Billy Walsh Wins PGA Assistants' Championship of Canada presented by Titleist & FootJoy

9/13/2013

Billy Walsh Wins PGA Assistants' Championship of Canada presented by Titleist & FootJoy

 

For Immediate Release

 

September 13, 2013

 

PICKERING, ON - Billy Walsh Jr. is a couple of steps closer to his dream of playing in his first PGA Tour event thanks to a win Thursday in the 2013 PGA Assistants' Championship of Canada presented by Titleist & FooJoy at The Willows Golf & Country Club in Saskatoon, SK.

 

"This is a big win for me," says Walsh, who earned a cheque for $9,000. "It's always been a goal of mine to play a PGA Tour event and my goal for next year is to get into the Canadian Open and play well."

 

Walsh, who teaches out of Fairtree Learning Centre in Markham, moved closer to that goal as he moved up to spots into the No. 2 position in the PGA of Canada national player ranking and now trails leader Bryn Parry by just 13 points. The No. 1 player in the rankings after the 2014 PGA Championship of Canada earns an exemption into the 2014 RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

 

"This is up there among my top wins, right there with winning the Bermuda Open in 2004 against Mike Donald who lost the US Open in a playoff to Hale Irwin," Walsh added.

 

Walsh was crushed earlier in the summer after losing the PGA Championship of Canada at Magna Golf Club - a course he knows extremely well - and had peaked his game with the goal of winning it for the first time. "I learned from it. I hit some shots that I was rushing a little. I was not focused over the ball on some of the shots and I went back and improved upon that," says Walsh who settled for second place and $10,000.

 

He also finished second at the PGA of Ontario Championship at Deer Ridge, but there wasn't a lot he could do there as Brian Hadley fired rounds of 59-69 to win with ease. "I shot 67 in the first round and thought I played well, but I was eight shots back. Brian played some incredible golf to win that.

 

Leading up to the 2013 PGA Assistants' Championship of Canada, Walsh also had the opportunity to caddy at the PGA Tour Canada Wildfire Invitational for one of his students and he learned from that as he watched the players battle it out. To prepare for The Willows Golf & Country Club in Saskatoon, a course he had never seen before, Walsh went on Google Maps for a first look and then played practice rounds the Sunday and Monday prior to the championships.

 

"I hit the ball well all week. The goal for the week was to go bogey free, but I had my first bogey of the tournament on No. 15 on the second day, so that was a bit of a letdown. I had trouble reading the greens most of the week because they have some really subtle breaks in them and then someone told me, "You realize this is Saskatoon, it's pretty flat out there," and I stopped overplaying the reads."

 

On the final day, Walsh, a TaylorMade Staff Player fired a final round 4-under par 68 that including a timely eagle on the par-4 17th and a clutch par on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Lindsay Bernakevitch at 12-under par for the championship. "When you make a 40-footer for eagle there is a bit of luck there and it gives you momentum and confidence," Walsh added.

 

Walsh and Bernakevitch went back to the tee on the difficult 18th at The Willows for the playoff and both players found the 1st cut of rough on the right hand side. Bernakevitch knocked his approach to 12-feet to the left of the hole while Walsh hit it 15-feet below the cup. Walsh calmly walked up and drained the birdie putt in front of the crowd and was crowned the champion when Bernakevitch's putt just slid by the cup on the left hand side.

 

"It was great to have all the guys from all over Canada, especially the guys I play against in Ontario, standing there on No. 18 watching and cheering as we finished off," says Walsh who leads the PGA of Ontario money list for 2013 with winnings of $9,208 to date having finished T2 at the Assistants' Team Championship and the PGA of Ontario Championship and T3 at the PGA of Ontario Assistants' Spring and Summer Championships and the PGA of Ontario Pro Junior Championship in the net division.

 

For the remainder of this season he'll play the PGA of Ontario Fall Championship this week at Georgian Bay Club and tee it up in a few pro-ams and Mandarin Tour events before closing out with the Goslings Championship the last week of November where he is the defending champ.

 

For more information please contact:  

Kevin Purcell

Executive Director

PGA of Ontario

905-420-1233

kevin@pgaofontario.com

www.pgaofontario.com

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