Dave Senko/ PGATour.com
BEN EION, Nova Scotia – C.T. Pan sank a 5-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Canadian Taylor Pendrith and win the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada’s Cape Breton Celtic Classic. The native of Taiwan and University of Washington product finished with a 72-hole total of 19-under-par 269 and the victory was his first on the Mackenzie Tour.
After each player made birdie on the first extra hole, both hit their second shots into a greenside bunker. Pan chipped out first to 5 feet and Pendrith followed, hitting his chip to 4 feet. Moments later, Pan sank his birdie putt and then watched as Pendrith’s birdie attempt slid by the right side, handing Pan the victory.
“I can’t find words to describe how I feel right now,” Pan said following his win. “It was amazing how I played my last five holes and then the two extra playoff holes. It’s been amazing.”
As the day unfolded, it appeared Pan would be in line for a nice finish, but would need something to happen for him to win the event. He was only 14 under after 13 holes and trailed by as much as four strokes. However, things changed at No. 14 when he hit a 3-iron to 3 feet and made the first of five birdies in a row.
“I told myself I really needed to start making some birdies when I got to No. 14. I knew I was about four shots back and told myself I needed some magic now,” Pan added. “After that birdie on 14, I felt really good about where my game was and I liked the pin position at No. 15 when I saw it. I made another birdie there.”
Pan added three more birdies to close out his round, including a chip-in on No. 18 from 30 feet to post the first 19-under-par score for the day.
Playing two groups behind, Pendrith’s downfall on Sunday would be his play in the par 5s. After making birdie or eagle on all the par 5s in the first three rounds, he started his day with bogeys on three of first five par 5s, including Nos. 1 and 3 early in his round. He was able to battle his way back into the mix with seven birdies later in his round, but missed a golden opportunity to close things out when he made par on the par-5 16th hole and then missed a short birdie putt at No. 17.
“I thought I hit a really good putt at No. 17 and it just went about a foot left and caught the edge and missed. I made a good putt on it. That’s the way it goes,” said Pendrith. “But I played the par 5s really bad today. If I played the par 5s like I had been, I probably would have won. I made three bogeys on them and you can’t make bogeys. I’m obviously disappointed losing in a playoff for the third time this year, but I was four-over-par through five holes early this week, and to shoot 19 under for the week is pretty good.”
This was the last week players could qualify for the Freedom 55 Financial Championship next week in London, Ontario. Among the players earning their spots in the 60-player field by their play this week were Max Gilbert, Dan McCarthy and Kyle Wilshire, while Jay Myers, Steve Carney and Daniel Bowden slipped out of the top 60. In the race for The Five, Pendrith moved into the top five, while Drew Weaver slipped from fifth to seventh.
NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
28: The total number of birdies by Taylor Pendrith during the week which led all players.
1: Number of bogeys for Adam Svensson over his final 39 holes.
4: The number of eagles in the event for Justin Bardgett.
15: The most difficult hole on the course for the week.
1,627: The number of birdies for the week on The Lakes GC.
“I set a couple of goals at the start of the year and I’m on the way there. I always have really high standards for myself and I’m still working hard and trying to have a really good year.” T.C. Pan on his 2015 season so far.
With a total score of 19-under, Taylor Pendrith claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours on Sunday along with a $2,500 prize. Each week, the top Canadian on the leaderboard will earn the award, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end earning the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and a $25,000 prize.
Weather: 17 degrees Celsius. A mix of sun and clouds. Winds 10 km/NE.
Preferred lies were utilized in the final round.
C.T. Pan now has 13 consecutive sub-par rounds heading into next week’s event.