Dan McCarthy birdies 72nd hole for Freedom 55 Open win

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Dan McCarthy golf

The 30-year old veteran in his fifth Mackenzie Tour season managed a tricky two-putt from more than 80 feet away at the par-5 18th hole for birdie

(Vancouver, B.C.) – Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy came up clutch with a birdie at the 72nd hole to win the Freedom 55 Financial Open on Sunday, giving him his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada victory.

The 30-year old veteran in his fifth Mackenzie Tour season managed a tricky two-putt from more than 80 feet away at the par-5 18th hole for birdie to finish at 15-under for the week at Point Grey Golf and Country Club, one stroke ahead of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida’s Tyler McCumber.

“I’m extremely happy with the way I played this week,” said McCarthy. “I guess I can attribute this to knowing myself better and what happens to me under pressure. I’ve been in the hunt enough times to learn how to close it out, and things went my way today.”

Finishing up the rain-delayed third round on Sunday morning, the 30-year old capped off round three with a birdie-eagle finish to share the 54-hole lead with McCumber.

McCarthy trailed McCumber by two through 10 holes, but drew even after McCumber, a two-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner and the son of 10-time PGA TOUR winner Mark McCumber, bogeyed the par-4 16th.

Both players split the fairway at the reachable 18th, but while McCumber was unable to convert a greenside up-and-down for birdie, McCarthy left his approach below the hole and lagged an approach putt from the fringe to tap-in range.

“I couldn’t have left it in a better spot. I was caught between putting it and chipping it with a 7-iron, and I left it in a perfect spot there. I was very fortunate,” said McCarthy.

The win puts McCarthy in the No. 1 spot on the Order of Merit, in position to earn Web.com Tour status for 2017. The Le Moyne college graduate said the win gives him momentum in his quest to leverage a good season on the Mackenzie Tour into a promotion for next year.

“This is a huge confidence builder for me going forward,” said McCarthy. “I’d love to finish number one and be exempt out there, but the goal is to stay in the top five or even the top 10 and advance to the next level.”

McCumber, who has conditional status on the Web.com Tour after finishing 90th on the Money List last year and was in the field through a category for Web.com Tour members, said the second-place finish represents a stepping stone as he looks to get back up to the next level again.

“It’s definitely not the result that I was looking for, but I did everything that I could and I’ll try to look back and see where I could have saved a few shots,” said McCumber.

Two shots behind the winning score in a tie for third were Atlanta, Georgia’s Wade Binfield and Midwest City, Oklahoma’s Talor Gooch.

KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW:

77.8%: Dan McCarthy’s Greens in Regulation for the week, tied for second best in the field.

$31,500: McCarthy’s prize for the victory.

4.557: The stroke average on the par-4 16th hole, the hardest hole in relation to par for the week.

WILLIAMS TAKES FOURTH FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL TOP CANADIAN

With a total score of 10-under par in solo seventh place, Vancouver, B.C.’s Ryan Williams finished as the top Canadian on the leaderboard, earning Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours and a $2,500 prize.

The top Canadian on the leaderboard each week takes home the award, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end earning the Dan Halldorson Trophy, Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and a $25,000 prize.

Williams, who plays out of Point Grey and is a member of Freedom 55 Financial’s Team Freedom along with fellow players Matt Hill, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Pendrith, Adam Svensson and Albin Choi, took home the honour for the fourth time in his Mackenzie Tour career.

NOTES:

Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy won in his 39th career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. He has held membership in from 2009-2010 and since 2014.

In 2015, the 30-year old was 88th on the Order of Merit entering the Cape Breton Open last year and finished the week T4 to sneak inside the top 60 entering the Freedom 55 Financial Championship and retain exempt status for 2016.

His best career finish is a T3 at the 2014 Cape Breton Open.

McCarthy became the third straight player to make the Freedom 55 Financial Open their first win on the Mackenzie Tour, joining Drew Weaver (2015) and Joel Dahmen (2014).

As part of his win, McCarthy earns seven free coupons for a daily rental car from AVIS.

Tyler McCumber

25-year old Tyler McCumber is the son of 10-time PGA TOUR winner Mark McCumber.

In 2014, McCumber won twice on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and finished third on the Order of Merit to earn status on the Web.com Tour. Last year, McCumber finished 90th on the Web.com Tour Money List to retain conditional status.

McCumber was in the field this week playing out of a category for Web.com Tour members.

Wade Binfield

Wade Binfield made his 13th career start in his second season on the Mackenzie Tour. His previous best career finish was a T5 at the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.

From 2010-2014, Binfield worked as a substitute High School teacher in Georgia.

Talor Gooch

Talor Gooch is beginning his second season on the Mackenzie Tour. In 2015, he recorded three top-10s in 12 starts, including a playoff loss at the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON.

Gooch played collegiate golf at Oklahoma State and was named an Honorable Mention All-American in his Junior season in 2013.

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