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Golf Canada Leaderboard presented by Titleist

Below is a list of how Canadian golfers fared across the major professional tours the week prior.

OLYMPICS

American Xander Schauffele carded a final round 67, including a four foot putt for par on the final hole, to claim the gold medal in the men’s golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics. The win was an emotional one for Schauffele whose father Stefan, a former track and field athlete, had his Olympic hopes dashed 40 years ago when a car crash left him blind in one eye. Schauffele is just the second American ever to win gold in golf, the first since Charles Sands in Paris in 1900.

Rory Sabbatini set an Olympic record with a final round 61, despite two bogeys, and almost forced a sudden-death playoff before settling for the silver medal while playing for Slovakia. The South African-born Sabbatini became a Slovakian citizen in 2018 thanks to his wife, Martina.

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was one shot off the lead with four holes to play in his quest to win a gold medal at his home Olympics. But he missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole which would have given him the bronze medal. Instead, it forced a seven-man playoff for the final medal. The Japanese hopeful was eliminated on the first extra hole with a bogey.

Rory McIlroy, Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz were eliminated on the third playoff hole with pars, leaving C.T. Pan and British Open champion Collin Morikawa to fight for the final medal. Pan, representing Chinese Taipei, won it with a par on the fourth extra hole.

Canada’s Corey Conners carded a final round 65 to finish 13th, five strokes back of Schauffele. Teammate Mackenzie Hughes shot 75 and ended up 50th. Both were representing Canada for the first time at the Olympic Games.

POS   SCORES TOTAL
13 Corey Conners 69-71-66-65 -13
50 Mackenzie Hughes 69-72-65-75 -3

NEXT EVENT: Women’s Olympic Competition (Aug 4)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Brooke Henderson, Alena Sharp


EUROPEAN TOUR/LPGA TOUR

England’s Daniel Gavins overcame a seven stroke deficit to win the ISPS HANDA World Invitational by one stroke over fellow Englishman David Horsey. For Gavins it was his first European Tour after never previously recording a single top-10 finish. New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier, who was tied for the lead before dropping shots on the 16th and 17th, finished tied for third with third round leader Jordan Smith, Alejandro Canizares and Masahiro Kawamura.

In the women’s event, Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn overcame a triple bogey on the sixth hole to defeat American Emma Talley on the second playoff hole. Along with  Jennifer Kupcho, the trio reached the final hole in regulation in a tie but Kupcho bogeyed the 18th to finish outside the playoff. Both players made par on the first extra hole and Anannarukarn needed another par on the second playoff hole to win after Talley missed the green on her approach. Anannarukarn becomes the fifth first-time winner on the LPGA Tour this season.

NEXT EVENT: Hero Open (Aug 5)
CANADIANS ENTERED: Aaron Cockerill


FORME TOUR

Turk Pettit shot a final round 67 to win the Birck Boilermaker Classic in just the third start of his professional golf career.  Two months ago, Pettit was putting the finishing touches on a win at the 2021 NCAA Championship.  Joseph Harrison missed a 10 foot putt which could have forced a playoff, leaving him alone in second place. The victory moves Pettit to the top of the Tour’s points list. The top five at the end of the season will earn membership on the Korn Ferry Tour. …Will Bateman posted his best result on the tour and second top 20 result in four starts. …Golf Canada Young Pro Squad member Joey Savoie recovered from rounds of 74 and 76 to card a final round 69 and maintain his top 10 points standing. He sits ninth and is the only Canadian in the top 10.

