CALEDON, Ont. — It was a wild back nine for Laurent Desmarchais during the final round of the season-ending Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley. The amateur made four birdies and two bogeys to go with two pars—none bigger than the 10-footer he rolled in on the final hole to shoot a final-round 67 that gave him a one-shot triumph over Callum Davison.
While he doesn’t get to cash the first-prize check of $9,000, Desmarchais can walk away knowing he was the best player this week, winning his first pro tournament with a wire-to-wire performance.
“I don’t even have words right now. I made a few big putts down the stretch,” he said.
Desmarchais took control of the tournament with birdies at Nos. 15 and 16, taking a two-shot lead with two holes to play. He made things tough on himself, though, with a bogey at the 17th hole. If there ever were a good bogey, however, that was it. His tee shot landed 20 feet over the green, long and left. Desmarchais tried to hit his second shot into the slope and roll the ball onto the green, but instead the ball rolled back into the collection area. Desmarchais putted up the hill for his third shot, barely getting over the ridge and onto the green. He then rolled in a 10-footer that just crept into the hole.
Things didn’t get any easier on the par-4 closing hole. Desmarchais missed the green with his second-shot approach and had an awkward lie, the ball in front of the green but on a downward slope. He elected to putt from there, and left his birdie try 10 feet short. He calmly rolled the putt, the ball clanking against the flagstick and dropping into the hole for the par and the win.
“I was quite nervous on the last few holes. My tee shot on 17 flew like 20 yards over the green, which I still don’t quite understand, but I made two big putts—one for bogey on 17 and one for par on 18. It’s just insane,” Desmarchais explained. “It’s big for my confidence knowing I can make those putts. Just winning this event is huge for my confidence and for my game.”
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Davison made things interesting with his final-round 65 that included three birdies over his last five holes, the capper a birdie on the 18th that allowed him to post in the clubhouse at 16-under. It wasn’t quite enough, and Davison’s bogey on the par-3 17th will haunt him as he, like Desmarchais, was unable to get up and down for par, missing a six-footer. The only consolation is Davison receives the $9,000 first prize as the top-finishing professional.
For a while, Blair Bursey looked like he might make a run at the title when he made three consecutive birdies to begin his back nine, getting to 14-under. He fell into neutral after that, closing the Series with five pars and a 54th-hole bogey. He finished at 13-under and tied for fourth.
All week, though, Desmarchais, the Golf Canada Junior Squad Member and University of Tennessee commit, was the player to beat when he opened the tournament with a 9-under 62. Consecutive 67s to finish the week sealed the deal for the 19-year-old native of Quebec. He ended fourth on the final Canada Life Points List.
Yi Cao was one stroke better than Albert Pistorius on Friday, and that allowed Cao to finish No. 1 on the Canada Life Points List. By virtue of that distinction, Cao earns a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR.
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The invitation is courtesy of Golf Canada. He also earns conditional 2021 Mackenzie Tour status and six guaranteed tournament starts. Pistorius finished second, followed by Evan Holmes, Laurent Desmarchais and Callum Davison. Those four players also earn conditional Mackenzie Tour status and two guaranteed 2021 tournament starts.