72 holes was not enough to decide this past week’s stop on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR. Two Canadians, Kevin Spooner of British Columbia, and Ben Silverman of Ontario, faced off against American Talor Gooch over 5 extra holes at the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Spooner was the unlikely winner after having closed the tournament earlier in the day with a 63 (-9) to give himself a -16 total. He had to wait almost two hours for the field to finish and set up the resulting playoff where he prevailed.
Heading into the week without any tour status, Spooner was in the field due to a top-20 finish in the previous tournament, the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist.
In a short span he has gone from non-member on the Mackenzie Tour to second place on the overall Order of Merit, behind only Albin Choi. It’s been a huge transition but a pleasant one for the West Vancouver golfer.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for me, because I was just trying to get status on this tour. I was fortunate enough to get an exemption into Victoria and turned that into another start for me. I was just trying to rack up those dollars to get status after the re-shuffle, and the win certainly helped; I don’t think I have to worry about that anymore,” said the 26 year-old Spooner.
“Teeing up this morning, I thought I had absolutely no chance to get into contention for the win, being nine shots back to start. I got off to a great start, played pretty aggressive and made a lot of putts,” said Spooner. “It was quite the grind, quite the battle to keep going there for five holes.”
For his efforts Spooner not only took top prize of $31,500 but picked up the Freedom 55 Financial Top Canadian Award for the week that brings an extra $2,500 prize.
Choi Still Leads Order Of Merit
After three events Albin Choi of Toronto, Ontario still leads the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit. The top five will earn status on the Web.com Tour for the following season, with the Order of Merit winner earning fully exempt status. Below are the top five (bold denotes Canadian):
1. Albin Choi – $37,310
2. Kevin Spooner – $36,575
3. Drew Weaver – $36,225
4. Adam Svensson – $25,617
5. Ben Silverman – $16,151