What began as an improbable dream on Tuesday became reality for Quebec’s Eric Laporte Friday afternoon at the PGA Championship of Canada.
THe 34-year-old head professional from Montcalm Club de Golf defeated Lindsay Bernakevitch 3 & 1 in the championship match on the Talons Course at Country Hills in Calgary.
“I didn’t think it was possible to win on Tuesday when I started,” Laporte admitted. “But round after round after round I’m here.”
Laporte, who never once trailed in any of his six matches, had a long and tough round to triumph; defeating Jeff Gross, the No. 2-seed Danny King, last year’s PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada winner Roger Beale, last year’s PGA Assistants’ Championship winner Mike Belbin and Bernakevitch.
“All week I’ve been up in my matches and I think that is the reason why today I’m the winner,” Laporte said.
With his victory, Laporte takes home the historic P.D. Ross Trophy, $15,000 and 60 ranking points towards the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC. Entering this week’s championship at Country Hills, Laporte was ranked No. 41—with the win he’s expected move inside the top 15.
Laporte now his name on the same trophy as such golfing great’s as Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman, George Knudson and Stan Leonard.
“Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Steve Striker—a lot of guys have won this tournament and for me it’s an honour to be with them,” Laporte said. “But you don’t play golf to have your name on trophies, you just want to play the best that you can."
The consolation match saw Brad Clapp and Eddward Boudreau go extra holes, with Boudreau eventually winning on the 22nd hole.