POS   SCORES TOTAL
T13 Wil Bateman 67-72-71-69 -9
T31 James Allenby 73-65-75-70 -5
T31 Lawren Rowe 71-69-69-74 -5
T39 Joey Savoie 65-74-76-69 -4
T55 Riley Wheeldon 74-68-71-75 E
MC Blair Hamilton 73-71  
MC Chris Crisologo 72-75  
MC Jared du Toit 74-73  
MC Myles Creighton 75-72  
MC Callum Davison 77-72  

NEXT EVENT: Fuzzy Zoeller Classic  (Aug 10)
CANADIANS ENTERED: TBA


MACKENZIE TOUR-PGA TOUR CANADA

Brendan Leonard birdied three of the final five holes to overcome a five stroke deficit and win the Mackenzie Investments Open, the opening event of the 2021 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule. Leonard was tied for the lead before making back-to-back birdies on the final two holes to finish two shots better than Sudarshan Yellamaraju and Marc Casullo. Blair Bursey led through each of the first three rounds but a final round 76 denied him a chance of going wire-to-wire, finishing in a tie for fourth with Keven Fortin-Simard. Other notable finishers: Jamie Sadlowski tied for 6th, Sebastian Szirmak tied for 8th, and Eric Banks tied for 12th.  The top player on the final points list will earn full exempt status on the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada while second-through-fifth will earn exempt status up until the first reshuffle. Finishers six through 10 will each earn a sponsor exemption into a 2022 Mackenzie Tour event.

NEXT EVENT: Osprey Valley Open (Aug 16)

Champions Tour

Furyk recovers from rough start to win US Senior Open by 3; Weir finishes second with Ames T8

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Jim Furyk put his name alongside some of golf’s greats Sunday once he recovered from a rough start in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open.

Making his debut in the event, Furyk closed with a 1-over 71 to become the eighth player to win both the U.S. Open and Senior Open, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, Gary Player, Hale Irwin and Orville Moody.

“It’s an incredible list,” Furyk said. “I didn’t really want to look to see who was on it last night, but when I finished in the scoring tent I saw it was on TV. They listed the seven folks before. I’m very honored and humbled to have my name in the same breath, to be honest with you. That’s some damn good players.”

Furyk finished at 7-under 273 at Omaha Country Club and held off Retief Goosen and Canadian Mike Weir by three strokes.

He won the U.S. Open in 2003 at Olympia Fields south of Chicago, is a 17-time winner on the PGA Tour and won his first two PGA Tour Champions events upon turning 50 last year. This was the third senior major he’s played. He tied for 16th in the Senior PGA and was sixth in the Senior Players Championship.

It was not the stress-free final round Furyk wanted Sunday. He played the first three holes in 3 over, finding the unforgiving rough three times on the second hole and a tricky lie in the greenside bunker on the third. Suddenly, his four-shot lead was down to one.

Furyk righted himself with a birdie on the par-5 sixth and, after going out in 2-over 37, regained the four-shot lead by the time he made the turn.

It wasn’t until he stuck his 109-yard approach to 3 feet to birdie the par-5 16th that he put away his closest pursuers, major champions Goosen and Weir. That put him three up with two holes to play.

“I felt real good about it, I’ll say that,” he said. “Looking back after making bogey at 15, that was probably the clincher.”

Furyk played his final 15 holes in 2 under and finished at 7-under 273 to win the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy and $720,000. He was the seventh player to have a lead of four or more strokes entering the final round of the U.S. Senior Open, and six have gone on to win.

Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., tied for lowest round of the day with a 67, and Goosen shot 69.

Furyk looked to be in full control after he followed his 64 on Friday with a 66 on Saturday.

But he bogeyed the par-5 second hole after his layup attempt from the right rough rolled across the fairway and into the left rough, and his next shot found the greenside cabbage.

Then he put his tee shot just below the lip of the left bunker on the par-3 third and needed two swings to get out. He two-putted for a double bogey that dropped him to 5 under for the tournament.

“I was just a little mad at myself for turning a 4 into a 5,” Furyk said. “You’ve got a big lead or got a lead going into Sunday, that’s what you’re trying to avoid. So I was really just trying to collect myself.”

Goosen birdied the first hole and tapped in for another on the sixth to get to 4 under. It looked as if he would stall out with bogeys on two of his next four holes, but he played his last seven in 2 under to hang around.

“Overall, I would say the way I felt early in the week I would have taken second,” Goosen said, “but it would have been nice to have been a little closer coming down the last.”

Weir started the day seven shots off the lead and made three pushes to get within three, the last when he made birdie on the 16th just before Furyk bogeyed the 15th.

