The final round of the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship saw numerous lead changes, but a birdie on the last hole gave American Chris Ward the win.
Standing on the tee of the final hole, Ward was tied with fellow American and clubhouse leader Jimmy Lytle at 4-under. Ward’s tee shot sailed over the flag, setting up the birdie opportunity from about six feet.
“I had a pretty good idea that putt on the last was for the win,” Ward said. “For a six-foot putt I had to play it outside of the hole, so luckily I hit it at the right pace and it turned at the end to fall in the hole.”
With the win, Ward will take home not only the champion’s first place prize money of $10,000, but a ton of confidence and experience as well.
“I was fortunate enough to play in the final group today with Chip Beck and learned so many invaluable things just from watching him,” Ward said. “I actually thought I was going to be more nervous today, but Chip’s such an easy-going guy that it made it really easy for me to stay calm.”
Beck, the four-time PGA Tour winner and three-time American Ryder Cup member, lead heading into Saturday’s final round, but slipped on Saturday to T8 for championship.
Lytle finished just one-shot back, while PGA of Canada member Oliver Tubb rounded out the top-three at 3-under. PGA Tour veteran Tom Gillis, 19-time Ladies European Tour winner Trish Johnson, former PGA Tour member David Morland IV and American Michael Murray all finished T4.
With radiant sun and little-to-no wind, conditions were ideal for Saturday’s final round and players definitely appreciated it.
“This golf course is just awesome and the greens are about as pure as any that I’ve putted on in many years,” Tubb said.
Fellow PGA of Canada member Mark Kitts, who tied the course record Saturday with a 4-under-par 50, agreed with Tubb’s thoughts of Turtle Hill Golf Club.
“This is just a gem of a par-3 golf course,” Kitts said. “You’re staying at the Fairmont, the weather is perfect and it’s way better than being back home in the cold.”
In addition to the professionals in the championship, the field is rounded out by an impressive list of amateur golfers—from Bermuda, the United States, Canada and Europe—vying for titles in the men’s, women’s and senior amateur divisions.
Spencer Wideman of Bermuda captured the men’s amateur championship, while Tariqah Walikraam, also of Bermuda, won the women’s amateur championship. A third Bermudian, Craig Christensen took home the senior men’s championship.
Past champions of the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship include Bermudian Daniel Augustus, PGA Tour winner Nick Taylor, PGA of Canada member Ian Doig, American Jordan Mitchell, Mark Mouland of the European Senior Tour, Thomas Curtis and last year’s winner from Brazil, Rafael Becker.