Somebody needed to get hot to separate themselves from the field at the 2017 National Capital Open To Support our Troops and Mark Blakefield proved he was up to the task.
With a bottleneck developing early on Sunday at Hylands Golf Club, the Kentucky native burst ahead with a birdie barrage and did not look back.
As overnight leader Charlie Danielson waned with opening bogies, the title looked up for grabs for about a half-dozen golfers. Blakefield himself was not making much of a push after a bogey on his second hole of the day but that all changed on the 5th hole.
That is where the 35 year-old began a run of five straight birdies to distinguish himself and jump into the lead; one he would not relinquish. He added three more birdies on the back side and converted two pars from off the green on the last two holes to keep himself clear of a charging Kramer Hickok.
“You get gotta get it done, one way or another,” said Blakefield “Winning’s never easy, and hardly ever do you just get a walk in the park to the 18th green. Sometimes you have to come up with something when you need it.”
“Come up with something”, he did as his -20 total (65-66-68-65) earned him his first title on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada.
“Obviously it was a great week and I played great, but the one thing was that I threw a few shots away with some bad up-and-downs that I didn’t get. To get those two on the last two holes was fantastic, especially to make those two putts when I needed them,” added Blakefield.
With Blakefield safely in the clubhouse it was left to Hickok to try to make eagle on the final hole, a par four, but a par was all he could manage. It was still good enough for the runner-up finish and also moved him to first place on the TOUR’s Order of Merit.
Finishing the week at 11-under par and sharing 12th place, Jared du Toit of British Columbia took the top spot among Canadians. For that he earned the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours and a $2,500 prize.
Amateur Noah Steele was the top player from Eastern Ontario. The 19 year-old from Kingston shared 27th place at -9. You can read more about it and hear his assessment of the week at this link.
Charity Wins As Well
The National Capital Open to Support Our Troops announced a donation of $78,200 to Soldier On, a Canadian Armed Forces program that supports currently serving members and veterans to overcome their physical or mental health illness or injury through physical activity and sport.