“It would have been really tough to catch Jim,” said the Canadian. “He’s such a tough competitor and solid player that he’s not going to give too many back, and you know he’s going to fight.”

Rod Pampling (67) birdied two of the last four holes to finish at 3 under,

Bernhard Langer, who has won a record 11 senior majors, made long birdie puts on Nos. 11 and 12 and tapped in for another on No. 13 to pull within four of the lead. The 63-year-old could get no closer in his bid for his first senior major win since 2017. He had a 68 to tie for fifth at 1 under.

Calgary’s Stephen Ames, paired with Furyk, couldn’t take advantage of his partner’s early struggles.

The first-round co-leader Ames, who won the Principal Charity Classic last month, plugged his tee shot into the face of the left greenside bunker on the third, took an unplayable lie and double bogeyed. He bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine to fall out of contention. His 75 left him 1 over.

Champions Tour

Jim Furyk takes 4 shot lead into US Senior Open final round; Ames sits second heading into Sunday

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Jim Furyk overcame a mid-round lull following the second of two weather delays Saturday and moved closer to winning his first senior major title.

The 51-year-old took a four-shot lead into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open after shooting a 4-under 66 on Saturday to get to 8-under 202 at Omaha Country Club.

“I started off real well this morning, felt I was striking the ball well and hit some good shots and good putts,” Furyk said. “When I came out from the delay, I kind of lost my rhythm. I kind of settled down and made a long putt and for the rest of the way played pretty well.”

First-round co-leader Stephen Ames birdied three of the last five holes for a 68, bouncing back from a 73 on Friday, and will be paired with Furyk on Sunday.

Retief Goosen closed with two birdies, shot 66 and was alone at 3 under.

The biggest mover was Steve Flesch. The part-time television analyst shot the best round of the day with a 64 and was at 2 under. Past Masters champions Fred Couples (69) and Mike Weir (68) were in a group with Wes Short Jr. (68) and Kevin Sutherland (69) at 1 under.

Tee times were pushed back three hours after an overnight storm with straight-line wind of 90 mph knocked over camera towers and downed trees.

Furyk birdied the par-4 fourth and par-3 fifth and, as thunder rumbled, tapped in for par on the par-5 sixth before the horn sounded to signal the stoppage of play.

About an inch of rain fell during the three-hour delay, and workers who cleared brush off the course in the morning used squeegees and blowers to get standing water off fairways and greens.

Furyk, who won the U.S. Open in 2003, hit the first six greens in regulation and then went into grinding mode. He hit only two greens while playing the first six holes following the delay in 1-over par.

He closed with birdies on three of the last six holes, hitting his approach to 4 feet on the par-4 18th and making the putt to extend his lead.

Ames bogeyed two of the last three holes on the front nine and then got a hot putter and shot 4-under 32 on the back to put himself in contention again.

All he did to start making putts was stand a bit closer to the ball.

“All of a sudden my eyes felt better, my stroke felt easier and more free, and I started hitting the pace right, which is what I was struggling with,” Ames said. “I hit some real quality putts coming down the end there, so that right there alone is going to make my dinner taste a lot better tonight.”

Goosen, who won U.S. Opens in 2001 and 2004, had five birdies against one bogey. His biggest disappointment was a three-putt for par on the 313-yard 13th after he drove the green.

“My expectations were really low in the beginning of the week,” Goosen said. “I was hitting it so bad the last few weeks, and I was trying everything. I just decided to stick with something, and as the week got on, I started hitting it better and better. My confidence is coming back a little.”

Flesch flirted with missing the cut for a third straight U.S. Senior Open but rallied with a couple late birdies Friday and was among the first to tee off Saturday.

Flesch bogeyed his second hole, the par-3 11th, and then went flag hunting on receptive greens and birdied seven of the next 13.

He said he was proudest of parring the 434-yard ninth, his final hole. He drove into 4-inch-high rough, chopped the ball out and got up and down from 85 yards.

