Bateman wins Fortinet Cup Championship, captures Fortinet Cup
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Written by PGA TOUR @ChampionsTour
KITCHENER, Ontario—Wil Bateman finished on top twice Sunday, winning the Fortinet Cup Championship at Deer Ridge Golf Club and in the process the 28-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, claimed PGA TOUR Canada’s season-long points crown—the Fortinet Cup. Bateman began the week tied for second in the points standings but supplanted No. 1 Jake Knapp in the final tournament of 2022 with an impressive week as he notched his second title of the season.
Bateman finished the 72-hole event with an 8-under 272, shooting a closing 1-under 69 to edge Jeffrey Kang (6-under) for the $40,500 payday and 600 Fortinet Cup points that was enough to put him over the top. Nolan Ray and Thomas Walsh tied for third at 4-under.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Bateman said. “Some things just go your way when you win.”
Case in point: Bateman had a chip shot from behind a tree on the par-4 14th. After an errant drive, he had to punch out, barely getting his ball out and short of the green. Facing a short-sided shot to a difficult pin—this time 20 yards out from what he called the “thickest rough” he had ever seen. Bateman nailed it, the ball dropping in the hole for par.
“I really tried to get it within 50 feet,” he said. “And I blacked out for a minute or two.” OK, not literally, but you get the idea.
The 10th-year pro gathered himself from the excitement and followed the improbable par with a birdie on the next hole, seizing control of the tournament. He finished the round with just two birdies and one bogey, but it was more than enough as third-round leader Walsh faltered, shooting a final-round, 7-over 77 to drop into a tie for third.
“This was my first time from leading out in front. I was always chasing from behind and played really well. I don’t think I was uncomfortable today. I just got behind the eight ball early and couldn’t get the putts to drop,” Walsh said.
“I really put in the work, and I’m looking forward to getting back to Scottsdale (Arizona) and really pushing myself and putting in more work,” Bateman finished. “I feel like when I have success on the golf course, it makes me want to work harder, and I really do enjoy it.”
Kang’s final scorecard was much more colorful as he took full advantage of his final start of the season. Kang began the week 13th in the Fortinet Cup standings but improved to seventh. He netted seven birdies (including four straight on the back nine) to make things interesting. However, five bogeys and an opening double bogey hurt. Bogeys on the 14th and 18th holes ended any hope he had of catching Bateman.
Did you know that Wil Bateman has three career PGA TOUR-affiliated Tour titles? Besides his two wins on PGA TOUR Canada this season, Bateman also won the 2015 Hyundai-BBVA 89 Chile Open on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
The 2022 Fortinet Cup Championship was a no-cut, 72-hole tournament closing out the 11-event PGA TOUR Canada season. Fifty-eight of the 60 eligible players competed this week. These players received the following benefits
After opening 69-65 and on the first page of the leaderboard through 36 holes, Canada’s Étienne Papineau shot a 6-over 76 Saturday to drop from contention. He rebounded nicely on the final day, shooting a 3-under 67 to tie for fifth. Papineau closed the season 20th on the Fortinet Cup standings. After graduating from USC, Jeffrey Kang began his pro career on PGA TOUR Canada, in 2016. This was his 19th career start in Canada and 27th overall as a PGA TOUR Canada player. He competed on the Forme Tour—for PGA TOUR Canada players—in 2021. Three years earlier, Kang played all 14 PGA TOUR Series-China tournaments, winning the season-opening Chengdu Championship that season and eventually placed eighth on the Order of Merit. The following year, he played in six China tournaments, with one top-10. Kang has also seen action on the Korean Tour and the Japan Golf Tour.
How difficult did Deer Ridge Golf Club play Sunday? The stroke average was 72.017 for the par-70 layout. Saturday, 26 of the 58 players shot under-par rounds. Sunday, that number was seven. In the final round, half of Deer Ridge’s holes yielded over-par stroke averages.
“I really felt a lot of pressure [Saturday]. You’re in the final group of the Tour championship with the chance to have a full Korn Ferry Tour card. It was probably the most pressure I’ve had in my life.” — Wil Bateman
“It was probably the hardest round of golf I’ve ever played.” — Wil Bateman
“I really felt like I handled my emotions so well this week, especially today. I went out there with confidence and went out knowing that if I focused on what I could control, everything would work out.” — Wil Bateman
“Obviously shots like (No.) 14 happen. Usually when those things happen, it’s your week.” — Wil Bateman on his chip-in par late in his final round
“I think it’s huge. I’m obviously trying to follow in those other guys’ footsteps a little bit. My buddy J.J. Spaun won Player of the Year here in 2015, and I play golf with him a lot in Scottsdale. To be honest, I really wanted this one badly. I wanted to go back to Scottsdale so I could tell him I’m following in his footsteps.” — Wil Bateman
“I did my best. I misjudged the wind a couple of times. It was a tough day. Hat’s off to Wil. He played phenomenally. It’s disappointing. I played great all week. I just didn’t have my stuff today, and things compounded.” — Thomas Walsh
“I can only be so disappointed. It hurts now, but I did the best I could.” — Thomas Walsh
“I put myself in contention five of the weeks I played here. My game is consistent. I was there every time, and I played well on Sunday a few times.” — Thomas Walsh on what he takes away from his PGA TOUR Canada season
Final-Round Weather: Overcast and cool when the day began. Light rain fell beginning at 1:20 p.m., lasting for 35 minutes. High of 27. Wind variable at 8-12 kph.