Daniel Miernicki of Santee, Calif., shot a final round, six-under 64 at the Links of GlenEagles on Sunday to win the ATB Financial Classic, his first Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada win.
Miernicki rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to finish at 17-under par, then looked on as the final four pairings failed to match his score, giving him the victory by a stroke over Danny Sahl of Sherwood Park, Alta.
“It was moving,” said Miernicki of his winning putt. “It was probably going to go five or six feet by and I was not gonna want to have that putt. When I saw it drop I was just so relived and excited and had all kinds of emotions.”
The second year Mackenzie Tour member began the day four shots off the lead held by Moscow, Idaho’s Chris Williams of Moscow, Id., but quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard with two birdies and an eagle through his first six holes.
Four more birdies, including his dramatic finisher at the last, offset two bogeys coming in.
Now sixth on the Order of Merit, Miernicki said he’ll focus on Mackenzie Tour events for the remainder of the season to try and finish in the top five on the and improve his status on the Web .com Tour for next year.
“[Last year] I had three top-10s but my best finish was fourth and I ended up finishing 36th on the money list, and you really need top three finishes, let alone a win. Needless to say I’ll be playing the last five events hoping to finish as high as I can,” said Miernicki.
Sahl, a former Mackenzie Tour winner who caddies full-time for Mike Weir, earned $18,900 for his solo second place finish along, with Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours.
With the blessing of Weir, who is taking a personal leave of absence from the PGA Tour, Sahl said he’s all in to resume his playing career and will take it as far as he can.
“I came into the week with low expectations, but I definitely believed in my game and my swing and what I was doing out there and it paid off,” he said.
“It means I can still compete out here. I’m kind of an older guy and this is a young tour now. I don’t recognize a lot of the faces, but I’m 35 and I’m in my prime right now, so I’m ready to move forward with it,” said Sahl, who won the 2011 Syncrude Boreal Open.
The leaderboard is here.