“I haven’t had much luck in U.S. Opens or U.S. Senior Opens, for that matter,” he said. “But it’s fun to contend, and I really have nothing to lose, and that’s kind of how I played today. I imagine I’ll kind of play the same way tomorrow and just enjoy it.”

Flesch said he’s savoring the experience because his college-age son, Griffin, has been carrying his bag while his regular caddie recovers from back surgery.

“I’m trying not to get choked up,” Flesch said, “but I think he wants it more than I do anymore. It’s been fun. He helped me a lot. He’s a great caddie. He knows the game, and he’s been a great side kick for me these past couple weeks.”

Champions Tour

Jim Furyk shoots 64 to take 2 shot lead in US Senior Open; Canada’s Stephen Ames sits second, Weir T14

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JULY 09: Stephen Ames of Canada lines up his putt on the 16th hole during the second round of the U.S. Senior Open Championship at the Omaha Country Club on July 09, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The combination of wind, heat and humidity made it difficult to go low at the U.S. Senior Open on Friday.

Jim Furyk and Greg Kraft found a way.

Furyk shot a 6-under 64, the best round in days at Omaha Country Club, to take a two-stroke lead over Canada’s Stephen Ames. The 2003 U.S. Open champion and 17-time PGA Tour winner rebounded from an opening 72 to get to 4 under.

“I was able to see some putts go in, and I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens today, kept the ball in good places,” Furyk said. “When I missed it, I missed it in the right spots for the most part. Just really kind of got on a roll and got some momentum.”

First-round co-leader Ames, based out of Calgary, bogeyed four of the first six holes on his second nine and shot 73. Two-time U.S. Senior Open runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez (71) was 1 under.

Kraft, who hadn’t played in a tournament since September 2019, had four straight birdies on his second nine and shot 65 for the best round of the afternoon session.

“I just got it going,” said Kraft, who shot 75 on Thursday. “I actually played not that bad yesterday, but I was on the wrong side of the hole all day. Today I got it under the hole, which made a big difference.”

Kraft was in a logjam of 10 players at even par. Among them were first-round co-leader Billy Andrade (75), Fred Couples (71), David Toms, Thongchai Jaidee (71) and the oldest player in the field, 67-year-old Jay Haas (71).

“You know, there’s such a long way to go, but I’m playing OK,” Haas said. “I don’t think I’m playing just amazingly golf that I can’t even fathom. I can play better, I think, but I have to do it. I feel good. Health, I love the heat. It keeps me loose.”

Alex Cejka (74), the winner of the first two majors of the year, was in a group of 12 at 1 over along with major winners Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., (74), Mark O’Meara (71) and Retief Goosen (69). Weir sits tied for 14 heading into the weekend.

With thunderstorms in the forecast Saturday, the first tee times for the third round were moved up to 7:15 a.m. with threesomes going off Nos. 1 and 10.

Temperatures were in the low 70s when Furyk went out Friday morning, but wind swirled and was gusty. The wind calmed by the afternoon, but heat and humidity set in to create feel-like temperatures near 100, and the conditions coupled with the hills of OCC wore on the 50-and-over players.

Furyk hit 12 of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation and had three birdies on each side.

The turning point, he said, was making a 30-foot putt to save par after his tee shot landed in a greenside bunker on the 240-yard, par-3 third hole. Birdies on three of the next four holes got him under par for the tournament.

“Then you’re kind of playing with house money,” he said. “You can relax a little bit and just think fairways and greens.”

Furyk ended his round with a birdie on the par-4 18th. He hit a knocked-down 8-iron about 15 feet under the hole and made the putt to secure his lowest score in an official event since last September.

The 51-year-old Furyk has two victories and nine top-10s in 15 events since he joined PGA Tour Champions last year. He’s never been out of the top 25 as a senior. His highest finish in a senior major is sixth in the Senior Players Championship at Firestone two weeks ago.

Andrade followed a bogey-free 65 with a 75 that included six bogeys.

“I felt like I played better than 75, and I’m still in it,” Andrade said. “So just go prepare for tomorrow and go out and hit some drives in the fairway and see if we can make a few birdies.”

