Dave Levesque defeated Billy Walsh for the PGA Championship of Canada on Friday at Wyndance Golf Club in Uxbridge, Ont., but Walsh didn’t come away empty-handed as he earned an exemption into next month’s RBC Canadian Open.
“For so many years, I’ve had so many close calls so this feels awesome,” said Levesque. “It was very tiring out there this afternoon and I made a few mental mistakes early on in the match, but I tried to stay patient because I knew eventually things would happen.”
In the championship’s final match, Levesque the No. 3 seed, squared off against Walsh, the top seed,
Walsh jumped out to an early lead, going 2-up through the first three holes. Levesque clawed back to square the match by the eighth hole, but made bogeys on the ninth and 10th holes, falling back to 2-down with eight to play.
Birdies on11 and 12 brought the match back to square, while three more birdies on 14, 16 and 18 clinched the victory for Levesque, of Pure Golf Experience.
Levesque becomes the third PGA of Canada member from Quebec since 2011 to capture the championship. Vincent Dumouchel won in 2011 at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club in Calgary and Eric Laporte won the following year at Country Hills Golf Club, also in Calgary.
“As PGA of Canada member from Quebec, I feel very proud today of Dave Levesque,” said PGA of Canada president Constant Priondolo. “I congratulate Dave on the win here today, but I also congratulate Billy on a wonderful week as well.”
It was the second consecutive year Walsh walked away from the PGA Championship of Canada with second-place honours.
“If you told me at the beginning of the week I’d be second place and earn the RBC Canadian Open exemption I probably would have taken that over winning,” said Walsh.
“It’s really a dream come true for me and give me two good days on Thursday and Friday and let’s see where I am,” said Walsh, who earned 50 rankings points. The top player on PGA of Canada ranks after this week’s event earned the exemption into the Open, being played at Royal Montreal.
In the third place match, Chris Barber beat Christophe Belair.
With the win, Levesque earns 60 ranking points and moves to second on the PGA of Canada rankings.