Savannah, Georgia’s Mark Silvers defeated Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Matt Harmon in a playoff to win the Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial, securing his first PGA TOUR Canada victory.
Silvers, who began the week 89th on the Order of Merit, turned his season around with the win, carding a final round 6-under 66 at The Lakes Golf Club to reach 15-under par for the week and move all the way to the 10th spot on the season-long money list with one event to go.
“I can hardly put it into words. Coming into the end of the year, I wasn’t going to have Web.com Tour status for next year and had I not played well, I wouldn’t have had PGA TOUR Canada status for next year,” said Silvers, who was previously most well-known for his Big Break Greenbrier win. “To come in and play well when I had to, and to now have a chance to skip some stages and definitely have status up here for next year is so big.”
Silvers began the day three shots behind 54-hole co-leaders Michael Gligic and Dan McCarthy, but moved up the leaderboard quickly with a 3-under 33 on his opening nine. Silvers, who was bogey-free on Sunday, carded three more birdies at 10, 13 and 14 to reach 15-under, then needed to convert a tricky 6-foot par putt at 18 to post the clubhouse lead at 15-under par.
“Getting it up-and-down for par on 18 was awesome, and I had no idea where I stood,” said Silvers, who insisted he didn’t look at a leaderboard all day until the 72nd hole. “I tried to just black out. I had been putting really, really well. I just tried to not let myself think about what it could possibly mean. I felt like I was going to be in good shape regardless, and I’m glad I didn’t look at a leaderboard, because it helped to just free me up to keep doing what I was doing.”
Harmon, the winner earlier this year at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open presented by SaskTel, pulled even with Silvers with a birdie on 17, then gave himself a look for the outright win at the 18th with an 8-foot birdie putt. The putt hung on the lip, however, giving Silvers life in a sudden victory playoff.
“Luckily I was on the driving range, or I would have had a heart attack,” said Silvers. “Matt played great. We played together yesterday, and he had an awesome four days.”
At No. 10 on the Order of Merit, the win moves Silvers in position to earn an exemption into the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School. The 27-year old University of South Carolina grad admitted he had a bleak outlook at the beginning with the week, faced with the prospect of losing his status on TOUR for next year.
“This is where you want to be. PGA TOUR Canada is huge now, with world ranking points and the opportunity to move up to the Web.com Tour or the PGA TOUR. To get a win with such good players in the field really is amazing,” said Silvers.
Harmon’s second place check vaulted him over Brock Mackenzie into third on the Order of Merit, within $817 of No. 2 Tim Madigan with one event to go. Harmon, Madigan and Mackenzie are all within striking distance of leader Joel Dahmen’s $79,687 total should they be able to win the TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial next week.
Two shots back of the playoff were West Vancouver, BC’s Seann Harlingten, Montreal, Quebec’s Beon-Yeong Lee and McCarthy, a Syracuse, New York native, at 13-under.
LEE CLAIMS FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL TOP CANADIAN HONOURS
With a final round 7-under 65 and a 13-under total, 25-year old Beon-Yeong Lee of Montreal, Quebec claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours on Sunday, along with a $1,500 prize.
Each week, Freedom 55 Financial honours the top Canadian on the leaderboard with the award. The top Canadian on the Order of Merit after next week’s TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial will be named Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Year and earn a $10,000 prize.
Weather: 17 degrees Celsius. Cloudy skies giving way to evening sunshine. Winds W 15 km/h.
Silvers is the second straight player to come from behind and win this season, and fourth in total this year on PGA TOUR Canada.
Silvers is the third player to win on the Big Break and PGA TOUR Canada, joining Brian Kontak and Derek Gillespie.
In addition to earning a spot in next week’s TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial, the top 60 players on the Order of Merit through this week retain conditional status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2015. Below is a picture of the top 60 ‘bubble’ through this week:
|No.||Player||Earnings||Finish this week|
Next week’s TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial is the final chance for players to earn status on the Web.com Tour for next season. Below is a breakdown of the Web.com Tour status available by position on the 2014 PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit.
|No. 1||Exempt on 2015 Web.com Tour|
|Nos. 2-5||Conditional status on 2015 Web.com Tour|
|Nos. 6-10||Exemption into final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School|
|Nos. 11-20||Exemption into second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School|
Below is the current top 20, plus the minimum required finish to reach the next level of available status. With 58 players committed to next week’s TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial, each player is guaranteed to earn at least $465 in official money should they complete 72 holes.
|No.||Player||Earnings||Needed to reach No. 1||Needed to reach No. 5|
|6||Josh Persons||$38,859||-||Two-way tie for 24th|
|7||Wes Homan||$37,327||-||Two-way tie for 13th|
|8||Nate McCoy||$34,664||-||Two-way tie for fifth|
|9||Michael Gligic||$33,627||-||Solo fourth|
|10||Mark Silvers||$31,590||-||Two-way tie for third|
Beon-Yeong Lee, Seann Harlingten and Dan McCarthy (T3) all finished T3 and posted career-best finishes on PGA TOUR Canada.