Wisler Hangs on for First Win


Canadian Tour-LargeCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- It may have been a little too close for comfort, but Chris Wisler of Dover, Del., snared his first professional win Sunday at the Canadian Tours Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship.
Holding a comfortable six-shot cushion as play began, the 22-year-old fired a 2-over 73 for a four-day total of 14-under 270, two shots better than David Hearn of Brantford, ON. Michael Harris of Troy, Mich., finished four shots back.
Any doubts that Wisler would surrender the lead were erased early on the back nine Sunday. Playing with sponsor invite Cameron Yancey, the three-time Delaware amateur champion, who led by four at the turn, drove the 310-yard, par-4 10th before draining the eagle putt. He then birdied the next hole to restore his six-shot cushion. Hearn got to within two with two holes to go, but that was as close as he would come.
It was an odd feeling, being ahead by so much, so I wasnt sure how I was going to react to it, said Wisler. I knew if I stayed out of trouble, Id be okay. Coming down those last two holes, a lot can happen, so I just wanted to be safe.
Wisler can now add his initial pro triumph to a stellar amateur resume that also featured three NCAA All-America nods at East Tennessee State University, two stints with the U.S. Palmer Cup team and a Porter Cup title in 2000. Two weeks ago, Wisler finished tenth at the Buy.Com Tours BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina and earned $12,600. Sunday, he picked up a check for $24,000 and earned a two-year exemption with the Canadian Tour.
This is the biggest moment of my career, added Wisler. The competition out here is so strong, it means a lot to get a win so early in my career. Its a lot different playing for money as opposed to playing for pride and a trophy.
The Tours eighth official event of the season was named in honor of Lewis Chitengwa, the 26-year-old Canadian Tour rookie who passed away suddenly last summer in Edmonton of meningococcemia, a strain of meningitis. Players, tour officials and tournament organizers wore buttons with Chitengwas picture emblazoned on them, and several players donated pro-am checks to the Lewis Chitengwa Foundation.
I only had the chance to meet Lewis a few times, but it didnt take long to realize how genuinely special he was, said an emotional Wisler, with the Chitengwa family at his side. It makes this moment a little more special, that I could win my first title in honor of Lewis.
Full Coverage of the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial