The latest winner on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada is Noah Steele. Unlike most players on the tour he’s still an amateur, and one who until a few weeks ago was not even planning to play in the event that he can now call himself the champion of, the Osprey Valley Open.
After a busy golf season the required plenty of travel with extra complications due to Covid-19, Steele was relieved to come home to Canada a few weeks ago. The Team Canada member from Kingston, Ontario competed in the Canadian Men’s Amateur that week in Windsor, Ontario. He carried a one-shot lead into the final round. He turned in a 73 that day and fell to 5th place.
Instead of seeing the negative in the situation he used it to reflect on his play prior to that in multiple prestigious events across the United States, including the North & South Amateur, Porter Cup, and the Western Amateur.
He was disappointed in letting the Canadian Amateur opportunity slip by but, per his usual attitude, took it in stride. There were signs that he was rounding into the form that earned him three NCAA titles during his tenure at Sam Houston State University.
“It was nice to play solid again after being close and not seeing much result,” he tapped out in a text to one of his coaching team members after the final round at the national championship. “Settled back into my ball-striking and made some putts, which was nice. Just need to keep believing in myself!”
Trust in one’s self is key to any athlete’s success, be it amateur or professional, but it’s does not always come easy. Even for the talented.
What followed was a last minute decision to play in his Club Championship at the Cataraqui Golf & Country Club to pick away at some thing he was working on (he finished 3rd). Then, slated to play in some PGA TOUR Canada – Mackenzie Tour events later this year in western Canada, he decided to boost his plans and made the choice to sign up for the circuit’s Osprey Valley Open.
It was a good call.
On Sunday the 23 year-old capped a week that writes like a fairy tale, recording rounds of 66-65-64-66 (-23) for a resounding six-stroke victory over friend and Golf Canada teammate, Etienne Papineau. In four laps of The Heathlands Course at TPC Toronto in Caledon, Ontario, he marked twenty-two birdies and two eagle on his scorecards, and just three bogies.
It was golf in full flight.
Early Final Round Push
Steele started his push to victory in impressive fashion, making birdies on five of his first eight hole of the final round, enough to keep a charging Papineau (he was -3 for his first two holes of the round) at bay.
Despite a bogey on the 9th hole, Steele, who had the several family members and friends following in the crowd, maintained a comfortable margin through the back closing nine courtesy of a card marked by one birdie and eight pars.
“It has not sunk in yet,” shared the champion afterward. “I’m super, super thankful to be in the position that I’m in, and I was able to really enjoy the week and enjoy the day. I was able to smile out there and enjoy it and play good golf, which was great.”
Multiple pros expressed their admiration for Steele’s play during the week, with him being the first amateur to win on the Tour in many years, and the star of the day expressed what it meant to him. In doing so it circled back on the thoughts he had from the weeks prior and the need to have faith in himself.
“To win a professional event in the way that I did—I think more so the things that I proved to myself this week, and just believing in my ability was huge,” said Steele.
As for where the win sits on his resume so far, it’s no surprise where the accomplished young player ranks it. It is a PGA TOUR-affiliated event after-all, and the pro life is where he hope to be one day.
“It’s at the top, so I’m thankful to have won this week.”
Etienne Papineau finished alone in second place at -17; that left pro Jesse Smith to earn the top money prize for the week. Smith’s Sunday charge and score of 64 put him in 3rd place alone.
The TOUR now heads to Prince Edward Island for their 3rd and 4th events of their schedule.
The rest of the players will likely be happy to hear that Steele will not be in those fields.