FORT McMURRAY – SPORT – With a final round 3-under 69 at Fort McMurray Golf Club, Clarkston, Washington’s Joel Dahmen won the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON by five strokes on Sunday, claiming his second win of the season on PGA TOUR Canada and taking a commanding lead on the Order of Merit through three events.
The 26-year old, who claimed the PC Financial Open three weeks ago in Vancouver for his first PGA TOUR Canada win, moves to the top of the Order of Merit with $56,813 in earnings, and has a $28,815 lead on second place.
“I played really solid. I hit it great again,” said Dahmen, who finished 22-under par for the week. “I actually missed the first green, but after that I settled down and I hit it great. I didn’t make many putts, but I didn’t really have to. I made a birdie on 9 to take a five shot lead into the back nine, and after that nobody really made a push towards me.”
Dahmen fired a 9-under 63 in round one to take a two stroke lead and never looked back, becoming the first wire-to-wire winner on PGA TOUR Canada since John Ellis at the 2008 Mexican PGA Championship.
The victory sees Dahmen continue what has been a breakthrough year, one that looked unlikely last winter when he admitted he felt disappointed by his performance in 2013. Dahmen had a handful of chances to win last season but was unable to convert and finished 22nd on the Order of Merit.
“It’s crazy. Literally last year, this winter, I was sitting on the couch all bummed out and all of a sudden stuff is happening and dreams are being realized,” said Dahmen. “I’m very close to doing a lot of great things in the next year, so I’m excited.”
With the win, the former University of Washington Husky puts himself in great position to play in his first PGA TOUR event. The top three on the Order of Merit through the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel earn a spot in the RBC Canadian Open.
“This virtually locks up my RBC Canadian Open spot, I’m pretty sure, so I get to play my first PGA TOUR event in a month or so. That’s going to be incredible,” said Dahmen, who will also make his second career Web.com Tour start next week at the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI thanks to a sponsor’s exemption.
Dahmen’s win is once again a popular one amongst PGA TOUR Canada members, as a gathering of fellow competitors waited to congratulate the winner as he exited the 18th green, including 2012 and 2013 Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON champions Cory Renfrew and Riley Wheeldon.
“We have great camaraderie out here,” said Dahmen. “It’s nice just to know that we’re all pulling for each other. I’m excited for them and I know their time is coming. We all feed off each other a little bit, and I think it helps.”
Perhaps the happiest of all fellow competitors was Dallas, Texas’ Will Strickler, who caddied for Dahmen over the final two rounds after missing the cut. Dahmen credited Strickler, who played on the PGA TOUR in 2011 and has five career top-10s on PGA TOUR Canada, with helping him stay calm over the final two rounds.
“I had to kind of poke him in the ribs on Friday night and Saturday morning because of the weather, and he wasn’t sure if he was going to caddie. I said, ‘I need you out there, Will,’” said Dahmen. “He’s an incredible player himself and he’s been around, so he knows how to caddie and what to say.”
Five shots behind Dahmen in second was PGA TOUR Canada rookie Ricky McDonald of Edmonds, Washington. One shot further back was Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Tim Madigan, who posted his second consecutive top-three finish following a T-2 result at the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist
WILLIAMS CLAIMS FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL TOP CANADIAN
With a 15-under total for the week, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Ryan Williams claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours, finishing two strokes ahead of West Vancouver, British Columbia’s Seann Harlingten and Comox, British Columbia’s Riley Wheeldon.
The top Canadian at each PGA TOUR Canada event earns the award plus a $1,500 prize, with the top Canadian on the Order of Merit at season’s end being named Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year.
NEXT WEEK ON TOUR
PGA TOUR Canada will take a week off before launching into three events in a row, starting with the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel, June 30-July 6 at Dakota Dunes Golf Links in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Weather: 22 degrees. Winds 12 km/h, gusting to 20 km/h. Rain giving way to partially cloudy skies.
Dahmen is the first wire-to-wire winner on PGA TOUR Canada since John Ellis at the 2008 Mexican PGA Championship.
Dahmen becomes the first player to record multiple wins in a season in the PGA TOUR Canada era, and the first since Eugene Wong in 2012 (TOUR Championship of Canada and The Great Waterway Classic).
Dahmen becomes the first American to win the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON, following three Canadians (Danny Sahl, 2011; Cory Renfrew, 2012; Riley Wheeldon, 2013).
Dahmen’s first round 63 is the lowest start by a winner in the PGA TOUR Canada era and the lowest since Adam Hadwin at the 2010 Desert Dunes Classic.
In addition to his wire-to-wire victory, Dahmen claimed the Official Pro-Am Skins Game on Tuesday by holing out for eagle on the 10th hole. Dahmen also hosted this week’s episode of This Is PGA TOUR Canada.
Dahmen’s total earnings of $56,813 through three events is $4,699 more than Mackenzie Hughes earned in nine starts when he won the Order of Merit in 2013.
Dahmen has made more than twice as much as Order of Merit no. 2 Josh Persons through three events.
Preferred lies were in play for the second day in a row.
In yesterday’s notes, it was incorrectly noted that the last time a round at a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event was played with fewer than 18 holes was at the 1989 Northville Long Island Classic on the Champions Tour. The most recent time was the 1997 Puget Sound Open on the Web.com Tour, when the first hole was eliminated for the first two rounds.