Given the intermittent heavy rains and winds gusting to 35 km/h most golfers would not have been found near the Hylands Golf Club on Sunday but three golfers had to play out their fourth round AND play extra holes to decide the 2016 National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.
The longest playoff in the PGA TOUR era of the Mackenzie Tour; 7 holes, was needed to declare American Brock Mackenzie (70-66-65-68) as the winner. It is the third victory of his career on this tour.
The 35 year-old beat out Samuel Del Val of Spain and Canadian Adam Cornelson in the extra stanzas.
“Winning is hard,” said Mackenzie. “It seems like it gets harder and harder on this Tour. The quality of guys goes up and up every year on this Tour so I don’t take it for granted, that’s for sure.”
A final hole birdie secured Mackenzie a place in the playoff, something we did not think was even a possibility with a few holes to go. At that point Cornelson was sitting at -17 and leading the way but he made bogeys on his closing two holes.
“I thought Adam had a stranglehold on it,” said Mackenzie. “Unfortunately he made those two bogeys and then all of a sudden the playoff started and chaos ensued.”
“It was dumping rain and blowing 30 km/h, and everything else goes out the window. I just tried to battle and get it done,” said Cornelson, lamenting his bogey-bogey finish. “I was hitting a lot of good shots. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way but if you give yourself a chance that’s all you can do.”
The weather conditions were also on the mind of the new champion, but not just for his own sake. He thoughtfully shared with Flagstick.com, “I would like to thank the volunteers mostly because of what they had to go through today. We had to be here; they didn’t have to be here. Most of them didn’t have umbrellas. They were typing in our scores so my mom back home can nervously watch and refresh her computer every 10 minutes. Without the volunteers, these tournaments just can’t happen. I know that I speak for the players when I say how much we appreciate them giving up their time. We also appreciate the members of the Hylands Golf Club giving up their course.”
He added, “Thanks to the Hylands superintendent and his staff. I know you guys had a drought and I know that it seems like when we come into town the drought usually ends. I’m glad that we could provide some rain for you guys.”
The victory is a big boost for Mackenzie who jumps into second position position in The Five with $70,175 in earnings. If he can maintain that position after the final three events he will secure status on the Web.com Tour where he struggled last season. “Last year on the Web.com Tour I think I was the no. 2 ball striker on Tour, and I just putted poorly, ” he said of his stint on the bigger circuit. “Hopefully the putter is coming around and next year I’ll be up there doing what J.J. Spaun and some of the guys that have graduated up there are doing.”
While Mackenzie leaves with (CDN) $31,500, he is not the only person gaining from this week’s event.
The effort to mitigate homelessness among Canadian Armed Forces Veterans was boosted to the tune of a $100,000 donation generated from the event.
“That’s what the Mackenzie Tour and indeed the PGA Tour is all about. Giving back to the community and making a positive impact,” Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Media Official Brian Decker. “With the five year extension, we intend to build on this event and make it a bigger and better event over the next five years. We’re all about giving players a platform to achieve their dreams and sending players to the web.com and PGA Tours.”