Gilchrist Takes First Canadian Tour Title


Canadian Tour-LargeDerek Gilchrist of Sacramento, Calif. drained a three-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Canadian Tours $150,000 Grant Forest Products/NRCS Classic.
The 31-year-old fired a sizzling 9-under-par 63 to wind up with a four-day total of 270, identical to that of Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.). Jason Bohn (Atlanta, Ga.) finished three shots back while Doug McGuigan of Langley, BC, who carried a three-shot lead into Sunday, finished fourth, four behind Gilchrist and Massey.
Six shots behind McGuigan entering play Sunday, Gilchrist, who captured his first Canadian Tour title after three second-place finishes since 1996, clawed back all afternoon and capped off his day with an improbable eagle chip from 70 yards out on the final hole. He then sat and watched as Massey, playing two groups behind in the final pairing of the day, couldnt bury a six-foot birdie putt on No. 18, forcing a playoff.
Everything worked out well for me today, said Gilchrist, a four-time college champion. All week long I envisioned at least contending, and I was able to stay focused on what I had to do.
Gilchrist did not look at the leaderboard once all day, choosing instead to play his game, something he felt contributed to the final round heroics.
I couldnt believe it after I finished and looked at the board. I thought I would wind up second at best. I always wondered how my game would be affected if I won-I guess now I will find out.
During the second straight Canadian Tour playoff, both Gilchrist and Massey birdied the par-5 18th, setting up a controversial conclusion on the second extra hole, the 505-yard, par-5 1st. With Massey putting for a four-foot birdie, a spectator snapped photos as Massey began to draw the putter back. As the ball rolled by the cup, the 33-year-old glared at the photographer and let his frustration be known.
Well, it would have been nice not to have that distraction, but Im not going to take anything away from Derek, he said afterwards. I missed a putt in regulation that could have won it. But Im confident after my play hereIm a bit disappointed but pleasantly optimistic.
The Canadian Tour now takes a week off before resuming with the TELUS Open in Mirabel, QC August 9-12.