Hugo Leon of Chile shot even par 71 on Sunday in extremely windy conditions to clinch his first Canadian Tour title at the $200,000 ATB Financial Classic in Calgary.
The 26-year old teed off at 12:30 p.m. MT and half an hour later, an extreme weather alert was issued for the City of Calgary. Bearspaw is located just outside the city limits and avoided any severe weather, but it did experience effects from the storm including heavy wind gusts and rain.
“Fortunately I live in Florida and play in very windy conditions all the time,” said Leon, who earned $32,000 for the victory and now sits in second spot on the Canadian Tour Order of Merit.
“From experience, I know that if I hit a good shot, the wind doesn’t really matter and that’s what we tried to focus on today,” added Leon.
If it wasn’t for Leon’s best friend and fellow Canadian Tour member Vince Covello, this victory according to Leon might not have happened.
“I don’t think it would have been possible without Vinny on the bag. He kept me calm and was an extra set of eyes for me,” said Leon.”Vinny is my best friend and it makes this win extremely special and one that I will cherish for a long time.”
The Canadian Tour’s leading money winner Jose Rodriguez made a charge early in the final round, shooting 32 on the front nine, but the Mexican PGA Champion posted a double bogey on the drivable par four 10th hole.
Rodriguez never regained the lead, but did finish solo second and has now earned just over $72,000 on the year.
Defending champion and Alberta native Dustin Risdon shot a disappointing two-over 73 in the final round. Risdon posting three bogeys on the front nine, along with one birdie.
“I’m disappointed obviously with the way I played today,” said Risdon, who posted his third top five finish of the year.
“I got off to a rough a start and just wasn’t able battle back, but my game is really coming around,” added Risdon.
Three-time Canadian Amateur Champion Richard Scott made the most of his first appearance on the Canadian Tour this season, typing for third after a final round five-under-par 66.
Scott plans to play out the remainder of the schedule. The tour heads to Saskatoon next to play the Dakota Dunes Casino Open at Dakota Dunes Golf Links.