Piercy hangs on, wins the RBC Canadian Open
By Michael Williams
GolfWRX Staff Writer
The RBC Canadian Open is the world’s third oldest golf championship and in its history has seen more than its share of great golf and tense moments. The 2012 edition lived up to the tradition as Scott Piercy notched his second career victory, carding a final round of 3-under par 67 to finish at 17-under par 263. Piercy finished a single ahead of William McGirt and Robert Garrigus, narrowly avoiding a playoff with both.
Piercy carded his four straight sub-par rounds at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, including a course record 62 in his opening round. He needed every stroke to as third round leader Garrigus and McGirt vied for the title on Sunday. Garrigus, who had set Canadian Open record of his own with a 54-hole total of 16 under par, looked like a good bet for his first win of the year. Instead, the long putter that had served him well earlier in the week left him cold in the final round.
Garrigus missed a number of putts inside 10 feet that would have clinched the championship for him, including an 8-footer for birdie and a tie with Piercy on No. 18. Equally disappointed was McGirt, who could have put himself in a playoff with a par on No. 18. McGirt put his approach in a greenside bunker, then chunked his third shot on the way to a bogey that left him literally racking his brains with his putter.
For Piercy, it was proof of how life changing a Tour victory can be. A Las Vegas native and boyhood soccer phenom, Piercy played on various mini-tours before becoming a Web.com tour member in 2008. He finished ninth on the money list to earn PGA Tour playing rights for 2009.
Piercy showed promise at the beginning of his PGA Tour career, recording five top-20 finishes in his first six starts, vaulting him into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings in March 2009. In 2011, Piercy won his first PGA Tour event at the Reno-Tahoe Open. With the Canadian Open victory, Piercy becomes the 28th different winner on the tour this year and earns a two-year exemption,that will take him through the 2014 PGA TOUR season. He also receives invitations to the 2013 editions of Bay Hill, the Players Championship and the Masters.
Piercy seemed almost stunned in victory. “I know that I will be playing in Akron next week (at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), and that’s about it.”
Equally stunned were McGirt and Garrigus. “I would have loved to have won the golf tournament,” McGirt said. “But I played very well all week.”
Garrigus had similar thoughts. “I should have won this golf tournament by seven shots. Everybody knows that,” said Garrigus, who finished a shot back of winner Scott Piercy. “If I could have just made a putt today. I don’t know. It just wasn’t starting on my lines. I hit a couple too firm and then I hit a couple too soft. I just couldn’t get the feel for it.”
For Garrigus and McGirt, it’s wait till next week. As for Scott Piercy, he just can’t wait till next week.
Michael Williams is the contributing editor of Newschannel8 Capital Golf Weekly and Bunkershot.com, as well as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.