Wes Homan's birdie on the 72nd hole allowed him to claim the inaugural Staal Foundation Open in Thunder Bay for his first career PGA Tour Canada victory.
The 30-year-old prevailed in a dramatic battle over English rookie Greg Eason, who made a clutch birdie of his own at the last hole to force Homan’s hand. Homan calmly stepped up a drained a six-footer, punctuated with a fist pump to secure his first win in four seasons on Tour.
“It felt great to make that putt,” said Homan, who finished at 17-under for the week. “It’s more of a sense of relief about all the hard work I know I’ve been putting in and sometimes people don’t know about. It was amazing. I did hurt my back on one of those fist pumps, so it was pretty exciting and fun.”
The win moves Homan into the fifth spot on the Order of Merit and in position to earn Web.com Tour status in the season-long chase for The Five.
“It’s huge. Every shot counts,” Homan said. “This isn’t gonna change my life, but it’s going to be a step towards where I want to go and I’m glad I was able to accomplish it.”
Eason’s solo second result moved him to seventh on the Order of Merit, while American Jeff Corr finished in solo third after a final round 69.
With a final round 2-under 70, Ted Brown of Peterborough, Ont. finished in a tie for seventh with Cory Renfrew of Victoria to earn top Canadian honours at 9-under. Ryan Yip of Calgary was a further stroke back in a tie for 11th.
Josh Person's birdie putt on the final hole enabled him to finish in a tie for 11th but more importantly that stroke helped move him past Matt Harmon into No. 3 on the money list which secured him a berth in this week's RBC Canadian Open.
“I really had to grind it out today, and to know I’ve got a spot on the PGA Tour next week is a great feeling,” said Person.
Money leader Joel Dahmen, who finished in a tie for fifth, and Tim Madigan also earned a trip to Montreal for this week's PGA stop.