Victoria, B.C. – Langley, B.C.’s Adam Cornelson shot a 6-under 65 on Saturday at Uplands Golf Club to capture the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist for his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada title in record-breaking fashion.
The 28-year set the new PGA TOUR-era scoring record on the Mackenzie Tour, finishing at 20-under par 260 for the week thanks to a chip-in birdie on the 72nd hole, giving him a five shot lead over Edmond, Oklahoma’s Taylor Moore. The win moves Cornelson to second place on the Order of Merit, in position to earn Web.com Tour status for 2017.
“It’s the best week of my golfing life,” said Cornelson, finding a poetic ending in capturing his first win at his favourite tournament. “I’ve always felt like if and when I was going to win, it would be at this tournament. It suits my eye so well, and I love this city so much. The support this city, this crowd and the volunteers have showed me, it was chilling. I’ve never felt support like that in my life, and it gave me so much energy to continue on, it was phenomenal.”
Starting the day with a three-shot lead over Cibolo, Texas’ Jeff Rein, Cornelson took control of the tournament with birdies on the first and sixth holes and an eagle on the seventh, opening a lead that swelled to as many as six on the front nine.
“With the talent on this Tour, a three-shot lead is great, but just look at Moore there. If I shoot even-par I’m in a playoff, and I knew that would be the case, so that’s all the motivation I needed,” said Cornelson, who added birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th holes for a closing 65.
The win comes as validation for an offseason of hard work and self-reflection for Cornelson, who finished 94th on the Order of Merit in 2015 to lose his card. After setting new goals and putting in hard work on his fitness and swing, the University of New Orleans grad came in to the year with new motivation, and it paid off on Sunday.
“At the end of last year, I didn’t know if I wanted to keep doing this. My family is so supportive, they egged me on and I worked harder than ever,” said Cornelson, adding that the success of his Mackenzie Tour alumni peers at the next level provided extra inspiration. “You see guys that win and finish in the top five on this Tour and go up through the pipeline, like Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin and Roger Sloan and Joel Dahmen, they all started here and when you see them succeed, it’s motivating.”
Cornelson, who was surrounded after putting out by family and friends, including Mackenzie Tour players and British Columbia natives Brad Clapp, Thomas Hay and Seann Harlingten, added that he put some old demons to rest with his nearly-flawless final round.
“I’ve seen leads dwindle, and I’ve been in contention myself and I’ve failed. I slept on that last night, and I learned a lot from those failures. They helped me a lot today,” said Cornelson.
Moore, a former NCAA All-American at the University of Arkansas, finished second in his pro debut, while Rein finished solo third to record his first career Mackenzie Tour top-10.