Mark Silvers of Savannah, Ga., defeated Matt Harmon of Grand Rapids, Mich., in a playoff to win the Cape Breton Celtic Classic for his first PGA Tour Canada victory on Sunday in Beon Eoin, N.S.
Silvers, who began the week 89th on the Order of Merit, turned his season around with the win, which came after a final round, six-under 66 at The Lakes Golf Club to reach 15-under par for the week.
The victory moved Silvers all the way to the 10th spot on the season-long money list, with one event to go.
“I can hardly put it into words. Coming into the end of the year, I wasn’t going to have Web .com Tour status for next year and had I not played well, I wouldn’t have had PGA Tour Canada status for next year,” said Silvers.
“To come in and play well when I had to and to now have a chance to skip some stages and definitely have status up here for next year is so big,” he said.
Silvers began the day three shots behind 54-hole co-leaders Michael Gligic and Dan McCarthy, but moved up the leaderboard quickly with a three-under 33 on his opening nine.
Silvers, who was bogey-free on Sunday, had three more birdies at 10, 13 and 14 to reach 15-under, then needed to convert a tricky six-foot par putt at 18 to post the clubhouse lead.
“Getting it up-and-down for par on 18 was awesome and I had no idea where I stood,” said Silvers, who insisted he didn’t look at a leaderboard all day until the 72nd hole.
“I tried to just black out. I had been putting really, really well. I just tried to not let myself think about what it could possibly mean. I felt like I was going to be in good shape regardless, and I’m glad I didn’t look at a leaderboard because it helped to just free me up to keep doing what I was doing,” he said.
Harmon pulled even with Silvers with a birdie on 17, then gave himself a look for the outright win at the 18th with an eight-foot birdie putt. The putt hung on the lip, however, giving Silvers life in a sudden victory playoff.
Two shots back of the playoff duo were West Vancouver, BC’s Seann Harlingten of West Vancouver, Montreal’s Beon-Yeong Lee and McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y., at 13 under.
With a final round, seven-under 65, Lee claimed Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours on Sunday, along with a $1,500 prize.
For the final leaderboard, click here.