Michael Gligic of Burlington, ON defeated Matt Marshall of Scottsdale, AZ in a sudden death playoff at Windermere Golf & Country Club in Edmonton to earn his first Canadian Tour victory at the 2012 ATB Financial Classic presented by TELUS on Sunday.
With the victory Gligic becomes the second straight Q-School medalist to win on the Canadian Tour after Andrew Roque‘s win at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open. Gligic was the medalist at the 2011 Fall Qualifying School at Hidden Lake Golf Club, his home course in Burlington, ON.
“It feels really good to get a win out here,” said Gligic, who is well known in Ontario circles for his stellar play on the Great Lakes Tour. “It definitely wasn’t easy, but I’m really happy to be standing here in the winner’s circle,” added Gligic, who posted final round 67.
Marshall and Gligic entered the playoff after posting 14-under par, but it didn’t come without some drama. After narrowly missing a birdie putt to post 15-under par on the 18th in regulation, Gligic watched as Marshall knocked his approach to eight feet on the final hole and sank the putt to force a sudden death playoff.
Gligic had a three-foot putt to win on the first extra hole, but missed it to the left. On the second playoff hole, however, he found the green and secured the victory with a two-putt par as Marshall struggled to make bogey.
“You can never really practice those three-footers to win a tournament. Fortunately I was able to get a second chance and got the job done,” said Gligic.
Gligic earned $28,000 for the win, vaulting him atop the Order of Merit. It was his first event of the season.
Earlier, it looked as though Marshall may run away with the tournament. The 27-year old birdied his first four holes and reached 17-under with a birdie on the 13th and led by as many as four shots. But Marshall lost the lead with four straight bogeys from holes 14-17 before his birdie on 18.
Two shots back of the playoff were Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, BC, Ryan Williams of Vancouver, BC, Joe Panzeri of Meridian, ID and Dodge Kemmer of Mountain View, CA at 12-under par.
Defending champion Hugo Leon of Chile made a spirited charge in the final round, shooting a four-under 67 to finish seventh.
18-year old Edmonton native Wilson Bateman fired a final-round 68 to finish at 10-under for the tournament and in a tie for eigth place. Other local players included Steven Lecuyer (-7, T-21) and Danny Sahl (+6, T-71)
Matt Hill of Sarnia, ON, finished the tournament in a tie for eighth. The finish gets the Canadian Tour affiliate member into next week’s Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON. Hill needs another $6,911.08 to gain special temporary membership on the Canadian Tour which will earn him exempt status for the remainder of the year.
Nick Taylor‘s T-3 finish earned him $8,050 and puts him atop the race for the Canadian Rookie of the Year presented by the Great Waterway Tourism Region. Taylor has $12,850 in earnings on the season, just ahead of Cory Renfrew, whose T-53 finish puts him at $12,339.63 on the season. Wilson Bateman is in third with $4,900, ahead of Riley Wheeldon ($2,712.50) and Steven Lecuyer ($2,400).
The Canadian Tour now heads to Fort McMurray for the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON which begins next Thursday June 28, 2012 at Fort McMurray Golf Club. Among the players in the field is two-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski.
Flagstick Region Notes:
Oliver Tubb of Stirling, Ontario and Brad Revell of Kingston, Ontario both missed the 36-hole cut in Edmonton.