Carlos Sainz Jr. won his first PGA Tour Canada title on Sunday, draining four birdie putts over the final six holes at The Players Cup in Winnipeg to edge fellow American Nathan Tyler.
Sainz won $27,000 but he narrowly missed out on an equally coveted prize -- a berth in the PGA Tour's RBC Canadian Open this week.
He moved to No. 4 on PGA Tour Canada's money list -- however, just the top three money earners after play ended Sunday at Pine Ridge Golf Club advanced to the Canadian Open this week.
Sainz is just $179 shy of third-place Stephen Gangluff.
He'll have to content himself with a stirring finish and his first victory since the 2011 Ohio State Open. His birdie string helped get him to four-under-par 68 Sunday and a four-day total of 17-under 271, a shot better than third-round leader Tyler, who carded 71 Sunday.
“That back side was pretty incredible," the 25-year-old Sainz told pgatourcanada.com "Four out of the last six – what can I say? The putts just dropped. This win was definitely attributed to good putting.”
Veteran Kent Eger of Regina and rookie Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., were the top Canadians, sharing third place at 13 under.
The Players Cup was the fourth event of the developmental circuit's season. It was a pivotal tournament because it was the final chance to get into the top three on the money list and claim one of the three Canadian Open berths.
Riley Wheeldon of Comox, B.C., held on to his top spot on the money list after tying for 19th place Sunday. He'll be making his PGA Tour debut and brings the number of Canadians competing at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., this week to 14.
Wil Collins of the United States maintained his second spot after tying for fifth spot. Gangluff shared 32nd place Sunday.
PGA Tour Canada resumes Aug. 6 with the ATB Financial Classic, the Calgary event that was postponed last month amid Alberta's flooding disaster.
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