Champions Tour

Canada’s Stephen Ames shoot 65 for share of 1st round lead at US Senior Open; Weir T16

Stephen Ames
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JULY 08: Stephen Ames of Canada plays hit shot from the 18th tee during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open Championship at the Omaha Country Club on July 08, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Canada’s Stephen Ames and Billy Andrade shot 5-under 65s on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the U.S. Senior Open.

Ames, from Calgary, had seven birdies and two bogeys in the morning session. Andrade had five birdies and no bogeys on an Omaha Country Club course that dried out after the sun broke through and the wind came up in the afternoon.

Ames hit 11 of 13 fairways and 16 greens in regulation on the 6,891-yard course set in the rolling hills on the north side of the city. He birdied five of seven holes in the middle of the round before missing short birdie putts on Nos. 12 and 13.

Ames made a 15-footer for birdie on the par-4 No. 14 and hit a 6-iron to 4 inches on the downhill, 223-yard par-3 No. 15. But the 57-year-old naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad three-putted from 8 feet for bogey on the par-4 17th and came in at 32.

“I’m like, ‘Whoa, could have been a lot lower on the back nine, which is unfortunate,” said Ames, whose highest finish in a senior major was a tie for third in the 2018 Senior British Open.

Ames got some local knowledge from his caddie, Troy Martin of Omaha. The two connected in April when Peter Jacobsen told Ames he was taking off the rest of the season and that his caddie, Martin, needed a job.

“I decided, OK, I’ll give him a trial run, and our trial run started off with a 10th in Birmingham and a second in Atlanta,” Ames said.

“I’m like, `OK, what are you doing for the rest of the year?’ That’s how it ended up, and obviously we won in Des Moines, just up the road from here. It’s been a good year so far for me, for us.”

Wes Short Jr. shot 66. Alex Cejka, looking for his third victory in a senior major this year, and Robert Karlsson followed at 67.

Andrade, who started on the 10th hole, pulled into a tie with Ames with a birdie on the par-5 sixth. He got up-and-down from a greenside bunker to save par on the par-4 eighth. He just missed a 20-foot downhill birdie putt on the par-4 ninth.

Andrade’s best finish this season is a tie for fifth, and he has only one other top-10 in 22 events. Two weeks ago he had his worst tournament since 2014, finishing 18 over and tying for 63rd in the Senior Players Championship at Firestone. He’s winless since 2015.

Short has five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour Champions this year and is looking for his first win in a senior major. He was steady throughout his round, making four birdies and mostly avoiding the thick rough.

Jay Haas, at 67 the oldest player in the field, shot 69.

The field includes 16 players who won a total of 26 majors before joining the senior tour. Among those playing in the Senior Open for the first time are Mike Weir (70), Jim Furyk (72), Ernie Els (73), Rich Beem (73) and Jose Maria Olazabal (77). Weir sits T16 going into the second round of the major.

Bernard Langer, who has won a record 11 senior majors, shot 71.

Steve Stricker, the 2019 champion, is not playing in Omaha. He’s on the regular PGA Tour this week at the John Deere Classic. There was no U.S. Senior Open last year because of the pandemic.

Kenny Perry, who won the Senior Open here in 2013, opened with a 71. The 60-year-old Perry, who also won the Senior Open in 2017, has only two top-10 finishes in 22 events this season.

Champions Tour Korn Ferry Tour LPGA Tour PGA TOUR

The Ultimate Canadian Golfer

If you were to create your perfect golfer from tee to green using only Canadian golfers, whose driving abilities would you take? Whose putting skills? Whose silky-smooth swing? Let’s break down what the ultimate golfer might look like when comprised of some of Canada’s very best.

Driving

When it comes to hitting off the tee, it’s not hard to find a few names. One that comes to mind is Taylor Pendrith. Pendrith is currently one of the heaviest hitters on the Korn Ferry Tour circuit. For the 2020-2021 season, his average driving distance is 319.9 yards. Currently ranked fourth in driving distance on the Korn Ferry Tour, he is just over 4 yards off the first-place number. Back in September of 2020, Pendrith made his major debut at the U.S. Open where he finished third in average driving distance among some of the best in the world.

