When he decided to turn professional at the age of 19 many questioned Michael Gligic’s decision, but the Burlington, Ontario native had faith in himself.
On Sunday the 29 year-old became a first-time winner on the Web.com Tour, taking the Panama Championship by a single stroke.
Gligic, who now resides in Kitchener, Ontario, did so because of a remarkable final round. His 65 (-5) was the best of the day on a golf course, Club de Golf de Panama that was playing hard, fast, and plain difficult. Impressive stuff from the 12th year pro.
The round was enough to boost Gligic from a tie for 7th place to start the day and into the winner’s circle.
Starting the week at 37th place in the Tour’s point rankings Gligic posted scores of 70, 70, 67, and 65. Only one other player, 3rd place finisher Carl Yuan, managed to record four rounds of even par or better on the week.
To be fair it was a bit of surprise after rounds of 74, and 71 shortened his stay in Colombia the week prior. Until now he had just one top ten on the Web.com Tour to his credit. He did post a top 20 earlier this year in the Bahamas.
A Jump To The PGA TOUR?
The win, which brings a cheque of $112,500 with it, boosts the Canadian to 2nd on the TOUR’s points list and should be enough to secure him a spot on the PGA TOUR for next season.
That seems to the trajectory Gligic, the 2018 Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year on the Mackenzie Tour, has been on, according to his coaches.
The lanky pro works has long worked with Gareth Raflewski on his short game and Sean Foley on his swing.
According to Brendan Stasiewich, the Communications man for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, in an unpublished quote by Foley for a recent story on Gligic, he 100% guaranteed that his pupil would earn a PGA TOUR Card this year.
It looks like he might be right.
Canadians to have won previously in the original Panama Open include George Knudson (1963) and Wilf Homeniuk (1966).
Gligic also puts his name next to other fine past winners in Panama, including Curtis Strange, Sam Snead, and Roberto DeVincenzo.
The other Canadians completing four rounds in Panama were Brad Fritsch (t-19), Albin Choi (t-36), and Mike Weir (t-41).