Yi Cao Dominates for First PGA TOUR Canada Victory

Yi Cao with Coveted Win
Yi Cao with Coveted Win

Yi Cao Claims Victory with an Impressive Eight-Stroke Margin

Brainerd, Minnesota – In an outstanding display of golf, Yi Cao from Delta, British Columbia, has achieved his dream of becoming a PGA TOUR Canada champion. Cao, who faced doubts and persistent neck pain throughout the week, emerged victorious at the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens with an astonishing eight-stroke lead, marking the most substantial margin of victory on PGA TOUR Canada this season.

Cao’s Unwavering Performance

Entering the final round with a commanding five-shot lead, Yi Cao never wavered. He delivered a masterful 5-under 65 at the Cragun’s Dutch Legacy Championship Course, finishing at a remarkable 22-under 258. This performance secured his first PGA TOUR Canada victory in 48 starts.

Cao’s Confidence Prevails

Despite the challenges and doubts that had haunted him in recent weeks, Cao’s unwavering love for the game fueled his determination. “I can finally call myself the best player of the week,” Cao exclaimed. He continued, “Even though I wasn’t feeling great, I just kept hanging in there and making some putts and making sure I put myself in the right position.”

Kang Secures Second Place

Jeffrey Kang, hailing from Anaheim, California, secured second place with a solid performance. Kang’s 4-under 66 in the final round placed him at 14-under overall, securing his third career runner-up finish in 48 PGA TOUR Canada events.

Jean Claims Solo Third

Sam Jean of Greenwood, Indiana, secured solo third place, carding a final-round 69 to finish at 13-under. His performance reflects his resilience and determination on the course, moving him from No. 52 to No. 20 on the points list.

Record-Breaking Round by Funk

The day’s most remarkable round came from Taylor Funk, who shot a phenomenal 10-under 60, setting a new tournament course record. Funk’s round was marked by extraordinary precision, making 11 birdies and only one bogey. His performance propelled him up 43 spots on the leaderboard to No. 43 in the Fortinet Cup Standings.

The Fortinet Cup Championship Awaits

The top 60 players in the season-long point race have advanced to next week’s season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship at Country Hills Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta. The top-five players after that event will earn status on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour and be exempt into the final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School. The top 25 finishers will be exempt into the second stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.

Notable Hole-in-One

Julián Etulain, hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, made a spectacular hole-in-one on No. 17, the 126-yard par-3, using a 52-degree wedge. His achievement proved pivotal as he secured a tie for sixth place, despite missing qualification for the Fortinet Cup Championship.

Fortinet Cup Standings Update

Here’s an update on the Fortinet Cup standings through the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens:

  1. Sam Choi (United States) – 1,228 points.
  2. Davis Lamb (United States) – 1,134 points.
  3. Étienne Papineau (Canada) – 944 points.
  4. Hayden Springer (United States) – 711 points.
  5. Stuart Macdonald (Canada) – 707 points.
  6. John Pak (United States) – 700 points.
  7. Davis Shore (United States) – 647 points.
  8. Devon Bling (United States) – 639 points.
  9. Yi Cao (China) – 633 points.
  10. Chris Korte (United States) – 593 points.

Markham Climbs the Ranks

George Markham delivered a stellar performance, closing with a 7-under 63 and ascending 24 spots into a tie for sixth place in the final round. His consistent play positions him comfortably at 33rd in the Fortinet Cup Points list.

Fortinet Cup Championship Implications

Several players experienced significant movements in the Fortinet Cup standings following the CRMC Championship. J.T. Griffin moved from 75th to 55th, while Ryan Davis finished tied for 15th, elevating him from 78th to No. 59. Cooper Dossey, who shot even-par 70, managed to cling to the 60th spot. However, Brian Carlson missed the cut and dropped to No. 61, and Johnny Travale slipped from No. 58 to 62 after posting two rounds of 70 this weekend.

Quotable Moments from the Players

  • Taylor Funk on his record-breaking round: “That’s the lowest I’ve had in competition. I shot 60 in a practice round earlier this year, but those don’t count.”
  • Cooper Dossey on securing the 60th spot: “There’s no cutline, so I don’t really have to think about it. I’m going to play four days in a row. It’s go-time for sure.”
  • Yi Cao regarding the Fortinet Cup Championship: “I just don’t want to give up my dream to be honest. I want to keep pushing and see how good I can be in the future. If I give everything I could possibly give, there is no regret for the rest of my life.”

Final-Round Weather: With a heat advisory still in effect, temperatures continued to rise throughout the day, reaching 102°F (39°C) at the high. Winds were mild and variable from 5-10 mph (8-16 kph).

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