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Faces of golf in 2012 - Rory McIlroy, Graham DeLaet, Lydia Ko and Ian Poulter

Faces of golf in 2012 - Rory McIlroy, Graham DeLaet, Lydia Ko and Ian Poulter

Golf Year In Review Add to ...

DeLaet finished as the top Canadian earner on the PGA Tour, narrowly ahead of Brantford, Ont., resident David Hearn, who also had the most lucrative season of his career. He finished with a pair of top-10s and also made the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time, also eclipsing the million dollar mark in earnings.

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THE WONGSTER: Eugene Wong made quite professional debut, winning in just his fourth professional start, highlighted by holing a 133-yard approach shot on the 72nd hole of the Canadian Tour Championship in August. The eagle gave him a one-stroke, walk-off win over Joe Panzeri while the video of the shot went viral on the internet. Wong of North Vancouver, B.C., topped the field in his next two starts – the Canadian Tour season finale as well as more final-hole heroics at the Vancouver Open – to complete a 2012 hat trick.

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BRAD FRITSCH: The veteran of 95 Web.com Tour events, he had his best season in 2012 with a share of second at the Mylan Classic being the highlight. With six other top-10s, he managed to finish 18th on the money list to earn one of 25 PGA Tour cards for 2013. The Ottawa-area golfer took it one step forward by enlisting for the gruelling six-day tournament known as Q-School in a bid to improve his priority standing and finished tied for seventh, putting him in position to have a solid start to the season as he bids to be more than just a one-year wonder on the PGA Tour.

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PGA TOUR CANADA: After years of financial struggles and ever increasing uncertainty, the PGA Tour came to the rescue of the Canadian Tour, rebranding the circuit PGA Tour Canada for 2013. The newly renamed Canadian circuit will essentially become a third tier, with the top performers advancing to the developmental Web.com Tour. PGA Tour Canada will stage a minimum of eight tournaments in 2013 with the goal of growing the schedule up to 13 events with a minimum purse of $150,000. All of the events will be staged in Canada and during the summer months. Under the new structure, the leading money winner on the PGA Tour Canada will have full status on the Web.com Tour while the next four players on the Order of Merit will have conditional status. The next five players will gain exemption into the newly reformed Q-School, which will be used to graduate players to the Web.com Tour.Earlier this year, the PGA Tour came to the financial aid of the 42-year old Canadian circuit, providing it with an operating loan after it lost a reported $700,000 in 2011.

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LYDIA KO WINS CN CANADIAN WOMEN’S OPEN: In what is one of the great golf stories of the year – and one of the great sporting victories in recent memory – the 15-year-old betrayed no nerves at all as she booked a fantastic, historic and resoundingly decisive victory in Canada’s national championship. Coming into the final round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open tied for the lead at eight-under, Ko led the final group on Sunday at the Vancouver Golf Club, fought off all comers and pulled away when she reeled off four straight birdies to start the back nine to leave the world’s best women on the LGPA Tour behind. She became the youngest woman in history to win a LPGA Tour event, and the first amateur to win a LPGA tournament since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Suzann Pettersen, the Norwegian who is No. 6 in the world, tweeted: “Wow, 15 years old, Lydia Ko made the rest of us look like amateurs!!”

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