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July 29 2012

11:15 PM

Final-round observations

Final-round highlights

In the final round of the RBC Canadian Open from Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Scott Piercy finishes at 17-under par to capture his second PGA TOUR victory.

By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent

Fast start: Scott Piercy won the tournament with birdies on four of his first five holes in the final round. He then played the next nine holes in 2 over and had missed the green on the 15 th only to chip in for birdie. It was his last birdie of the tournament and was his most important shot of the week. The fast start in the final round was appropriate since Piercy also had the fastest start in the tournament shooting 62 on Thursday.

Closing time: Sometimes tournaments are won by attrition. Robert Garrigus and William McGirt did not close well on Sunday. Garrigus played the last three holes in 1 over, while McGirt was 2 over on the last four holes. Keep in mind the 17 th hole is a 550-yard par 5 that is very reachable in two.

Wedge play: Piercy’s winning ways might have started two weeks ago in Silvis, Ill. He was determined to improve his wedge play and spent the first two days at the John Deere Classic working on his equipment. He took bounce off his wedges by grinding down the sole of the club. It was a trial and error process followed by dedicated practice sessions. The combination of practice and equipment came together this week.

Long vs. short: Garrigus was using the shortest putter on TOUR last season with a shaft that measured 28 1/2 inches. This year he has switched to a long putter with a 47-inch shaft. It has made little difference in results, though. Garrigus was 166 th in strokes gained-putting in 2011, and he is 148 th this year.

Consistent: Chris Kirk was amazingly consistent the entire week. He triple bogeyed his 18 th hole on Thursday and then made par or better on the next 52 holes before making a bogey on Sunday at the 17 th. That was his only bogey of the tournament.

Bunker game: McGirt entered this week ranked 164 th in bunker play, getting up and down 42 percent of the time. That number was painfully demonstrated on the final hole. He had to get up and down on the 18 th and hit his bunker shot heavy. McGirt was unable to make the par saving putt and finished one shot out of a playoff.

Ball striking: Garrigus let one get away. He was second this week in greens in regulation and led the tournament in driving distance with an average of 328 yards. Garrigus lost because of his putter. He took 33 putts in the final round and was 76 th this week in strokes gained-putting. On occasion, Garrigus moves his chest while putting that can cause the ball to start off line.

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