Albert Pistorius quickly broke away from the three other players tied atop the leaderboard when the final round of the Canada Life Series at TPC Toronto’s Heathlands Course began on Friday.
Pistorius eagled his first hole of the day and birdied the third to quickly move to 10-under. As it turned out, Pistorius would need all those strokes.
The native of South Africa who lives in Calgary was four over the rest of the way, but that blazing start allowed him to win the third Canada Life Series tournament by a stroke over Andrew J. Funk, Callum Davison and points list leader Yi Cao.
The victory earned Pistorius 500 points, a $9,000 first-place payday and, most importantly, his first professional victory.
Pistorius made his final birdie of the day at the par five 16th. Meanwhile, the other three players all had late bogeys coming in, giving Pistorius the cushion he needed to bogey No. 18 and still walk away with the title.
“There were a lot of thoughts out there just barging into your mind and you just have to keep focused on what you’re trying to do,” said Pistorius. “It’s exhausting. With the wind swirling, it wasn’t easy out there today. Some of it was like a three-club wind.”
“Today being such a difficult day, it’s extra sweet to be able to win. It was so tough to choose clubs. Some of the pins were tucked way back, and it was hard to get it close, especially on the back nine,” said Pistorius.
The final event in the Canada Life Series gets underway on Wednesday at TPC Toronto’s Heathlands Course in Caledon, Ont.
Click here for Friday’s final leaderboard.
Mackenzie Hughes start the first round of the Tour Championship with three birdies on his first six holes, but that would be it for the day.
Hughes had a bogey on eight and two more on the back nine to leave him at even par for the day and the tournament. He goes into Saturday’s second round tied for 26th.
The leaderboard is here.
Maddie Szeryk opened with a one over 73 and is tied for 32nd at the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Ind.
That leaderboard is here.