Four straight birdies put Scott Piercy into the mix early. One big par at the end made him a winner Sunday at the Canadian Open in Ancaster, Ontario.
Piercy won for the second time in his career when he closed with a 3-under 67, and William McGirt and Robert Garrigus stumbled on the closing stretch at Hamilton Golf & Country Club to finish 1 stroke back.
McGirt, atop the leaderboard for much of the final round, had his first 3-putt bogey of the week on the 15th hole when he ran a 45-foot putt some 15 feet by the hole. Tied for the lead playing the 18th, he put his approach into the bunker and blasted out to 18 feet, missing the par putt that would have forced a playoff. McGirt closed with a 69.
Garrigus, the 54-hole leader, missed 6 putts inside 8 feet. The last one was the most costly. He 3-putted from long range just off the green on the 16th, missing an 8-footer for par that left him 1 shot behind. He missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a playoff and had to settle for a 70.
Piercy won while sitting in the clubhouse. Moments earlier, he two-putted for par from 50 feet on the 18th to finish at 17-under 263 and tie the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour. Johnny Palmer had a 263 when he won the Canadian Open in 1952 at St. Charles in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It was the second time Piercy has won on the PGA Tour in the last year. He picked up his first win at the Reno-Tahoe Open last year, which is held next week for players who don’t get into the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. Now Piercy is headed to his first World Golf Championship, and then off to the PGA Championship. More perks arrive next year when Piercy goes to Augusta National for the first time to play in the Masters.
In what amounted to a three-man race on a warm, sunny day at Hamilton, Piercy looked as if he took himself out of the hunt when he ran into trouble off the tee at the 14th, had to play out of the trees and make a 6-foot putt to escape with bogey. But he chipped in for birdie on the 15th, and then hung on for pars.
Senior British Open
Fred Couples won the Senior British Open by 2 strokes over Gary Hallberg on Sunday after holing a 25-foot putt to finish with consecutive birdies.
The 1992 Masters champion shot a 3-under 67 in the final round to finish at 9-under 271 on the Ailsa course and win his first tournament in Britain. Hallberg shot a 66, equaling the best round of the day with American Mark Calcavecchia and Carl Mason.
English pair Barry Lane (69) and Mason and American Dick Mast (67) had a share of third at 4 under. Overnight leader Bernhard Langer dropped 5 shots in 5 holes on the way home to shoot a 75 and slip into a tie for sixth.
“I’ve never won an Open Championship, so this is the next best thing. And I believe I now get into the [British] Open at Muirfield next year, which is great,” Couples said. “It was a fun day out there. Bernhard and I were neck and neck for a long time. Then I saw Gary had birdied the 17th to draw level, so I knew I needed to birdie 17. I hit a couple of great shots down 17 and two-putted for birdie, then the hole got in the way for my birdie putt at 18.
“It’s my biggest senior tour win by far on a truly great golf course. I can now say I won the Senior British Open at Turnberry in really challenging weather.”
Couples was locked in a struggle with Langer until the German double bogeyed No. 12 and the American birdied for a 3-shot swing. Langer then bogeyed 3 holes in a row from No. 14 to slip out of contention.
South Korea’s Inbee Park won the Evian Masters in France, closing with a 6-under 66 for a 2-stroke victory over third-round leader Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb.
Park, also the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open winner, had a 17-under 271 total.
Webb shot a 68, and Lewis finished with a 68.
China’s Shanshan Feng eagled the 18th for a 66 to tie for fourth at 14 under with 17-year-old South Korean amateur Hyo Joo Kim (68) and Natalie Gulbis (68).
Ben Kohles won the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus in his first professional start, beating Luke Guthrie with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
Kohles closed with a 1-?under 70 to match Guthrie at 12-under 272 on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course. Guthrie birdied 3 of the final 5 holes in regulation for a 66.
One of 12 college All-Americans invited to the event, Kohles turned pro after finishing his amateur career last week in the Porter Cup. The former University of Virginia player, 22, earned $144,000.