5 Things We Learned (after Royal Beach Victoria Open)
June 14, 2022
By PGA TOUR Canada Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- June 14, 2022
- Salinda headlines a small group of PGA TOUR Canada players competing, June 13-19, at the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
1. Scott Stevens is clutch. Don’t believe it? Check out his final four holes—No. 18 regulation at Uplands Golf Club and then the three-hole, sudden-death playoff. Stevens made four consecutive birdie putts to win his first PGA TOUR Canada title. Let’s repeat that: He made four consecutive birdie putts—putts he had to have to get into the playoff with Jake Knapp and then to beat Knapp. Stevens’ performance hearkened back, most recently, to Rickie Fowler at the 2015 PLAYERS Championship and Charl Schwartzel, at the 2011 Masters. Fowler finished regulation at TPC Sawgrass birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. Then he again birdied No. 17 in the aggregate playoff to clinch the victory in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. All Schwartzel did at Augusta National was birdie No. 15, 16, 17 and 18 on Sunday in Georgia to win the green jacket in come-from-behind fashion, defeating Jason Day and Adam Scott by two shots. Perhaps the stakes weren’t as high for Stevens at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, but Stevens’ first professional victory was certainly significant in his career growth, and his golf was equally as sublime.
2. Overtime golf is exciting. The Scott Stevens-Jake Knapp extra-hole duel at the Royal Beach Victoria Open showed how compelling playoff golf can be. Extra holes to decide a tournament is nothing new for PGA TOUR Canada, and although it was only four official tournaments ago, the last playoff—at the ATB Classic, won by Hayden Buckley over Sam Fidone—was in August 2019. In the seven previous PGA TOUR Canada iterations of the Manitoba Open, there has never been a playoff. The last time the Tour had a playoff with at least three players was in 2018, at the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open, when T.T. Crouch edged Chris Williams and Zach Wright.
3. Canadians look like they’ll be a force in 2022. A record 37 Canadians teed it up two weeks ago in Victoria, and four—Joey Savoie (fourth), Étienne Papineau (tied for fifth) and Michael Blair and Chris Crisologo (tied for 10th)—all finished inside the top 10, while Jamie Sadlowski tied for 13th. In PGA TOUR Canada history, four Canadians have five times finished inside the top five on the Fortinet Cup’s predecessor, the Order of Merit meaning membership on the Korn Ferry Tour: Taylor Pendrith (2015 and 2019), Adam Cornelson (2016) and Mackenzie Hughes and Riley Wheeldon (2013).
4. It’s apparent Jake Knapp still likes PGA TOUR Canada. He obviously still has plenty of game, which he showed off admirably two weeks ago. The Californian has played 37 career tournaments in Canada, and none of his previous seasons could match what he accomplished in 2019. Knapp earned his playing privileges by winning the Qualifying Tournament in metro Phoenix. Five weeks later, he won the season-opener, the Canada Life Open in Vancouver to assume the No. 1 spot on the Order of Merit. He never left the Order of Merit top three, adding another win, at the Royal Beach Victoria Open, as well as second- and third-place finishes. Knapp concluded the year third on the Order of Merit and advanced to the Korn Ferry Tour. He’s back on PGA TOUR Canada this season and is again in familiar territory, No. 2 on the Fortinet Cup standings.
5. PGA TOUR Canada players continue to have opportunities to shine on the biggest of stages—the PGA TOUR. Last week, at the RBC Canadian Open, numerous current PGA TOUR Canada players competed in Canada’s national open. This week, at the U.S. Open, member Isaiah Salinda headlines a small group of PGA TOUR Canada players competing at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Salinda, playing with Sean Jacklin and Charles Reiter in the last tee time off the front nine Thursday (2:42 p.m. EDT), tied for 21st at the season-opening event in Victoria. Chris Gotterup and Ryan Gerard will also play in the U.S. Open. Neither has teed it up in Canada this season, with Gotterup, a PGA TOUR University qualifier, missing the first tournament because he was playing in the NCAA Championship for the Oklahoma Sooners, and Gerard, who tied for 15th at the Weston, Florida, Qualifying Tournament in February, was not in the field in Victoria. Doc Redman, currently 133rd in the 2021-22 FedExCup rankings, is the poster child for what you can do on the PGA TOUR while still a PGA TOUR Canada member. In 2019, Redman tied for 34th at the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open in Canada then traveled the next day for the Rocket Mortgage Classic Monday qualifier on the PGA TOUR. Redman earned a spot in the field and took full advantage of the opportunity, going on to finish second to Nate Lashley that week, good for PGA TOUR Special Temporary Membership and a U.S. $788,400 payday. He’s been on the PGA TOUR since.