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    Cao is completely dominant in winning wire to wire

  • Yi Cao walked away with the $9,000 first-place check, and he also took over the lead on the Points List, picking up 500 points for the win.
    Yi Cao walked away with the $9,000 first-place check, and he also took over the lead on the Points List, picking up 500 points for the win.
  • In This Article
  • LANGFORD, B.C.—Beginning the day with a five-shot lead, Yi Cao, a Delta, B.C., resident by way of China, let everybody in the field at Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community’s Valley Course know he wouldn’t be taking his foot off the gas. Cao birdied his first hole of the final round, shot a closing 66 and was completely dominant for all 54 holes as he won the Canada Life Series at Bear Mountain: Valley Course event by a whopping eight strokes over Joey Savoie and Albert Pistorius. Cao was bogey-free Wednesday, with his 66 his best score of the week. The 29-year-old walked away with the $9,000 first-place check, and he also took over the lead on the Points List, picking up 500 points for the win.

    Cao has been the best player through the Series’ first two weeks, never shooting an over-par round during his six tours around Bear Mountain’s two courses, with a win and a tie for third in two weeks’ work. He was a combined 17-under in the two tournaments.

    “The biggest event I’ve won was on PGA TOUR (Series)-China, but I have never won going into the final round with a lead. On PGA TOUR China, I started eight shots back, so this was a new and fun experience,” said Cao, recalling the final-round 63 he shot to win the 2018 Chongqing Championship.

    The key to victory for the native of Beijing was his ability to conquer the Valley Course’s four par-5s. He played them in 9-under for the week. He gave a first-round signal that the par-5s was where he would do his damage, making birdie on all four par-5s. He birdied the 12th hole all three days, and, naturally, he put a bow on his triumph by making a birdie at the tournament’s closing hole, the par-5 18th.

    “My strategy on the par-5s was to just keep my ball in play the first tee shot, and then if I have a good chance to reach the green I’ll go for it. Otherwise I would stay back and play for the green in three shots,” Cao added. “Luckily my putter worked.”

    Although Savoie was never in contention, he helped himself considerably with his closing 64 that was, like Cao’s round, bogey-free. Savoie, making his Canada Life Series debut after skipping last week’s tournament, began the day tied for 17th and, like Pistorius, earned 245 points and $3,375 with his runner-up performance.

    “It feels good. I didn’t shoot under-par until today. I felt like I made all my birdies and all my good swings during one round for the week,” Savoie said.
    The next tournament, at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley’s Heathlands Course, will be a Wednesday-through-Friday affair, beginning September 2. The players will enjoy a 14-day layoff as they make their way across the country to the Toronto suburb of Caledon.

    Did you know Joey Savoie was a member of Team Canada and didn’t turn pro until this season? He has played in five previous Mackenzie Tour tournaments, all as an amateur, making two cuts, a tie for 30th at the 2019 Osprey Valley Open his top outing.

    Canada Life Series Points List

    Through Canada Life Series at Bear Mountain: Valley Course
    Second of four events





    Yi Cao



    Evan Holmes



    Albert Pistorius



    Zach Anderson



    Joey Savoie



    Lawren Rowe



    Raoul Ménard



    Derek Gillespie



    Michael Blair



    Chris Crisologo


    Key Information

    • The winner of the Canada Life Points List at the conclusion of the four-event Series earns a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR. The invitation is courtesy of Golf Canada. He also earns conditional 2021 Mackenzie Tour status and six guaranteed tournament starts. The players who finish Nos. 2-5 on the Points List also earn conditional status and are assured 2021 starts in two tournaments.

    • The low 18-hole score this week belonged to Joey Savoie, who shot a Valley Course competitive 18-hole record with his 7-under 64 in the final round. That performance earned him $2,750 courtesy of Stephen Ames, Corey Conners, Graham DeLaet, Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Mackenzie Hughes, Ian Leggatt, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor and Mike Weir. The 11 current and former PGA TOUR Players created a bursary through donations that rewards the player with the low score of each of the four Canada Life Series tournaments. A week ago, Evan Holmes won the bonus for his opening-round 63 that led to his victory at the Mountain Course.

    • In his first two rounds, birdies were not hard for Joey Savoie to come by, as he made 10. Savoie’s problem were the bogeys and double bogeys that dotted his scorecard. Even with the birdies, he shot back-to-back, 1-over 72s for the first 36 holes prior to his sterling 64 Wednesday.

    • There were 190 birdies and 14 eagles Wednesday, with $730 earned for charity and $4,040 for the week. For each birdie a player makes during this 54-hole event, Canada Life is donating $5 through its Birdies for Kids initiative. In addition, Canada Life is donating $20 for every eagle. Money donated from the two events here in British Columbia will go to Canucks Autism Network, founded in 2008 by Vancouver Canucks co-owners Paolo and Clara Aquilini, who have a son with autism. CAN provides programs to individuals with autism and their families and works to promote acceptance and inclusion through community engagement and training initiatives in B.C., and beyond. At the conclusion of play today, Canada Life announced that it is increasing the total donation to CAN for the two weeks at Bear Mountain to $20,000.

