Yi Cao wins Canada Life Series Points List
September 11, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- September 11, 2020
- As the Series' winner, Yi Cao earned conditional status and six guaranteed tournament starts on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour and a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open. (PGA TOUR)
CALEDON, Ontario—Yi Cao and Albert Pistorius began the final round of the Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto Nos. 1-2 on the Canada Life Series Points List. They were also a stroke apart on the 36-hole scoreboard, Pistorius tied for 12th and Cao tied for 16th.
In the final round, both players made eagles, and they both had two birdies. The difference? Pistorius bogeyed the 14th hole, while Cao played bogey-free golf Friday, Cao signing for a 67 on his scorecard and Pistorius a 68.
The battle was just that close.
The duo concluded the tournament tied for eighth, seven shots behind winner Laurent Desmarchais. The battle within the battle, though, went to Cao, who walked away with an 18.333-point victory over Pistorius and two big prizes that came with being the Points List champion: Conditional status and six guaranteed tournament starts on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour and a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open.
“It’s huge for my career. These are the only four events I played all season, and these players are really good,” Cao said after officials had crunched all the numbers and he realized he had clinched the title. “I would say whether it’s me or Albert, it’s a great opportunity.”
Cao was easily the most consistent player during the four-tournament Series, never finishing outside the top-10. Besides his win in the second Bear Mountain tournament, he had a tie for third at the first Bear Mountain event, a tie for second last week at TPC Toronto and this week’s tie-for-eighth effort.
Cao knew what was at stake with 18 holes to play, and he told himself early in the day to not dwell on his points position and just focus on playing golf.
“You know what, I tried not to think about it at the start of the day, but I just couldn’t,” Cao admitted. “It’s even harder than trying to win the tournament because you play your best and just have to see what happens next.”
Friday wasn’t his best day, but a clean scorecard with no bogeys ended up being the difference-maker.
“Down the stretch I knew I had to make some good scores. Unfortunately, all the putts seemed to lip out,” added Cao, who has played extensively on both the Mackenzie Tour and PGA TOUR Series-China.
Lipping out putts was rarely the case during Cao’s four-week Canada Life Series adventure. His 12 scores during the Series’ duration explains why he ended atop the standings: 69-69-71-67-67-66-64-71-71-67-69-67. Cao finished a combined 34-under par and was never once over-par in any round.
Cao has played in PGA TOUR tournaments in the past, seeing action in the 2015 and 2017 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in his native China. Cao earned the two invites based on his China Golf Association standing. His best showing in that tournament was a 74th-place finish in 2015. He anxiously looks forward to playing his first PGA TOUR tournament in North America, with the 2021 RBC Canadian Open set for June 7-13 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Cao already has it marked on his calendar as he relishes what today means.
“I’ll never forget this moment because from the first tee all the way to the 18th hole, I was pretty calm. But it was such a special experience,” Cao added.
Final Canada Life Series Points List
Andrew J. Funk