A decade ago, Graham DeLaet was making similar impact on the PGA Tour. In his first season back in 2010, DeLaet ranked sixth in driving distance with a 305.7-yard average. Between 2012 and 2017, DeLaet routinely ranked inside the top 40 in the same statistic. In 2013, DeLaet had the fourth longest drive on the PGA Tour that season, hitting one drive 420 yards.

If we’re talking about driving excellence, Brooke Henderson’s name must be there. For the past five seasons, Henderson has ranked inside the top 25 on the LPGA Tour for driving distance. Last season, she matched her career high ranking of eighth, with an average driving distance of 266.784 yards. However, she doesn’t just bomb the ball – there’s something to be said about her accuracy as well – Henderson ranked 35th for driving accuracy last season. Currently, Henderson is ranked sixth for average driving distance at 278.654 yards.

One of the best Canadians to ever play the game, Stan Leonard won three times on the PGA Tour and eight PGA of Canada Championships.  At one point in the 1940’s, Leonard’s tee shots were already averaging 275-280 yards, according to a 1948 Maclean’s article.

Irons

On the LPGA Tour, Dawn Coe-Jones had enviable irons. Between 1992 and 2000, she almost routinely finished inside of the top 25 for greens in regulation percentage, and for the two seasons where she was outside, she was still in the top 60 on the LPGA Tour.

Over on the PGA Tour, Stephen Ames’s approach shots were also enviable. Between 2004 and 2008, Ames consistently finished inside the top 50 on the PGA Tour when it came to strokes gained: approaching the green. In 2004, he also finished 24th for greens in regulation.While on the PGA Tour Champions, between 2015 and 2019, Ames consistently finished inside the top 35 in greens in regulation. At his most recent win at the Principal Charity Classic on the Champions Tour on June 6, Ames led the field in greens in regulation with 87.04 per cent – nearly four per cent clear of Fred Couples in second.

Before Ames, there was Dave Barr. Between 1987 and 1994, Barr was consistently in the top 15 for greens in regulation percentage on the PGA Tour. In 1988, he ranked second with a 73.63 per cent average, and in both 1989 and 1992 he finished third.

One of Canada’s best current golfers, Alena Sharp has been playing on the LPGA Tour since the mid-2000’s and was a member of Team Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Over the course of her career, Sharp’s greens in regulation percentage have been impressive. Between 2007 and 2011, Sharp finished inside the top 50 on the LPGA in greens in regulation, and between 2007 and last season, she’s only ranked outside of the top 65 at the end of the season three times. She’s currently ranked 48th in the category this season.

Ultimate Golfer Diagram

Short Game

It wouldn’t be a list comprising of some of Canada’s best golfers if Mike Weir weren’t on it. Currently on the PGA Tour Champions, Weir has the best sand save percentage out of anyone with 67.44 and is ranked at 15th in scrambling at 61.70 per cent. Between 2005 and 2014, while playing on the PGA Tour, Weir was ranked in the top five of sand save percentage four times. Twice, Weir had the best strokes gained: around the green number on the PGA Tour – in 2005 with .521 average strokes gained, and again five years later with .559 average strokes gained.

With two wins on the PGA Tour, Nick Taylor is one of Canada’s best current male golfers. In 2017, Taylor was ranked 58th in strokes gained: around the green, 33rd in scrambling, and 16th in scrambling from the rough. In 2018, Taylor was ranked inside the top 30 in scrambling and sand save percentage, and just last season, he ranked 21st in scrambling from the fringe.

With four wins on the LPGA Tour, Lorie Kane is one of the best Canadians to play the game. Between 1997 and 2005, Kane had some of the best greens in regulation statistics on the LPGA Tour – never failing to fall outside of the top 25, including sixth in 2001. Accompanying that, between 1997 and 2011, Kane also had some incredible sand saves statistics, finishing inside the top 25 six times and in 2011 she was ranked second with a 63.33 percentage.

