Port Dover ON - Michael Blair of Ancaster ON won the Southern Ontario Open at Port Dover Golf Club in a 3-man playoff with an eagle on the first extra hole.
Blair entered the final round of the 54-hole event as the overnight leader sitting at 13-under par just one shot ahead of Cougar Collins of Mono ON and three shots ahead of Jacob Lehman of Guelph ON and Stephen Gonko of Sudbury ON.
Port Dover GC hosted the event Thursday July 14 to Saturday July 16 and was in fantastic condition playing firm and fast with green speeds topping out at 10 on Saturday afternoon for the final round.
VIDEO: Final Round Coverage Southern Ontario Open
Courtesy of GolfZoogle.ca
Early on in the final round Cougar Collins tied Blair for the lead heading into the back nine at 15-under par with Gonko just one shot behind the lead. Lehman remained within striking distance at 12-under par.
Collins grabbed the lead at 17-under par mid-way through the back nine after a birdie on the tricky par four 14th hole but would surrender a shot after a remarkable bogey save on the 15th hole. After 16 holes Blair and Collins were tied at 16-under par with Lehman sitting two shots behind with two holes to play.
Playing in the group ahead of the leaders, Lehman would birdie the par 5 17th setting up one of the most dramatic finishes in Southern Ontario Open history. The 18th hole, a dog-leg left measuring 351 yards was drivable for many players and knowing he needed eagle, Lehman pulled driver.
His drive was hit perfect and landed 20 yards short of the green and bounced on the green taking the slope to the hole and hitting the pin leaving just two feet for eagle. He would make the putt and post the clubhouse lead at 17-under par. Blair and Collins would finish birdie-par to join Lehman at 17-under par.
In the playoff all three players hit driver on the 18th hole. Lehman was just short left of the green, Blair on the front fringe about 60 feet from the hole and Collins was through the green on the back fringe. Lehman chipped down nearly holing the eagle. Blair stepped up on a similar line to Lehman's chip and made the 60-foot eagle putt. Collins would miss his attempt left of the hole giving Michael Blair the victory.
For the victory Blair took home $8,000 for the win and since he is fully exempt on the PGA TOUR Canada the SIRC Ontario Open exemption was deferred to the next player not otherwise exempt meaning Collins and Lehman needed to play another hole to determine the exemption. Lehman would make birdie on the par four 1st hole securing the exemption.
Freddy D'Angelo of Niagara Falls ON and Austin Ryan of Waterloo ON were awarded the other two SIRC Ontario Open exemptions via finishing 1st and 2nd on the Ontario Open Qualifying Series standings.
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