Oh Kanada Vet Wins First


Nationwide TourSANDY, Utah -- Craig Kanada only posted a 1-under 71 on Sunday, but it was enough to earn his first Nationwide Tour victory at the Utah Championship. He finished at 16-under-par 272 and won by a single stroke.
The win was Kanada's first on the Nationwide Tour, a circuit he first played on in 1991. He made 212 starts on the tour and 58 more on the PGA TOUR and now finally broke into the winner's circle.
'I've been in contention many times, but the only thing I've won was a Northern California two-day event,' said Kanada, who pocketed $85,500. 'I have played everywhere - the Canadian Tour, the Gateway Tour, the Tight Lies Tour, you name it. It has been tough. I started playing really bad golf in 2002 and I just couldn't handle the nerves. I thought about quitting if I wouldn't have gotten on this tour again this year. Just making it on this tour last fall was a huge victory and now to win one is absolutely amazing.'
Bryce Molder, who led after each of the first three rounds, struggled to a 3-over 74 and tied for second place with Michael Putnam (64), Gavin Coles (68) and Ken Duke (70). The group came in at 15-under-par 273.
Kanada trailed Molder by three at the start of the round, but was even through nine holes thanks to a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys. He played steady golf the rest of the way and moved up the leaderboard as Molder moved down.
Molder was even through six holes, then bogeyed seven and double-bogeyed eight. He reclaimed one lost stroke at 11, but back-to-back bogeys from the 14th dropped him out of the lead.
Kanada took over the top spot on the leaderboard with a long birdie putt at the 15th hole. He two-putted from 25 feet at the last, including a 3-footer to secure the title.
'My first objective was to make up three shots on Bryce and then I could focus on everyone else,' said the 37-year-old. 'But I honestly didn't think it was going to happen. I was nervous the whole day. I played just good enough to win.
'I can't tell you how many bad thoughts I had going through my head on that 3-footer on the last hole. Seriously, standing over that putt I was thinking I had a good chance to make it, but even if I miss I'm in a playoff.'
For Molder, it was a bad day as he was trying to wrap up his first Nationwide Tour win.
'I just didn't play well today,' acknowledged Molder. 'I didn't play horribly, but I played below average. It is tough to win out here, but I enjoyed the challenge of it. One of these days I'm going to win one of these and then take off.'
Brendon de Jonge (64), Matthew Jones (67) and Kevin Durkin (68) shared sixth place at minus-14. Parker McLachlin (65), Scott Petersen (70), Scott Parel (71) and Craig Lile (71) finished tied for ninth place at 13-under-par 275.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Utah EnergySolutions Championship
  • Full Coverage - Utah EnergySolutions Championship