The players love it. Their support shows.
Some of the top pros in the Canada turned out for the 2015 Rideau View Golf Club Pro-Am, and given the depth of talent in the field, it was no surprise that it took extra holes to settle on a winner.
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada player Jeffery Hamm of California was first in the clubhouse with a 67 (-5) at the Manotick, ON area golf course on Monday. A number of other players were mumbling that it might be tough to beat considering the speed of the greens and tour-like conditions at the private club.
They were right. Only two other players, both Canadians, were able to match it.
Veteran Danny Sahl of Alberta, fresh back to playing with the recent decision by Mike Weir to take a leave from the game, posted a 67 of his own. The caddy for Canada’s only male major champion is fresh off a 2nd pace finish at the ATB Financial.
Just when it looked like a two-man playoff would ensue Sahl’s fellow Kent State University alum, (and coincidentally house-mate for this week in Ottawa for the playing of the Mackenzie Tour’s National Capital Open) turned in a 67 of his own. It was aided by four closing birdies.
When Hamm was eliminated on the first extra hole, the par-5 tenth at Rideau View, it was up to the former Golden Flashes to fight it out for the $10,000 first place prize.
Sahl, who, like Mills, had made a birdie on the first extra hole, made another on the on the next hole, the 18th, to secure the win to the approval of very packed clubhouse patio nearby.
The well-liked Sahl, known as Diesel (D-Sahl) to his peers, was more than happy with the start to his week in the Nation’s Capital.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing this golf course,” the 35 year-old shared with Flagstick.com. “I’ve had a couple close opportunities (to win) in the past.
One year Sahl had a several stroke lead but the event was cancelled due to inclement weather.
“It’s kind of redemption for that I guess,” added the winner of the Mackenzie Tour 2011 Syncrude Boreal Open in his home province of Alberta.
“I enjoy coming here to Ottawa, Rideau View, and the golf course is amazing. It’s a great test for us and it’s great practice for the week ahead.”
Currently 18th on the Order of Merit with just one event played, Sahl says he hopes to build on his momentum and take advantage of the opportunities the Mackenzie Tour can provide now that he is back playing.
‘This is a busy time; I’m not used to playing five in a row. Obviously I’m fine walking the golf courses (a nod to his recent caddy experience) but playing is a little different. It’s a little bit more mental and I’m excited for it. I’ve got an opportunity to kind of move up on the money list and get in contention for a spot in Web.com Tour finals.”
The top five players on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit earn playing privileges on the Web.com Tour while the next five automatically qualify for the finals of Web.com Tour Qualifying.
Starting out the year as a caddy but given Weir’s blessing to resume playing while the boss takes a break, Sahl says the transition back to hitting the shots instead of carrying the bag has been fairly easy.
“A little bit of a challenge but this is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s nice to take some time away from it (playing) and come back fresh. My expectations two week ago weren’t very high but I was confident in my game so obviously it held up here and it’s giving me more confidence heading into these last five events.”