PGA TOUR Canada – Carlson wins Prince Edward Island Open

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Fantastic conditions and great golf at the PGA TOUR Canada Staal Foundation Open
Fantastic conditions and great golf at the PGA TOUR Canada Staal Foundation Open

CARDIGAN, Prince Edward Island — A couple of late birdies lifted Brian Carlson to the top of the leaderboard Sunday at the Prince Edward Island Open presented by IMP Solutions. The former Purdue star shot a 65 in the final round en route to his first PGA TOUR Canada victory. He finished at 19-under, just ahead of Chris R. Wilson (18-under) and Austin Hitt (17-under).

“It feels incredible. It hasn’t sunk in yet. They always say that when you win, but it hasn’t fully yet,” said Carlson, while praising the other players on the Tour. “The level of competition is so freaking good. So, for a long time, I thought I was never going to win.”

Carlson, though, came through when it mattered most. He had eight birdies on the day. That included pivotal ones on the 16th and 17th holes to take the lead.

Wilson, meanwhile, had a three-stroke lead entering the round and shot a 69. It wasn’t enough, though, for the Canadian to prevail. He had five birdies but two bogeys. The latter included a pivotal loss of a stroke on No. 17.

“Losing by just a shot over four days, it’s such a small margin,” said Wilson. “You just go over your rounds and think about every shot here and there that could have been better.

“But at the end of the day I still played a solid round myself today, and I got beat,” he continued. “It’s not like I beat myself on the course. So, I think I’ll be able to sleep tonight knowing that.”

Canadian Myles Creighton and Americans Joe Highsmith and Trent Phillips tied for fourth, at 15-under. Americans Parker Gillam and Joey Vrzich were 14-under and tied for seventh.

Six golfers from the United States shared ninth-place with scores of 13-under. The group included Cooper Dossey, Parker Gilliam, Charles Huntzinger, Harrison Ott, Brad Reeves and Benjamin Shipp.

The win came in Carlson’s 24th career PGA TOUR Canada start. His previous-best came at the 2019 Canada Life Open in Vancouver when he tied for second. Last summer on the Forme Tour, in the United States, Carlson tied for third in a tournament on his college course, the Birck Boilermaker Golf Club. He played in all eight LOCALiQ Series events in 2020. It provided places to play during the global pandemic and essentially kept his game sharp.

“It has definitely given me my confidence back knowing that I can win, finally,” said Carlson. “This is my first event that’s more than one day as a pro getting a victory. It just gives you the belief that you’re good enough essentially to play professional golf.”

As the PEI Open champion, Carlson won $36,000 (Canadian) and picked up 500 Fortinet Cup points to take the overall lead in the season-long points chase, 12 points ahead of Wil Bateman. The three champions this season—Carlson, Bateman and Scott Stevens—are 1, 2, 3 in the standings, respectively.

The Tour takes a scheduled three-week break, with action resuming July 21-24 in Caledon, Ontario, for the Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos CBM Aggregates. TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is hosting the tournament, which will be played on its Heathlands course.

Did you know that in 2020, Brian Carlson played in all eight LOCALiQ Series tournaments, designed for the PGA TOUR’s International Tours players who didn’t have places to play because of the global pandemic? Carlson’s best finish came at the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills in South Florida in October, where he tied for third. Earlier in the season, he tied for seventh at The Championship at Echelon Golf Club in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.

 Key information

How the Canadians fared

It was a strong showing by golfers from the host nation, with two players earning top-five finishes. Chris R. Wilson (Toronto) finished second and Myles Creighton (Digby, Nova Scotia) tied for fourth. Here’s a look at how all 10 who made the cut finished.

