Locker Gets Season-Ending Canadian Win


MARKHAM, Ontario -- American Chris Locker sank a three-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday for a come-from-behind win at the Canadian Tour's Greater Toronto Open.
The 30-year-old fired a final-round 4-under-par 67 for a 72-hole total of 14-under 270 before defeating Canadian Derek Gillespie in the playoff. Canadian Rookie of the Year David Hearn was third at 10-under 274, while Americans Aaron Barber and Steve Scott wound up five shots off the lead.
Locker, who began the day in second spot four shots behind Gillespie, chipped at the lead all day before finally pulling even on the 11th hole. Gillespie regained a two-shot edge before Locker forced the playoff with an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Needing to sink a 10-footer to win in regulation, Gillespie pushed the par attempt just by the hole.
On the first extra hole, Gillespie's birdie chip from the fringe came to within a foot of the pin before Locker dropped the winning putt.
'I wasn't even thinking about winning the golf tournament until the putt on 18 (in regulation),' admitted Locker following his first Canadian Tour triumph. 'I just wanted to play a solid round to prove to myself I belong out here. To be honest, I though Derek was going to make his putt and win it.'
After trying to claw his way back into the tournament all afternoon, Locker had a feeling that things may turn out in his favor when he holed the putt to force the playoff.
'I knew when that putt went in that the game was on. I didn't have a whole lot to play for this weekend, but I sensed something good was going to happen. I thought it might be my day.'
For Gillespie, Sunday was a bitter end to what was otherwise a brilliant season. With his $9,233(14,400 Canadin) payday, Gillespie finished third on the money list with $47,367 ($73,869 Canadian). But had he been able to hang on for the win, Gillespie would have passed Jeff Quinney for second spot and would have been exempted into the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying. Instead, Quinney and money winner Hank Kuehne will get the exemption.
'This is probably the most disappointing moment I've ever had in golf,' said Gillespie. 'It was there for the taking, and I let it get away. But that's golf and I'll take it as a lesson learned.'