CALGARY, Alberta—Jared du Toit came up clutch, winning the ATB Financial Classic by one shot over fellow Calgarian, Wes Heffernan. Playing in the second-to-last group of the day, du Toit collected three birdies on the back nine, including a 20-footer on No. 18, to hold off Heffernan who also made a birdie on the last.
“If you win by four or five (shots), it probably feels good, but it feels good in a different way,” said du Toit of his winning putt. “When you make a nice one, it’s a thrill for sure, and being in Calgary and having people cheer me on this week, it meant a lot for sure.”
It was du Toit’s first start on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule this season after struggling to a 66th-place finish on the Forme Tour.
“It’s hard to win anywhere,” said du Toit. “When you’re beating 100-plus guys at the end of the week, you have to feel pretty good about your game. For me, doing that this week, I’m feeling even more confident heading into future weeks.”
It was another tough-luck finish for Heffernan, who also finished in second place in the 2017 event. Playing in the last group of the day, he got a pretty good idea that he needed an eagle finish to force a playoff.
“We were on the 18th tee, and my caddie said, ‘We haven’t heard a roar yet,’” said Heffernan of the noise that would signify a du Toit birdie. “Then I teed my ball up, got ready to hit and all of sudden we heard the roar. At that point we knew (du Toit’s putt) was to get to 11-under.”
Despite another heartbreaking finish, Heffernan also birdied No. 18, with a big put off his own, eliciting another roar from the partisan gallery.
“When I finished second four years ago, I made a similar putt from the other direction,” said Heffernan. “So, I had some pretty good vibes over that one, and it was just one of those (putts) that went in, which was nice. A great way to finish.”
A third Calgarian, Mitchell Fox, rocketed up the leaderboard on Sunday with the round of the day. His 6-under 65, left him in a third-place tie (9-under), with Australian, Will Barnett, who now makes his home in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Sudarshan Yellamaraju rounded out the top five, finishing at 8-under.
Next year’s ATB Financial Classic will take place in Edmonton as the event rotates between the two cities.
Points List Standings
Through ATB Financial Classic
|1||Noah Steele (Canada)||870.00|
|2||Brendan Leonard (Canada)||720.89|
|3||Callum Davison (Canada)||664.19|
|4||Michael Blair (Canada)||655.08|
|5||Raoul Menard (Canada)||557.33|
|6||Blair Bursey (Canada)||551.00|
|7||Jared du Toit (Canada)||500.00|
|8||Sebastian Szirmak (Canada)||491.25|
|9||Sudarshan Yellamaraju (Canada)||434.50|
|10||Jesse Smith (Canada)||372.25|
- Points leader Noah Steele of Kingston, Ontario, tied for 10th this week, finishing at 5-under. He maintains just shy of a 150-point lead over No. 2 Brendan Leonard.
- By virtue of his ATB Financial Classic victory, Jared du Toit moved into the seventh spot on the Points List, picking up 500 points for his triumph. With two tournaments to play, du Toit is 57.33 points outside the top five.
- With 500 points available to the winner of each of the next two tournaments, the final two events of the 2021 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season, no player is mathematically eliminated from finishing No. 1 on the Points List.
- Jeevan Sihota of Victoria was the top amateur, tying for sixth place, at 7-under. He made three birdies in the final round, shooting a 2-under 69.
- Thirteen players shot rounds in the 60s Sunday.
- Dorchester, Ontario’s Thomas Code rebounded from a 13-over 84 Saturday to shoot a 5-under round of 66—an 18-shot improvement. Code did not shoot a round in the 70s all week. (67-69-84-66).
- The top-five players on the final Points List will earn 2022 PGA TOUR Canada membership. First place on the Points List will receive fully exempt status for the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season, while those in the second-through-fifth positions will earn exempt status up until the first reshuffle based on player performance.
“On a day like this when you’re chasing (the leaders), you’re three or four shots back, you want to get off to a good start, and I didn’t really. I just made a bunch of pars. I stayed patient and kind of waited it out, then the game started coming to me and balls started going in.” –Jared du Toit
“I’m obviously happy with the way I played this week but just a little disappointed in the middle of my round today. I didn’t take myself out of the tournament, but I put myself behind, playing catch-up.” –Wes Heffernan
“The conditions were easier, but the pins were tougher today. The pins were pretty challenging. You could get yourself in some tough positions if you weren’t hitting it well.” –Wes Heffernan
“I definitely hit the ball well today, I just didn’t make the putts that I needed to.” –Wes Heffernan