sunday, using solid performances at the season’s final event to secure coveted spots on the season-long money list. The top five players on the Order of Merit earned Web.com Tour status for 2014, with players finishing sixth through 10th earning an exemption into the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School and players finishing 11th through 20th earning an exemption into second stage. Below is a list of players who improved their position this week.
Mark Hubbard: Finished tied for eighth and moved from sixth to third on the Order of Merit, earning a Web.com Tour card
Max Gilbert: Won and finished 13th on the Order of Merit, earning an exemption into the second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
Trevor Murphy: Finished solo second and 20th on the Order of Merit, earning an exemption into the second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School
Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week
With his victory at the TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial, Max Gilbert was named Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week, earning a $1,500 prize.
Hughes wins PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year, Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year
Mackenzie Hughes was the last man standing atop the Order of Merit, claiming the top spot with $52,114.29 to win both PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year and Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year. Hughes claimed the top spot thanks to a victory at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic and top-three finishes at The Players Cup and The Wildfire Invitational. As Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year, Hughes won a $10,000 prize.
– Weather: Cloudy with showers in the late afternoon, 15 degrees Celsius, wind 10 km/h
– Max Gilbert is the second straight non-member to win the TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial after Eugene Wong last year, and the second straight non-member to win after Mackenzie Hughes last week at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic
– Max Gilbert is the third Canadian to win on PGA TOUR Canada this season
– Max Gilbert is the fourth player to win by shooting four rounds in the 60s this year
– The following players started the week outside the top 60 on the Order of Merit but played their way in this week