Cory Renfrew of Victoria, B.C., earned his first Canadian Tour victory Sunday, defeating Matt Hill of Brights Grove, Ont., in a four-hole playoff to capture the Syncrude Boreal Open in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Renfrew carded a course record 63 (-9) in the final round, then won the all-Canadian playoff on Canada Day by converting a five-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole.
“I knew birdie would have to win it,” said Renfrew, who carded nine birdies in his final round, including five straight and on six of his first seven holes. “I was fortunate to come out on top.”
Renfrew’s birdie on the fourth extra hole came at the end of a thrilling playoff, during which neither player refused to make a mistake.
After Hill birdied the final hole of regulation to force extra holes, both players made pars on the first two trips down the par five 18th at the Fort McMurray Golf Club in sudden death.
Then, after Hill’s approach during the third playoff hole flew the green and clanged off the grandstands, the 23-year old made an outstanding up and down to match Renfrew’s par and force a fourth extra hole.
Both players proceeded to hit brilliant approaches to within five feet, but only Renfrew was able to convert his, giving him the victory.
“Seeing Matt hit one in there close, I figured it was time to bear down and hit one close too,” said Renfrew.
“I figured we were going back for another hole. Matt’s a great player and it’s just unfortunate he missed his (putt),” said Renfew, who earned $24,000 for the victory.
Renfrew shot 64 (-8) on Friday, a score that was matched by two other players before his course record on Sunday.
Renfrew took a three-shot lead into the final round of the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in his hometown of Victoria in June.
He carded a final-round 68 in that event, only to lose when winner Andrew Roque birdied his final seven holes for a 61 and three-shot win.
“I knew from my experience in Victoria I had to keep being aggressive, and I’m sure glad I did that,” said Renfrew.
While he was unable to secure victory, Hill’s earnings of $14,400 give him the ability to join the Canadian Tour as a member for the remainder of the 2012 season.
As an affiliate member, Hill needed to earn the equivalent of 50th place on the 2011 Order of Merit to secure status, a number he has now exceeded by more than $8,000.
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