CALEDON, Ontario – Davis Shore leaned on his experience Sunday to shoot a 4-under 67 and hang on to win his first PGA TOUR Canada event, the Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos CBM Aggregates.
Shore finished at 19-under at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley to secure a one-shot victory over Canadian Myles Creighton, who closed with a 64 and finished at 18-under. Shore moved up to sixth on the Fortinet Cup points list after securing his first career victory in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event.
“I didn’t know if this was ever going to happen,” Shore said. “It finally happened, and I got it done. I can’t put it into words.”
Shore joined PGA TOUR Canada last week after a successful season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. After shooting a 1-under 70 in the first round, the Knoxville, Tennessee native and University of Alabama graduate turned it on and shot 18-under over the final three rounds.
“I made a couple of solid putts to get started,” Shore said. “No. 2 (a downhill, hard-breaking left-to-right putt) was a really challenging putt and it helped a lot. It gave me confidence I was rolling the putter well. If you’re ever going to win a golf tournament, you’ve got to make putts.”
Shore’s chances were boosted when he made an eagle on the par-5 14th hole. A solid tee shot left him 250 yards away, playing uphill and into the wind – playing closer to 280, he said – but he smashed a 3-wood that cleared the bunker and rolled to within 10 feet and he made the putt.
He followed that by going bogey-birdie-bogey and didn’t seal the outcome until he two-putted for par on No. 18. Shore wasn’t aware that his lead over Creighton had slipped to one shot until he walked onto the final tee. Without hesitation, he pulled a driver and found the middle of the fairway, setting up a simple approach for par.
“That tightened the stress a little, but our plan all week has been to hit driver there,” Shore said. “A lot of people worry because it’s out of bounds on the right, but my caddie draws up my game plan and we’ve been hitting driver there all week.”
Shore had three top-10s on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and was runner-up at the JHSF Aberto do Brasil –finishing 13th on the Totalplay Cup points list. Shore made his PGA TOUR Canada debut last week at the Commissionaires Ottawa Open and tied for 28th.
Creighton played many rounds with Shore this season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and applied the heat early with an eagle on the first hole. Birdies at No. 14, 15 and 17 got him as close as one stroke, but after making a par on the 18th, his only hope was for Shore to falter.
“I hit it horrible the first round, great the second round, hit it terrible yesterday and found it again today,” Creighton said.
Tommy Kuhl shot 3-under 68 and finished alone in third place at 15-under. Tyler Strafaci, the 2020 U.S. Amateur Champion, shot 67 and Brian Richey shot 68 to tie for fourth at 14-under.
Kuhl, of Morton, Illinois, started the day eagle-birdie, but fell off pace with three-straight bogeys on the front nine. He recovered to birdie No. 9 and added two more on the back nine. It was the first top-five finish of the season for Kuhl, who had missed the cut in three consecutive events, and his best career finish on PGA TOUR Canada.
Strafaci had a steady round with four birdies, including two on the par-3s. It was the best finish of the season for Strafaci, who had missed the last two cuts.
Richey, of Winter Park, Florida, continues on an upward path. He finished third two weeks ago at the Quebec Open powered by Videotron Business and moved up to ninth place in the Fortinet Cup standings.
Shore is hopeful to finish among the top five on the Fortinet Cup list and improve his status. He understands the win is important to the cause.
“A win is vital to finishing in the top five,” Shore said. “This is huge. It’s very difficult to finish in the top five without a win and to get over that hump is big.”
Shore also had good news to share with his wife, Mary Katherine, who spent the week with him before returning home Sunday to get ready for work. The two were able to visit Niagara Falls and spend time together.
“She’s been here all week and we got to hang out,” he said. “It really relaxed me to have her here.”
There were 36 Canadians competing in this week’s Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos CBM Aggregates. Eleven finished inside the top 25, including four inside the top 10. Here were the top performing Canadians this week at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley:
|69-64-68 – (12-under)
|63-69-70 – (11-under)
|67-63-72 – (11-under)
|69-68-67 – (5-under)
|67-71-66 – (9-under)
|68-67-69 – (9-under)
|65-67-72 – (9-under)
|70-67-68 – (8-under)
|68-67-70 – (8-under)
Davis Shore was also pleased to see his former Alabama teammate Lee Hodges earn his first PGA TOUR win on Sunday. Hodges won by seven shots at the 3M Open. The two were teammates on the Crimson Tide golf team and Shore said Hodges was one of the older players that he respected the most. With two Crimson Tide winners on Sunday, Shore remarked that Alabama coach Jay Seawell was “probably going to have a couple milk shakes” to celebrate.
Davis Lamb retained the No. 1 spot on the Fortinet Cup standings. The two-time winner salvaged the week with a final-round 68 that allowed him to move up 10 spots on the leaderboard and finish in a tie for 48th.
John Pak, remains No. 2 in the Fortinet Cup points list. His final-round score of 71 dropped him nine spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 21st.
Canadian Etienne Papineau moved up nine spots and also tied for 21st when he shot 3-under 68 on the final day. Papineau shot 69-68 on the weekend.
The low round of the day was 7-under 64 recorded by runner-up Myles Creighton and Brandon Hoelzer. The strong finish boosted Hoelzer into a tie for sixth place at 13-under. Ben Carr, Derek Oland and Ryan Davis carded 66s and joined the tie for sixth place.
Final-Round Weather: A mix of sun and clouds. High of 23. Wind SSE from 7-13 km/h with gusts up to 20.