PGA TOUR Americas

Canada’s Savoie hopes to build on top-five result to start PGA Tour Americas season

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Joey Savoie (PGA TOUR Americas)

Canada’s Joey Savoie had a simple plan heading into the Bupa Championship: keep the driver in his bag.

The strategy paid off for Savoie, from La Prairie, Que., as he tied for fourth on Sunday in the first event of the PGA Tour Americas season. Savoie said that the conservative approach was necessary on the crowded fairways of PGA Riviera Maya in Tulum, Mexico.

“Jungle on both sides on every hole, water on every hole, pretty much, tough greens, fast greens, and windy,” said Savoie. “So it’s a mental test and a golf test second.

“I think it’s an overall test of endurance so I think my game plan is really well suited for that golf course.”

Clay Feagler won the event after bogeying the fourth playoff hole when fellow American Davis Shore double bogeyed it. Savoie tied for fourth at 2-under overall and, naturally, is tied for fourth in the Fortinet Cup standings after the one event.

Savoie isn’t exactly sure how the top-five finish early in the season will play out for him.

“I guess I’ll tell you after rest of the year,” said Savoie with a chuckle. “I’ve some good starts to the season, I’ve had some bad ones. 

“For me, the goal is to build on it, not let myself relax after that start. I want to keep my foot on the gas.”

Savoie will have a chance to floor it at the Totalplay Championship on Thursday at Atlas Country Club in Guadalajara, Mexico. He’s one of 14 Canadians in the field at the second of six events in the Latin American swing of the PGA Tour Americas.

It’s technically the inaugural season of the PGA Tour’s third-tier circuit after the Latinoamerica Tour merged with the Canadian Tour in the winter to form one long season with a break between the two phases.

“Schedule wise, it might be a little easier,” said Savoie as he waited for his flight to Guadalajara. “It can be easier to plan the year maybe but the big difference is the number events in Latino countries.

“The overlapping was only two or three events a year, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. There’s just no more overlapping.”

PGA TOUR — Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., is the highest ranked Canadian in the field at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. He moved up to 46th in the FedEx Cup standings thanks to a tie for third at the Valspar Championship on Sunday. He’ll be joined at Memorial Park Golf Course by Adam Svensson (75th) of Surrey, B.C., Ben Silverman (96th) of Thornhill, Ont., Taylor Pendrith (99th) of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Roger Sloan (192nd) of Merritt, B.C.

CHAMPIONS TOUR — Calgary’s Stephen Ames is ranked second in the Schwab Cup points list heading into The Galleri Classc this week. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., is 42nd on the points list. The event at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., tees on Friday.

DP WORLD TOUR — Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., will tee it up on Thursday at the Hero Indian Open in New Delhi. He’s the only Canadian at DLF Golf and Country Club.

LPGA TOUR — Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., is fifth in the Race to CME Globe standings heading into the inaugural Ford Championship. Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ont., is 38th and Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., is tied for 128th. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp was a tournament invite as she’s a member at Seville Golf and Country Club in Gilbert, Ariz., the event’s host course.