During close to a decade working as a golf professional in Ottawa Roger Beale proved again and again that he was a fine player. His play on Wednesday showed that ability has continued even as he has shifted his career back to his home country of Barbados.
Beale, the 2003 PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Champion, added the biggest golf title of his life to his resume on Wednesday as he orchestrated a late charge to win the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada.
Starting the final round, the Royal Westmoreland Director of Golf was one of four players trailing 36-hole leader Danny King of the Performance Academy at Magna by a shot. But seven birdies later and a final round 5-under-par 67 at the PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Beale’s name sat alone atop the leaderboard.
His 54-hole total of 14 under par (202) proved to be two shots better than Scott Allred of Elbow Springs Golf Club and Graham Gunn of the White Sand Golf Course and Practice Centre in Orleans, Ontario. Chris Barber, the General Manager of the Landings Golf Course and Teaching Centre in Kingston, Ontario tied for 4th place at 10 under par, 206. Jeff Buder, originally from Arnprior but now living in Vancouver, finished in 20th place. Bob Flaro (Ottawa Hunt) and Gord Percy (Carleton G&YC) tied for 35th place.
Beale’s statement birdie came on the last.
After hitting a crisp 4-iron from 190 yards to three feet, the 38 year-old calmly stepped up and knocked the putt in the back of the cup.
“I rolled in a birdie on No. 10 and I said, ‘OK, well, let’s just keep it going and stop thinking,’” Beale said about getting things rolling on the back nine.
“I was very lucky Scott (Allred) was playing well,” he admits. “On No. 18 he stuffs it in there, so I’m saying “Oh man, I’ve got to hit a shot, so I hit it to like two-feet and make it. He really helped me stay focused and just get the job done versus thinking foolish things and get off track.”
Rounding out the top five at 10-under (206) were King who tied with Barber. Chris Wehrle of Whistle Bear Golf Club finished sixth at 8-under (208), while last year’s winner Brian Hutton (Southbrook Golf & Country Club), Lance McCullough (The Ridge Course at Cordova Bay), Brett Burgeson (Country Hills Golf Club) and Eric Landreville (Belle Vue Club de Golf) all finished T7 at 6-under (210).
Beale, who was born in Barbados but worked in the Ottawa Zone at The Marshes Golf Club and Camelot Golf & Country Club for nearly 10 years, returned to Barbados seven months ago, taking the Director of Golf position at Royal Westmoreland. He continues to be a proud Class “A” Member of the PGA of Canada.
While Beale played in the 2006 World Cup of Golf for Barbados, he says his win this week is even more special.
“Playing with PGA Tour professionals was special,” Beal says. “But this is certainly by far the most special,” adding, “I’m very fortunate”
Win the win Beale takes home the $12,000 winner’s cheque, along with 45 Ranking Points and will move from No. 125 on the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC to inside the top 25.
Heading into to this week’s tournament, King had a chance to oust Brian McCann as the No. 1 player on the PGA of Canada Player Rankings and earn Player of the Year honours. However, he was unable to secure the victory, and in doing so, McCann retained the top ranking and will earn Player of the Year honours.
For the full leaderboard, click HERE
To watch Roger Beale’s post-round interview, click HERE