Larry Mize won his first championship in 17 years at the inaugural Montreal Championship at Club de Golf Le Fontainebleau in Blainville, Que., on Sunday.
Mize, the 1987 Masters champ, finished the three-day Champions Tour event at 17-under, one shot better than second round leader John Cook, who posted a 68 on the final day.
Dan Forsman (65) and Corey Pavin (67) were three off the pace, while fan favourite Fred Couples shot a 68 to tie for fifth.
Jim Rutledge of Victoria, B.C., came in with a 70 to finish 38th at six-under. Quebec pros Yvan Beauchemin and Daniel Talbot were 55th and 63rd, respectively, while Dave Barr of Kelowna, B.C. was 74th.
After Cook missed a birdie putt on 18, Mize’s eyes became somewhat misty. “I was holding back some emotion,” he admitted. “I teared up a little bit. It’s been a long time. Once it happened, it was hard to keep that emotion back.”
“You know, it’s hard to believe,” added Mize, who knew he needed to go low.
He did just that, reeling off three straight birdies, beginning on the par-five 14th to stay one step in front of a charging Cook. The lone blemish on his scorecard was a bogey on the par-four 12th.
Cook was looking for his second victory in Canada, 27 years after winning the Canadian Open. He had a gift three-foot birdie putt on the driveable par four 16th, but missed. On the closing hole, Cook had another look, but his 25-foot birdie try rolled just by the cup.
“Some of these are harder than others to take,” said Cook. “I just came up a bit short.”
Starting the final day three shots back, Couples birdied his first hole, but gave that back on the second. The 15-time PGA Tour champion had four birdies in a seven-hole stretch starting on the eighth, but just couldn’t get that extra push.
“Larry played an unbelievable round,” said Couples. “He just kept going and going, so that was nice to see.”