Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2008 01:42 Thursday, 18 September 2008 16:16
ASHBURN, Ont. - Robert Gates birdied the final three holes Thursday to capture medallist honours at the 2008 Canadian Tour Qualifying School.
Gates's final-round 67 gave him a four-day total of 9-under 279 - good for a two-stroke victory over Calgary's Todd Halpen, who finished with a 71.
Erik Justesen shot an even-par 72 to grab third at 284 while Montreal's Yohann Benson (73), Michael Gligic (70), Matt McQuillan of Kingston, Ont. (71), Langley, B.C., amateur James Allenby (71), and Bryan Novoa (71) all finished tied for fourth at 285.
Also earning exempt cards were Brady Stockton, Joe Cermak, Tyler Martin, Dan McCarthy, Tyler Erickson and Cambridge, Ont., native Victor Ciesielski.
Two shots back at the start of the day, Gates put on a clinic of fairways and greens to pick up US$2,000 and a full ride on the 2009 Canadian Tour. "I was just happy to play well and make some putts coming down the stretch to finish strong," said Gates, who had six birdies and a single bogey Thursday. "It was nice to finish with those three birdies and win this thing."
Seemingly immune to the pressure of Q-School, Gates calmly went about his business on a pressure-packed afternoon. "I had kind of a carefree attitude most of the day and just took it a shot at a time," said Gates.
"At the same time, I feel a sense of relief that it's over. You come out here with the goal of getting your exempt card and that is what I did."
Playing partner Bryan Novoa was impressed by Gates's demeanour.
"You're going to see this guy do well not only on this Tour but the PGA Tour," said Novoa. "He's a solid player."
McQuillan returns to the Canadian Tour after a hiatus. "It is nice to be back," he said. "I haven't played four competitive rounds in over a year so I'm pretty tired.
"What brought me back here was the desire to compete again. When you take some time off you realize that you have it pretty good out here competing. I missed it."
Fall Qualifying School Scores
Location: Ashburn, Ontario
1. Robert Gates
(-9) 70 - 71 - 71 - 67 -- 279
2. Todd Halpen
(-7) 68 - 73 - 69 - 71 -- 281
3. Erick Justesen
(-5) 71 - 72 - 69 - 71 -- 283
T4. Michael Gligic
(-3) 75 - 70 - 70 - 70 -- 285
T4. Matt McQuillan
(-3) 71 - 70 - 73 - 71 -- 285
T4. Bryan Novoa
(-3) 74 - 72 - 68 - 71 -- 285
T4. James (A) Allenby
(-3) 70 - 71 - 73 - 71 -- 285
T4. Yohann Benson
(-3) 72 - 69 - 71 - 73 -- 285
PLAYERS EARNING EXEMPT STATUS
NON-EXEMPT PLAYERS BY RANKING
All Canadians shown in bold
For complete final round scores go to cantour.com