Wisler Wins Can Tour Event

By Marty HenwoodAugust 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
BRIMLEY, Mich. -- Chris Wisler put an exclamation point on his third career Canadian Tour title Sunday with a runaway win at the season-ending Bay Mills Open Players Championship.
Carrying a comfortable four shot lead into the final round, the 24-year-old Delaware native carded a final-round 2-under 70, finishing four trips around the challenging Wild Bluff Golf Club with a 12-under 276 total, five shots clear of Ottawas Scott Hawley, Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont. and Americans Dirk Ayers and Clint Jensen.
Hawley fired a final round 66 and earned $13,725. More importantly, the payday guaranteed he will retain his playing card for 2005. Prior to this week, Hawley had earned just over $3,000 this year but his late kick Sunday means he finishes the season 39th on the money list.
Michigan amateur champion Jeff Cuzzort and South African David Faught tied for sixth, seven shots off the pace.
The five-shot margin of victory was the largest on the Canadian Tour this season.
Wisler began the day with a comfortable cushion and left no doubt that Sunday would be his day, increasing the lead to six shots at the turn with a front-side 33. Even bogeys on two of his final three holes couldnt change the outcome as Wisler collected the $36,000 winners check, the largest of the season.
In each of his previous two wins, Wisler almost let healthy leads slip away in the final round. At the 2001 Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship, he led by six after 54 holes and ended up winning by two. Earlier this season, Wisler let a three-stroke edge get away before holding off Canadian Adam Short by one.
I admit I was a little bit nervous on the first tee today. Anytime you have a four-shot lead in the final round, you should be able to play well enough to win, admitted Wisler. In my other two wins I almost lost the lead, so it was a different feeling knowing I could play and just enjoy the final day.
On the final tee, I think I was enjoying the moment a little too much and I just lost focus for a minute. Then again, with a six-shot lead, I knew I could probably use my putter on the tee and still win the tournament.
With his second win of the season, Wisler moved from 15th on the money list into third with $65,165, $31 dollars more than Brad Sutterfield and good enough for a spot in the Bell Canadian Open.
But Wisler will have to take a rain check for the 100th Canadian national championship to be staged in Oakville, Ont. in two weeks. Two close friends are getting married that weekend, and Wisler will keep his promise and be a member of the wedding party.
With the Canadian Tour season now in the books, Wisler says he will focus on trying to qualify for Nationwide Tour events in a final tune-up before PGA Tour Qualifying School gets underway later this fall. This week, he will team with Brennan Webb to take part in the Charlevoix Cup, an unofficial match-play event pitting Canadian Tour twosomes against teams from the Quebec PGA. A year ago, Wisler and Webb won the Tour bracket before losing in the championship final.
I want to stay in game-shape for Q-School, so after this week I will try to qualify for some Nationwide events, added Wisler. This win will give me a lot of confidence going into the fall. There are a lot of great players that havent won once out here, so to do it three times is pretty special. Hopefully, I can be one of the next guys from the Canadian Tour to take it to the next level.
Americans Erik Compton and Stephen Woodard, who both won a pair of titles this season, will be exempted into the second stage of the three-tired PGA qualifying tournament thanks to their 1-2 finish on the money list. Compton played a Nationwide Tour event in Utah this weekend but still managed to take home $85,876 in eight Canadian Tour starts, while Woodard finished with just over $83,000. Reigning Victoria Open champion David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., who played his way onto the Nationwide Tour with a victory at the Alberta Classic last weekend, was fifth with $58,461
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