Sam Ryder of Longworth, Fla., won a sudden-victory playoff over Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., on Sunday at Hylands Golf Club to win the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops, his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada victory.
The win moves Ryder into second place on the Order of Merit with four events to go in the 2015 season and in position to earn status on the Web .com Tour next season.
“I’m at a little bit of a loss for words right now, but it feels really good,” said Ryder.” I was already in great shape and had some really solid finishes this year. This feels really good and I think it solidifies myself as one of the contenders out here for sure.”
Ryder and Pendrith began the day in Ottawa tied for the lead and went back-and-forth for much of the day, trading birdies, with both players shooting bogey-free rounds of five-under 66.
After returning to the 18th hole for a sudden-victory playoff, Pendrith had a 10-foot birdie putt to win, but hit it through the break and missed a short come-back putt to make bogey.
A four-foot par putt was all that separated Ryder from his first Mackenzie Tour win and the Stetson University grad poured it in to secure the title.
“It was hard to watch the (Pendrith’s) birdie putt. Honestly, I just wasn’t expecting him to miss that second one. I didn’t really want it to end like that, but I’ll take it,” said Ryder.
“You couldn’t really draw it up better than the way we went back-and-forth all day with no bogeys through 18 regulation holes. It was just a lot of good golf from both of us and a lot of pressure and a lot of fun,” he said.
Pendrith moved to seventh on the Order of Merit with his second playoff loss this season. He also took Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours for the second time this season.
“It’s unfortunate that the first bogey of the day had to come in a playoff, but that’s the way it goes,” he said.
“I take a lot of positives away. I played really good and made a lot of putts. I’m feeling really confident with my game. It’ll be good moving forward. Any time you’re in a playoff or in contention on Sunday you’re always happy, it’s just unfortunate.”
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