BLAINVILLE – SPORTS – Quebec—Brendan Leonard began the day tied for third, five shots off the lead but the Cambridge, Ontario, native made clutch birdies Sunday to win the Mackenzie Investments Open, the first tournament on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada.
“It feels awesome,” said Leonard. “It was a grind out there today, but I just stuck to what I’ve been doing all week and ended up coming out on top.”
Tied for the lead with two holes to play, Leonard saved his best for last, closing with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to seal the deal. His approach on 18 ended up within five feet of the pin, putting an exclamation point on his two-stroke victory.
“That’s why we’re all out here,” said Leonard. “You want to come out here, you want to perform and under the gun you want to pull off the shots. That’s what I kept telling myself: just commit to this and get it done, and luckily I was able to come away with it.”
Blair Bursey led after the first three rounds but was unable to go wire to wire. The Gander, Newfoundland, native finished with a final-round 76, placing him in a tie for third.
Mississauga, Ontario’s Sudarshan Yellamaraju charged up the leaderboard Sunday, vaulting all the way from a tie for 10th to a tie for third, at 7-under. When he finished his round, he was briefly tied for the lead before Leonard’s heroics.
“I definitely expected that I could play well,” said Yellamaraju. “I’m not surprised by that. Actually, doing it is the big thing, so I’ll definitely have a lot of confidence going into the rest of the events.”
The top Quebecer was Keven Fortin-Simard, who tied for fourth. The Chicoutimi native was loudly cheered by the gallery every time he hit a good shot.
“Yeah, it was great,” said Fortin-Simard, who had four birdies in the final round. “It’s not something that you come here and expect to get that many cheers. I had the chance to see a bunch of people I haven’t seen for a while that made the trip here to see me play so I’m definitely grateful for that.”
The next tournament on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule is the Osprey Valley Open at TPC Toronto, set for August 16-22.
|1||Brendan Leonard (Canada)||70-70-71-68—279|
|T2||Sudarshan Yellamaraju (Canada)||72-71-71-67—281|
|T2||Marc Casullo (Canada)||68-70-69-74—281|
|T4||Keven Fortin-Simard (Canada)||69-67-75-71—282|
|T4||Blair Bursey (Canada)||66-68-72-76—282|
|T6||Andrew Harrison (Canada)||75-71-72-65—283|
|T6||Jamie Sadlowski (Canada)||73-71-67-72—283|
|T8||Sebastian Szirmak (Canada)||71-73-71-70—285|
|T8||Linus Lo (Canada)||70-74-68-73—285|
|T10||Zahidali Nathu (Canada)||75-73-71-67—286|
|T10||Evan Holmes (Canada)||72-75-70-69—286|
|T12||Brandon Lacasse (Canada)||72-71-75-69—287|
- Andrew Harrison had the low round of the day, shooting a 5-under 67. Harrison, of Camrose, Alberta, made eight birdies against only one bogey.
- Twenty-five players made par or better in Sunday’s final round, with eight players shooting in the 60s.
- Louis-Francois Charpentier was the lone amateur to make the cut. The Outremont, Quebec native tied for 43rd, at 11-over.
- Aurora, Ontario’s Marc Casullo tied for second, at 7-under, after scoring a 2-over round of 74 Sunday.
- The top-five players on the final Points List will earn 2022 PGA TOUR Canada membership. First place on the points list will receive exempt status for the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season, while those finishing in the second-through-fifth positions will earn exempt status up until the first reshuffle based on player performance.
From the Players
“It was awesome. All the volunteers and the fans—those last couple of holes—were really loud. I haven’t had that in a long time, so it was good to get the mojo and kind of feel that again .” –Blair Bursey on the support from the gallery
“I got off to a really hot start and then in the middle I lost a couple shots out there and really finished strong. I made three birdies on my last five holes, so I just stuck to my gameplan and ended up winning.” –Blair Bursey
“My play was good, just not good enough to take the trophy home. I made up some ground, not enough, but it felt good to do so.” –Keven Fortin-Simard
“A little bit upset, but I knew it was the first hole, that there were 17 more holes. I just had to stay patient. I knew I was playing well all week. I just needed to avoid the simple mistakes because the pins were tough.” –Sudarshan Yellamaraju on his first-hole bogey
Overcast and calm. High of 20. Wind N at 3 kpm. Gusts in the afternoon reached 5 kph.