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The Globe and Mail

Matt Hill breaks through for victory in Saskatoon

Former amateur standout Matt Hill of Sarnia, Ont., has broken through for his first win as a professional, defeating Will Strickler in a playoff at the Canadian Tour's Dakota Dunes Casino Open in Saskatoon.

Hill, who turned pro in May of 2010 after a spectacular college career at North Carolina State that included eight victories in his sophomore year, made a birdie on the fourth extra hole for the victory. Strickler of the United States nearly forced a fifth playoff hole but his seven-footer for birdie lipped out.

Both players finished the tournament at 19-under 269.

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Hill's victory came just a week after he was on the losing end in a playoff at the Syncrude Boreal Open in Fort McMurray, Alta. In his other 2012 Canadian Tour start, he tied for eighth place.

With the $24,000 first prize, Hill moved to the top of the developmental circuit's money list. If he can stay in the top two through the Canadian Tour Players Cup next Sunday, he'll gain a berth in the PGA Tour's RBC Canadian Open later this month.

American Joel Dahmen shot a final round 68 and missed the playoff by a single stroke as did Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (70), who started the final round as the leader, and James Allenby (69) of Langley, B.C.

Three bogeys in the final round left Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont., with an even par 72 and a seventh place finish.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., making his 2012 Canadian Tour debut, closed with a 67 to finish in a tie for 15th.

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