It took one extra sudden-win playoff hole to decide a winner at the Hylands Golf Club in Ottawa in the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.
Sam Ryder from Longwood, Florida was apologetic about the manner in which he won the Mackenzie Tour -PGA TOUR Canada event after Richmond Hill, Ontario’s Taylor Pendrith had three-putted from 10 feet. Ryder had hit his approach shot to the back fringe on the par 4 – 18th hole in the playoff leaving him a tough chip to the cup. After sizing up his two foot putt, he calmly stroked it in for the win.
“It was hard to watch the [Pendrith’s] birdie putt. Honestly, I just wasn’t expecting him to miss that second one. I didn’t really want it to end like that, but I’ll take it,” said the 25-year old Ryder, a second-year member on the Mackenzie Tour. “You couldn’t really draw it up better than the way we went back-and-forth all day with no bogeys through 18 regulation holes. It was just a lot of good golf from both of us, and a lot of pressure and a lot of fun.”
This was Sam Ryder’s first win on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and he moved to second place on the Order of Merit putting him into position to gain status on the Web.com Tour for 2016.
“I’m at a little bit of a loss for words right now, but it feels really good,” said Ryder.” I was already in great shape and had some really solid finishes this year. This feels really good and I think it solidifies myself as one of the contenders out here for sure.”
Ryder and Pendrith were the last twosome to tee off on the final day and they were accompanied throughout by a large group of knowledgeable golf fans. Both players finished their final round with scores of 5 under par 66 with no bogies recorded by either man.
Instead of a champagne dousing; in typical Canadian fashion a few cans of Canadian beer were showered on the winner.
“Absolutely a successful event”, said National Capital Open Tournament Director Doug Langton. “First was the weather. We had a little rain on Thursday but after that it’s been beautiful. For the spectators you couldn’t ask for anything better. We had a lot of volunteers but we could always use more. We had people say that they are volunteering next year including this year’s volunteers and others who thought it looked like fun. We’ll be taking a few weeks off, then assess this year’s event and then start planning for next year.”
Kudos to the organizing committee and the volunteers for their hard work on the tournament and especially to the green-keeping staff under the leadership of Perry Beausoleil who provided an excellent golf course in great condition for the players.
Apart from those receiving cheques, the real winners at the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops were the fans who saw a lot of extremely talented golfers, many of whom are making their way towards their goal of playing on the PGA Tour.
Ottawa’s Lee Curry was the only local player to make the cut. The former TOUR member and member of the professional staff at the Rideau View Golf Club ended play is a share of 54th place.