Canadian Tour rookie Joe Panzeri of Boise, Id., carded a final round 70 to clinch the $32,000 Dakota Dunes Casino Open in Saskatoon on Sunday.
Panzeri held off a charging Hugo Leon to claim his first Canadian Tour victory and the largest payday of his career.
Panzeri held a two-shot lead for the better part of the day at the breezy links style golf course.
The only real scare came on the 18th hole, where Leon had a seven-foot birdie putt that could have triggered a two shot swing. Leon would go onto miss that putt, which all but sealed the victory for the 24-year-old Panzeri.
“It could have been a whole different ball game if Hugo made that putt,” said Panzeri who is close friends with Saskatchewan native and PGA Tour member Graham Delaet.
“It was a tough day out there, battling the elements and the strong field but I stayed focus and was lucky enough to come out on top,” added Panzeri.
With the win, Panzeri moves to seventh spot on the Canadian Tour Order of Merit with just over $35,000 in earnings. Following this week’s Players Cup, the top five players on the Order of Merit will receive invitations to play in the RBC Canadian Open.
Panzeri, however, doesn’t have to worry about moving up to get into the Open. Panzeri won the regional qualifier last month in Vancouver.
For a complete leaderboard from the Dakota Dunes Casino Open, click here.