Christopher Ross of Dundas, Ont., shot an eight-under 64 on Sunday at Wildfire Golf Club to win the Wildfire Invitational near Peterborough, Ont. It was his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada victory.
Ross reached 25 under for the tournament with his second straight round of 64 to win by four over England’s David Skinns. Ross moves to eighth on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit, with two events to go in the season. The top five earn Web .com Tour status next year.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to win on a big tour like the Mackenzie Tour, and to be a winner on it right now is surreal,” said Ross.
Ross began the week 61st on the money list and trailed no. 60, the cutoff to get into the season-ending Freedom 55 Financial Championship and retain exempt status on Tour for next year, by $1.
With that goal accomplished, his focus turns to the season’s remaining two events and the opportunity to get into the top five.
“I have two more big weeks to go and to be inside the top five is obviously your big goal. To go from 61st just to get into the season-ending event, honestly, I really think I set a mark, and maybe I can carry it over,” said Ross.
The win represents a family celebration for Ross, who had wife Stephanie caddying for him all week and counted his mother Janet and four-year old daughter Sam among his biggest fans all week.
“Any win is special, but to have your family out there, it’s a really, really amazing feeling,” he said.
“The third round was big for me. To look over every time you make a putt and have your little girl give you a thumbs-up, it’s just something that’s bigger than golf. Make it or miss it, I’m still the same guy. That was a surreal feeling,” said Ross.
Ross’ father Stephen, a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and former Royal Canadian Golf Association executive director, recently underwent bypass surgery and was unable to attend, but was following closely online according to Chris.
“It means a lot. He’s the one that brought me to play golf,” said an emotional Ross after the win.
Ross began the day one shot off the 54-hole lead held by Skinns and Chase Marinell, but quickly took control of the tournament with a four-under 32 on the front nine, then birdies at the 10th and 11th holes to take the lead by two.
While his pursers were unable to mount a charge, Ross blew open the tournament with birdies on 14 and 16 to build a five-shot lead.
“Definitely I could feel it. I saw the leaderboard on number six, and it was jam-packed. I just said. `Here we go. We’ve just got to go do our thing.’ To separate myself after 11 was huge,” said Ross.
For all the scores, click here.