WINNIPEG — American Tom Hoge fired a bogey-free round of 5-under 66 to win the Canadian Tour’s Players Cup on Sunday.
Hoge’s victory made him the first player to go through a Monday qualifier and then win the event since the Tour’s incorporation in 1986.
The 22 year old had nearly missed his tee time in qualifying, and needed a playoff to make the field.
“It’s kind of crazy that I was 10 minutes away from almost missing the qualifier and now here I am,” said Hoge, who finished the tournament at 16 under.
“I played great along the way and it has been a lot of fun with all of the support from the fans and volunteers. It has been a great week.”
The victory earned Hoge exempt status on the Canadian Tour for two years and a spot in the RBC Canadian Open next week in Vancouver.
“I think the exemption was in the back of every players mind this week,” said Hoge, who will be playing in his first PGA Tour event.
“For me it was simple. I had to win while a bunch of other guys had to get into the top five, so I just put my head down and tried to get it done.”
Benjamin Alvarado of Chile fired a 66 to finish second, while American Josh Habig lost his third-round lead after a triple bogey on the fourth hole.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Habig, who finished tied for third with Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont. “It was a solid start, really. Then I was feeling comfortable and just lost my focus with my tee ball on four. ..
“I was over it and I heard something that kind of distracted me a little bit and I should have stepped away and I didn’t. That’s just bad discipline on my part and I put a bad swing on it.”
Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., made a jump from 25th to seventh after firing a tournament-best score of 7-under 64.
The Players Cup was hosted by Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.