Winnipeg’s Todd Fanning shot a two-under 69 on his way to winning the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Regina’s Wascana Country Club on Friday.
Fanning captured gold-medal honours in both the Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master divisions to capture his third career national amateur competition.
“What an amazing week,“ he said, on the first green and final playoff hole. “I won a couple Canadian Juniors back in the mid 80s and to win another provincial and then follow that up with a national title is a dream come true for me at 49,” said Fanning, who captured consecutive Canadian Junior titles in 1985-86.
Fanning, who also took the 2017 Manitoba Mid-Amateur, won after a four-hole playoff against three-time champion Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont. and 54-hole leader Steven Diack of Coquitlam, B.C., who entered the final round leading Fanning by five strokes and Rank by eight.
After the group made the turn, Rank and Fanning aggressively closed the gap.
“That was amazing,” said Fanning. “When I saw Rank drive it on the 10th green, I knew he was going to come guns a blazing. After that, he and Diack were trading birdies and I was kind of just getting dragged along, but luckily I got a big break when I birdied 18 to force the playoff.”
“The last hour and a half, I sunk every putt I looked at and that’s how you have to win,” he added.
Prior to the playoff, the final group approached the final tee with Rank and Diack tied at 10 under par and Fanning one stroke back. The co-leaders both missed the green with their second shots and Fanning found the fringe to set up an eagle opportunity.
Diack came within inches of holing out a chip for birdie which would have won the tournament in regulation and moments later, Fanning thought he had the win as his eagle putt skimmed the lip of the hole.
“I hit the best putt I had all day. It was kind of breaking right and just skimmed the edge and stayed out,” he said. “Hands were up I was walking it in. I gave it the curse, but after that, I settled down and in the playoff hit some good shots.”
In addition to the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title, Fanning receives an exemption into the 2018 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
On Wednesday, Ontario defended its inter-provincial title after defeating Saskatchewan in a playoff that secured the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy for the third straight year.
The final leaderboard is here.