Putting

Sandra Post is one of the most legendary golfers to come from Canada. Post was the first Canadian to play on the LPGA Tour, and won eight times. In an article from Maclean’s from 1968, Post herself says that putting is the best part of her game.

On the PGA Tour, Mackenzie Hughes’s putting is top-notch. In 2020, Hughes finished eighth in strokes gained: putting with a .681 average and had the ninth best overall putting average at 1.566. In 2019, Hughes sunk the longest putt of the season when his putt from 85’8” out found the hole. The year before that, he had the 16th longest successful putt, and in 2020 he held the 20th spot. He’s currently ranked third in avoiding three-putts with only 19 occurrences in 70 rounds of golf.

Adam Hadwin is another name that comes to mind when talking about putting. Back in 2016, Hadwin had one of the hottest putters on the PGA Tour. He ranked 11th in strokes gained: putting, fifth in putting average, 25th in one-putt percentage, and 12th in three-putt avoidance. In 2017, he ranked 26th in strokes gained: putting, and 11th in one-putt percentage.

Accuracy

Moe Norman is a legend in the golf universe. Known for his incredible golf swing, Norman had enviable accuracy that is still talked about today – nearly 70 years after playing in his first PGA Tour event.

George Knudson is another golf legend, and he achieved an incredible eight wins on the PGA Tour. And, like Norman, Knudson was known for having an incredible swing – playing a huge role in his accuracy.

Currently, Corey Conners is one of the best Canadian golfers on the PGA Tour and a big part of his success is due to is his accuracy. In 2020, Conners placed 20th in driving accuracy percentage and sixth in greens in regulation percentage. In 2019, he ranked 42nd in driving accuracy percentage and first for greens in regulation percentage. That season, when he did miss, it wasn’t by much – he ranked fourth in distance from the edge of the fairway with an average of 19’8”. Currently, he’s ranked 10th in greens in regulation, with 69.71 per cent.

With two wins on the LPGA Tour, Gail Graham is one of Canada’s best. Winning in 1995 and 1997 – Graham’s driving accuracy was consistently enviable. Between 1992 and 1997, Graham routinely ranked inside the top 60 on the LPGA Tour in driving accuracy. In 1996, she even ranked 21st.

So, who would you choose to create your ultimate Canadian golfer?

Champions Tour

Jerry Kelly successfully defends hometown Champions title; Weir finishes T7

Mike Weir
MADISON, WISCONSIN - JUNE 13: Mike Weir of Canada hits his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge Golf Course on June 13, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Jerry Kelly successfully defended his title in his hometown American Insurance Championship, closing with a 6-under 66 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The 54-year-old Kelly finished at 14-under 202 at University Ridge for his eighth PGA Tour Champions victory.

“Can’t get any better than this,” Kelly said. “After doubling the 18th hole yesterday and bogeying the first hole, I was reeling a little bit. … It means so much for me to win around here, and now twice, I’m over the moon.”

Couples bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 68. The 61-year-old Couples won the 2017 tournament for the last of his 13 senior titles.

“Hit a good shot. 18, I’ve been there before, I don’t mind driving it over there,” Couples said. “Then I chose to be long coming back this way. I knew I wasn’t going to get it close and it just came out hot and rolled through the green. I thought I was putting and then chipped it strong and pushed the putt and that was it.”

Jimenez, the leader after each of the first two rounds, shot a 69.

Jim Furyk (68) and Retief Goosen (68) tied for fourth at 12 under.

Tournament host Steve Stricker tied for seventh at 9 under after a 65. The U.S. Ryder Cup captain, like Kelly, grew up and lives in Madison.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was 79th among the 80 finishers, shooting a 74 to get to 16 over.

Canadian Mike Weir shot a 7-under 65 to finish in a tie for seventh. Fellow Canadian Stephen Ames finished tied for 55th.

Champions Tour

Ames wins Principal Charity Classic for 2nd senior title; Weir 2nd

DES MOINES, IOWA - JUNE 06: Stephen Ames of Canada holds the trophy after winning the Principal Charity Classic at Wakonda Club on June 06, 2021 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Stephen Ames won the Principal Charity Classic on Sunday for his second PGA Tour Champions title, taking advantage of Tim Herron’s final-round collapse.

