Steady play and chip-in send Piercy to WGC-Bridgestone

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Scott Piercy has shot 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s and is 45 under during that stretch.
July 29, 2012
David McPherson, special to PGATOUR.COM

ANCASTER, Ontario -- While a match play between buddies -- William McGirt and Robert Garrigus -- took place behind him, Scott Piercy quietly went about his business on Sunday; he posted a third-straight 67 to win the RBC Canadian Open.

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Piercy -- who tied the course record at Hamilton Golf & Country Club with a 62 in the opening round -- was in the scorer's tent preparing himself for a playoff with either McGirt, who needed a par on the 72nd hole, or Garrigus who needed a birdie to force extra holes. When all was said and done, both players missed crucial putts and Piercy earned his second PGA TOUR victory.

"These guys are so good that you have to prepare yourself that they are going to make the par," Piercy said. "In my mind, I was still in grind mode even when I was sitting in the clubhouse. I heard it on the radio that Garrigus had missed before I saw it on TV ... it still takes a while to hit you ... definitely excited."

After a slow start to the year, Piercy has reeled off 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s and is 45 under during that period. On a hot, humid day at Hamilton, he started the final round one shot back of Garrigus and tied with McGirt. Piercy made four early birdies and played steady golf down the stretch (including three straight pars to close out his round) while the players behind him stumbled. His 263 total was just enough to win by one shot.

In talking to the media afterward, the 33-year-old was at a loss for words. "I'm a little speechless, to be honest."

With leaderboards scarce throughout Hamilton's grounds, Piercy didn't have a sense of what was going on behind him for good chunks of the day; he looked at the scoreboard on the ninth tee, he said, and knew he was one shot back most of the day, so he just stuck to his game plan.

It also helped that Garrigus was having trouble on the greens. He had 33 putts in his final round and didn't make a birdie until the 14th hole.

"I should have won this golf tournament by seven shots. Everybody knows that," said Garrigus, who finished a shot back. "If I could have just made a putt today."

Meanwhile, McGirt melted down the stretch after a strong showing all week. He bogeyed Nos. 15 and 18 to finish tied for second -- a career best -- with Garrigus.

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Updated standings
Scott Piercy moved to No. 13. William McGirt locked up his Playoffs spot. See where everyone else stands. Standings

"I had trouble getting the butterflies to fly in formation," McGirt admitted.

Piercy was steady to the end. After his lone bogey on the back nine came on the 14th, Piercy bounced back with a chip-in birdie on the 423-yard, par-4 15th. He admitted that was a huge momentum shift for him.

"You never plan to chip it in on the 15th green on Sunday in the second-to-last group. There I thought I got a little unlucky with the drive and it didn't catch the fairway, and then, I caught a little bit of a flier out of the rough, and lucky enough a good lie."

Piercy said he was rolling the ball well the entire back nine, but the putts just weren't falling for him, so his chip-in was a bonus.

In addition to the $936,000 payday, the win moves Piercy to No. 13 in the FedExCup race, earns him a two-year exemption on TOUR, and an invite into next week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He said that this was great news, but a big change in plans, as he was set to defend his title in at the Reno-Tahoe Open.

"The tournament director is a good friend of mine and I've worked closely with her," he said. "I know she's excited for me, and she'd want me to be in Ohio."

More important to Piercy, this victory gets him an invitation to the Masters in 2013, which will be his first trip to the home of the green jacket. He admitted he's never even set foot on the hallowed grounds in Georgia.

"I always told myself I'm not going unless I'm in the tournament," he said. "So, now I can go."

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