CALGARY, Alberta – It’s a story of triumph and sheer excellence at the season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship as Hayden Springer, the hottest player on PGA TOUR Canada in recent weeks, sealed the deal with a stunning display of golf. In a thrilling final round at the Country Hills Golf Club, Springer showcased nerves of steel to emerge victorious and claim a plethora of prestigious titles.
Hayden Springer: A Dominant Force
With his remarkable final round of 4-under 67, Hayden Springer concluded the tournament at a staggering 22-under, securing a commanding five-shot victory. Springer’s triumphant performance was his second win in just three weeks, and it came with a host of accolades that underscore his dominance on the PGA TOUR Canada.
Player of the Year Honours
Perhaps the most coveted of all, Springer earned the Player of the Year honours. This prestigious title goes to the player who finishes at the top of the Fortinet Cup standings, a season-long points race. As a result, Springer now enjoys a full exemption on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour. This remarkable achievement is not only a testament to his skill but also a guarantee of his future in professional golf.
Springer’s journey to glory also includes a substantial $25,000 bonus, an exemption into the final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School, and an invitation to the PGA TOUR’s Fortinet Championship in Napa, California. Additionally, he has earned a coveted exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.
A Thrilling Final Round
The final round was set for an intense showdown between Springer and rookie Derek Hitchner, who were tied for the lead at the start of the day. Although Hitchner initially challenged Springer, the seasoned pro maintained his composure and control throughout the round.
Springer pulled ahead with a two-shot lead early on, and despite some minor fluctuations, he never relinquished control. Key birdies on the seventh and eighth holes kept him in the driver’s seat as he made the turn at 20-under for the week. A brief two-shot swing on the 10th hole brought Hitchner back into contention, but Springer’s consistency proved unbeatable.
Yi Cao’s Strong Finish
Yi Cao, another player who had been on a hot streak in the final leg of the Tour, secured a solo second-place finish at 17-under. Cao’s strong finish showcased his impressive skills and capped off a remarkable run.
Jeffrey Kang’s Stellar Round
Jeffrey Kang delivered a spectacular final round, carding a 63, the lowest score of the day. His round featured an astounding eight birdies and no bogeys. Kang tied for third place alongside Derek Hitchner.
Talented Contenders in the Mix
Tied for fifth place at 14-under were Myles Creighton, Noah Steele, Eric McCardle, and Eric Lilleboe. Each of these players shot a solid 68, demonstrating their immense talent and competitiveness.
Fortinet Cup Standings
The final Fortinet Cup standings for 2023 saw significant movement. Hayden Springer’s impressive victory catapulted him from fourth place to the coveted top spot. Sam Choi, the previous leader, now sits in second place, followed by Davis Lamb, Étienne Papineau, and Yi Cao, who round out the top five.
Fortinet Cup Standings
(Final Standings for 2023)
|Pos.||Player||Points||Rank Last Week|
|1||Hayden Springer (United States)||1,311||4|
|2||Sam Choi (United States)||1,276||1|
|3||Davis Lamb (United States)||1,173||2|
|4||Étienne Papineau (Canada)||982||3|
|5||Yi Cao (China)||963||9|
|6||Jeffrey Kang (United States)||760||11|
|7||Stuart Macdonald (Canada)||718||5|
|8||John Pak (United States)||708||6|
|9||Davis Shore (United States)||686||7|
|10||Devon Bling (United States)||646||8|
The Road Ahead
The 2023 Fortinet Cup Championship marked the conclusion of the 10-event PGA TOUR Canada season. Notably, all 60 players who qualified for this championship will earn membership on the 2024 PGA TOUR Americas through the Latin American swing, a significant milestone in their careers.
Beyond membership, the top-five finishers secured exemptions into the final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School. Players finishing from sixth to 25th place also earned exemptions into the second stage of the PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.
Remarkable Feats and Hard-Luck Stories
The tournament witnessed exceptional moments, including the end of Yi Cao’s remarkable 112-hole bogey-free streak. On the flip side, several players experienced heartbreak, with their fortunes slipping away.
Springer’s Special Victory
Unlike his previous win, Springer’s wife, Emma, was present to witness his triumphant moment. The couple met during their time at Texas Christian University, where she played on the women’s golf team.
Hayden Springer’s victory comes with numerous exciting opportunities, including an exemption to compete in next week’s PGA TOUR Fortinet Championship in Napa, California. Golf fans can look forward to witnessing Springer’s journey to new heights in professional golf.
Final-Round Weather: The weather conditions for the final round were mostly sunny and pleasant, with a high of 22°C. Winds were out of the SSE at 9-19 km/h, with gusts up to 45 km/h.