    Canada Life Birdies for Kids




    Money Donated













    Last Week








    Canada Life Bonus




    Grand Total




    • A year ago, Albert Pistorius played his first Mackenzie Tour season after tying for eighth at the Canada Qualifying Tournament in Courtenay, British Columbia. Pistorius’ top finishes were both ties for 23rd, at the Osprey Valley Open and the ATB Financial Classic.

    • Even with a birdie on his opening hole Wednesday, it wasn’t a particularly good start for Callum Davison. He gave the stroke back at No. 2, parred the third and then bogeyed No. 4. He made the turn in 1-over and didn’t appear to have anything special happening. Then the back nine happened. Davison parred the 10th and then played his final eight holes in 5-under, with birdies at Nos. 11, 15, 17 and 18 and an eagle-3 at the 12th. He tied for sixth.

    • Callum Davison played the 2018 season on the PGA Europro Tour, making 10 cuts between July and September. His best showing was a 47th-place performance at The FORE Business Championship in East Sussex, England. In 2019, Davison earned conditional Mackenzie Tour status but played in no events.

    • Three amateurs made the cut this week. A.J. Ewart was the lowest of the trio with his tie for sixth, at 2-under. Ewart fired a final-round 69 to go with his 1-under 70 in the first round. Nolan Thorough good, a Washington State University player and Laurent Desmarchais tied for 21st. They both shot 1-over 72s Wednesday, finishing at 2-over.

    • A.J. Ewart is currently No. 684 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The Coquitlam native and Barry University (Florida) player has won college tournaments in each of his last two seasons—the 2019 Golfweek DII Fall Invitational and the 2020 Panther Invitational.

    • Max Sear had a disappointing start to his tournament, shooing a 9-over 80 in the first round. He rebounded well over the next 36 holes, though, turning in scores of 68-69 to finish at 4-over and tied for 26th.

    • Tuesday, wind gusted to as much as 22 kph during the round, with the full field still playing. Nine players had scores in the 60s during second-round play. With only 57 players competing Wednesday after the cut, 13 players posted rounds in the 60s as the wind laid down, gusting to only 11 kph.

    • The stroke average Wednesday (72.544) was nearly 1.5 strokes per player lower than it was in the second round (74.506).

    Next Tournament

    Canada Life Series at TPC Toronto: Heathlands Course
    September 2-4
    Caledon, Ontario


    “The dynamics of the group was good, playing with Russell (Budd) and Michael (Blair). We were so chill during the whole 18 today. We were chatting a lot.” –Yi Cao

    “I just continued to try to put myself in play and give myself as many looks for birdie as possible, which I did well today. I only missed one green, which was the second hole, the par 3.” –Yi Cao

    “Bear Mountain is lovely. I played great. I don’t like this place, I definitely love this place. The Mountain and the Valley Courses are very different views, but overall the courses are quite similar and you still have to put yourself in play with good tee shots.” –Yi Cao

    “The greens are a little bit different from course to course – but it’s a great resort.” –Yi Cao

    “I played solid today, I think bogey-free. I think the key on this golf course is really to hit the fairways and hit as many greens as possible. You need to leave yourself uphill putts, and I did that today. I didn’t have any big mistakes.” –Joey Savoie

    “I didn’t have any big mistakes. Possibly on 18, my second shot, was possibly my worst swing of the day, but overall I was hitting fairways and greens, and that’s what you need to do at this place.” –Joey Savoie

    “It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely a confidence boost to know you can go low at a difficult golf course.” –Joey Savoie on momentum he may pick up from this performance

    “Quite frankly, it’s very difficult both strategically and mentally. It does give me a bit of a boost.” –Joey Savoie

    “I love this place. I think it’s my fourth time coming here at this resort. As players, we love it, and the views are incredible.” –Joey Savoie

    “I had a lot of positives this week, but it just seemed like I got absolutely nothing out of my three rounds. I’m happy to have finished fourth, but I couldn’t take advantage of anything for three days considering I was hitting what I thought was probably good enough to contend a little bit more than I did.” –Michael Blair

    “I’m looking forward to the next couple of events in Toronto. I’m striking it well right now. Hopefully I can get it in the hole a little bit better there.” –Michael Blair

    “I think the course played a little bit easier today because the wind was down for us. I don’t know how it was for the earlier guys, but it does swirl a lot still here so that’s always the challenge even if it’s a light wind. It can switch from down to into you so quickly.” –Michael Blair

    “You can’t really make any mistakes out here or you’re going to fall way down the leaderboard.” –A.J. Ewart

    “Overall, the conditions are tougher, and the field is tougher. It was a good learning experience.” –A.J. Ewart

    Third-Round Weather: Sunny and warm. High of 22. Wind SSW at 8-11 kph.