James Beale rolled in a 22-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to capture the 2014 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Elmhurst Golf and Country Club in Winnipeg.
The 21-year-old New Zealander carded a final round 69 which included a clutch par-putt on the 72nd hole to earn a spot in the three-man playoff with American Jonathan Garrick and Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Beale said of his winning putt. “I don’t know if it’s good or bad but the thought went through my mind just as I was standing over it that this is for the win.”
Pendrith, fresh off his tie for 43rd and low amateur honours at the RBC Canadian Open, shot a final round 66 for the low round of the day while Garrick posted a 68 to finish at 6-under par.
Beale’s victory earns him an exemption into next week’s U.S. Amateur Championship and the 2015 RBC Canadian Open, which he admitted may delay his plans to turn pro next year.
“I wasn’t thinking about that stuff when I was out there but to get off and realize that I’m in the U.S. Amateur and the Canadian Open, a PGA Tour event, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Beale said. “I’ll have to reconsider turning pro next year so I can play in that one.”
Corey Conners, the top ranked amateur in Canada, bogeyed the final hole for a round of 73 and missed the playoff by a single stroke. He finished in a tie for fourth with American Sam Saunders at 5-under par.
Team Canada’s Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont. finished in a tie for sixth while Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C. was tied for eighth.