Pos. Player Score
2 Chris R. Wilson 71-64-66-69—269 (18-under)
T4 Myles Creighton 70-67-69-67—273 (15-under)
T18 Brendan MacDougall 71-70-63-73—277 (11-under)
T28 Drew Nesbitt 65-75-69-70—279 (9-under)
T34 Riley Wheeldon 71-71-68-70—280 (8-under)
T40 Andrew Harrison 69-71-71-70—281 (7-under)
T40 Max Sear 72-70-68-71—281 (7-under)
T48 Noah Steele 69-73-67-73—282 (6-under)
T50 Brendan Leonard 73-69-70-71—283 (5-under)
T55 Wil Bateman 73-69-74-69—285 (3-under)

 Fortinet Cup Standings

(Through Prince Edward Island Open presented by IMP Solutions)

Rank Player Points
1 Brian Carlson (U.S.) 549
2 Wil Bateman (Canada) 537
3 Scott Stevens (U.S.) 500
4 Jake Knapp (U.S.) 364
5 Joe Highsmith (U.S.) 360
6 Chris R. Wilson (Canada) 329
7 Cooper Dossey (U.S.) 296
8 Jorge Villar (Mexico) 245
9 Trent Phillips (U.S.) 238
10 Austin Hitt (U.S.) 190

Besides having three different winners in PGA TOUR Canada’s three tournaments played thus far, the Fortinet Cup standings have also seen a continual changing of the guard. Wil Bateman, champion of the ATB Classic in Edmonton, wound up shooting 3-under at the PEI Open and was well out of contention—dropping him to second in the standings, with 537 points. Tournament champion Brian Carlson now tops the board with 549. The overall leader in the season-long performance competition not only earns entry into every open 2023 Korn Ferry Tour tournament, he also wins Player of the Year honors and nets (Canadian) $25,000.

This is the second consecutive tournament that a player has shot a 65 in the final round and gone on to win. Two weeks ago, Wil Bateman fired a 6-under 65 that got him into a playoff that he was able to win. Sunday, Brian Carlson fired a 7-under 65 to win by a shot.

Sunday’s top movers were Americans Ryan Gerard and Danny Walker. Gerard shot a 66 and finished the tournament at 11-under, moving up 26 positions over the last 18 holes. Walker (9-under) climbed up 19 spots with a 68 in the final round.

Brian Carlson had his father serving as his caddie. With Dad on the bag, obviously, it worked out well with the first-place finish. “It’s actually pretty good because we can be honest with each other. We’ve known each other our whole lives, literally,” said Carlson. “I’m not like a big talker, or a talker really. And he just does his thing, and I do my thing. We get along great on the course.”

PGA TOUR Canada golfers Harrison Ott and Evan Katz paid a visit to the maintenance crew at Dundarave Golf Course Sunday to personally thank them for their hard work and dedication in making the Prince Edward Island Open presented by IMP Solutions such a success.

Cooper Dossey continued his flawless streak of nothing but under-par scores this season. He posted scores of 66-71-68-70 this week on his way to a tie for seventh. Those four scores go with his previous eight rounds: 67-66-64-68-70-67-70-66. Dossey is a combined 39-under this season. Dossey also leads the Birdies category, with one more (63) than Danny Walker and Wil Bateman. He is seventh in the Fortinet Cup standings.

Jake Scott has a streak of his own going. He’s had 12 rounds at par or better this season, counting an even-par 70 in the final round of the Royal Beach Victoria Open and an even-par 72 Sunday at Dundarave Golf Course to go with his 10 under-par rounds this season. Scott is a cumulative 33-under.

Cooper Dossey did have one over-par round this year. He shot a 1-over 73 in the first round of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Byron Nelson in May before following that with a 2-under 70. He ultimately missed the cut in his home-state event outside Dallas.

Only four players have multiple top-10s this season, and two of them are PGA TOUR University alums. They are Joe Highsmith and TrentPhillips, along with Cooper Dossey and Chris Crisologo. They all have two top-10s each in the three official tournaments played this season.

The Players Chip In

“I love golf. I want to do it for the rest of my life. Ideally, I just want to compete against the best players day in, day out. Winning is great but being able to compete against the best in the world for as long as you can is a goal of mine.” — Brian Carlson 

“It’s huge. If you told me I’d finish second at the start of the week, I would have definitely taken it. So, I think I’ve got to be happy with that and hopefully it results in good things to come.” — Chris R. Wilson 

“I didn’t look at the leaderboard once today. I didn’t know I won until someone said you’re winning by two. I just wanted to see how that worked this week and it did.” — Brian Carlson when talking about his motto “see what happens” 

“I tried to stick to my game plan today. Maybe I could have made a few more putts. But I thought, for the most part, I did well.” — Chris R. Wilson


Final-Round Weather: Mostly cloudy and pleasant. High of 26. Wind E at 2-4 kph.