Seven strokes behind Herron entering the round, Ames shot a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over fellow Canadian Mike Weir.

A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, Ames won the 2017 Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his first senior title. The 57-year-old naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad finished at 12-under 204 at Wakonda Club.

Weir closed with a 69.

Herron bogeyed three of the final five holes in a 76 that left him tied for third at 10 under. He missed a chance for his first senior victory after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

Willie Wood (68) and Doug Barron (71) matched Herron at 10 under.

Champions Tour

Tim Herron shoots 9 under 63 to take 4 shot lead in Iowa; Weir T5

DES MOINES, IOWA - JUNE 04: Mike Weir of Canada hits from the 10th fairway during the first round of the Principal Charity Classic at Wakonda Club on June 04, 2021 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Tim Herron shot a 9-under 63 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic.

Trying to win for the first time on the 50-and-over tour, Herron birdied the par-4 18th for a back-nine 30 and 14-under 130 total at Wakonda Club.

“I haven’t been in this situation for probably a decade,” Herron said. “Just go out and play each hole at a time. These guys are good. Someone else can shoot 9 under, so I’ve got to still kind of put the pedal down in the right spots. If I hit the fairway, I’ve got to go at the pin.”

The 51-year-old from Minnesota, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied three of the first five holes, then birdied Nos. 10-12, 15, 16 and 18 tp pull away.

“I got some really good breaks and I had some really good chances that I missed, but I made some great putts,” Herron said. “This is the most putts I’ve made in probably a decade. Hopefully, just going to keep it going and keep the putting stroke smooth.

He’s playing the event and Wakonda for the first time.

“It’s very hilly and it’s old school, it’s pretty crazy up-and-downs,” Herron said. “It’s what I grew up on. I’m from Minnesota, so it’s kind of the same grass around the greens. I get the feel on the reads.”

Shane Bertsch and Rod Pampling were second after 67s.

Doug Barron was 9 under after a 69.

First-round leader Thongchai Jaidee followed his opening 65 with a 71 to drop into a tie for fifth at 8 under with Mike Weir (66), Tom Gillis (69) and Dicky Pride (70).

Canada’s Stephen Ames sits T9 and 7 under, after shooting 69 during the second round.

Champions Tour

Thongchai Jaidee leads Principal Charity Classic; Ames shoots 68

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Thongchai Jaidee closed with a birdie on the par-3 ninth for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke lead Friday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic.

Thongchai, the 51-year-old from Thailand making his fifth senior start, eagled the par-5 15th and had seven birdies and two bogeys at Wakonda Club.

“This golf course very tricky, you have to have a good tee shot and have a good iron and putting very well,” Thongchai said. “I love the golf course. Very challenging. Everything the condition is perfect. … First time on golf course this week. It good thing for me, a golf course you have to think.”

Dicky Pride and Doug Barron were tied for second.

“I had a couple early decent shots that missed the greens and got them up-and-down,” said Pride, the Mitsubishi Electric Classic winner this month “Then just stayed patient. It’s the kind of golf course you can kind of press your luck on, so I tried to stay patient to give myself looks. Just nice and solid.”

Fred Couples was another stroke back at 67 with Rod Pampling, Jerry Kelly, Shane Bertsch, Tom Gillis and Tim Herron. Bernhard Langer, Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry topped the group at 68.

Couples played the course for the first time Friday.

“I hit the ball in the right spot, and when I was in trouble, made some good pars,” Couples said. “But it’s a tricky little course and I don’t know what the scores are like, but I’ll take my score today.”

Alex Cejka, coming off his second straight major victory last week in the Senior PGA Championship, opened with a 70.

Canada’s Stephen Ames shot four back from the lead, ending the day with a 68 holding his T10 spot. Mike Weir, T19, wrapped up Friday shooting 2-under in Des Moines, IA.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard after a 73. Playing on a sponsor exemption, he was making his fourth start of the year and eighth overall on the tour