A Dominant Sunday Earns the Canadian his First PGA TOUR Canada Victory
VICTORIA, British Columbia – The thrilling Royal Beach Victoria Open wrapped up with a triumphant Étienne Papineau clinching his first-ever PGA TOUR Canada victory. The Canadian prodigy turned in an astonishing final-round 6-under 64, catapulting him to a resounding five-stroke victory at the prestigious Uplands Golf Club1.
Papineau’s Power Play
Papineau, starting the day tied with three others for the lead, pulled away with a masterful performance that took him to a final score of 18-under 262. The victory has firmly positioned him at the forefront of the season-long Fortinet Cup standings.
The Quebec-born golfer dominated the leaderboard, leaving George Kneiser and Chris Korte, both at 13-under 267, in a tie for second place. Jared du Toit, Chris Francoeur, Sam Choi, and Jason Hong all trailed by six shots2.
A Victory to Remember
“It’s been a crazy, amazing week,” said an ecstatic Papineau, the first Quebec-born winner on PGA TOUR Canada since 2013. “I’m extremely pumped, and it’s a good start of the season, for sure.” The crowd favorite lived up to expectations with a bogey-free round that included six birdies, matching his first-round 643.
A Stellar Round Under Pressure
Papineau’s masterclass began with an eight-foot birdie on the par-4 fifth hole, pushing him to 12-under and a two-shot lead. A near chip-in on the seventh led to another birdie, followed by more at No. 8 and No. 9. Making the turn in 30, Papineau had expanded his lead to four shots, and no one managed to close the gap for the rest of the afternoon4.
A Gritty Comeback Story
Papineau’s victory also marks a successful return from an off-season surgery in December. Despite a challenging recovery period, the Canadian star declared, “Now I’m back. It’s been an amazing journey so far and hopefully it’s just the start of it”5.
A Tough Day for Kneiser and Korte
George Kneiser, who had shared the lead after the first three rounds, struggled to gain momentum on Sunday, finishing with a 69. Meanwhile, Chris Korte of Littleton, Colorado matched Papineau’s final round 64 and shot up 12 spots in the standings, thanks to a second-nine 30 sparked by an eagle on the 12th hole6.
Du Toit and Choi Make Their Mark
Jared du Toit from Calgary rallied the Canadian fans with an early 65, ultimately climbing ten spots to earn his second top-five PGA TOUR Canada finish. Sam Choi, making his professional debut, finished with a disappointing double bogey to shoot 697.
The tournament wrapped up with Étienne Papineau leading the Fortinet Cup standings with 500 points. Tied for second place are George Kneiser and Chris Korte, both from the United States, with 245 points each. Jared du Toit, Chris Francoeur, Sam Choi, and Jason Hong are tied in the fourth position with 109 points each8.
The Royal Beach Victoria Open has set an exciting stage for the rest of the PGA TOUR Canada season.