Pendrith wins Mackenzie Investments Open, closes in on Korn Ferry Tour card

Taylor Pendrith is enjoying himself on the golf course again. Just look at his scorecards.

Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ont., shot a 5-under 67 to win the Mackenzie Investments Open on Sunday, matching a Mackenzie Tour scoring record of 28-under overall. The win lifts Pendrith to second on the third-tier tour’s order of merit, putting him in a position to move up to the Korn Ferry Tour next season.

“Honestly, my mental game has really improved, I’m having fun playing golf again, which is nice,” said Pendrith, from Montreal. “I’m hitting it better than I ever have and my putting is great but I’m just having fun out there.

“I’ve got a really good caddy, my good buddy Mitch Theoret, he really keeps me loose out there and not really thinking about golf, not overthinking things. I think that’s really paid off in my results.”

Pendrith has finished in the top five in his past six tournaments, including winning the 1932byBateman Open in Edmonton on Aug. 4. He has shot 62 four times in his past four events — including twice this week at Montreal’s Elm Ridge Country Club, setting a course record.

He now trails only France’s Paul Barjon for the top spot on the Mackenzie Tour’s order of merit with one event left in the season. Barjon has earned $125,738 to Pendrith’s $120,259 heading into the Canada Life Open in London, Ont., next week.

The top player on the Mackenzie Tour gets a full card on the Korn Ferry Tour next season, a step away from the PGA Tour.

“It’s basically up for grabs next week in London,” said Pendrith. “It’s a pretty close race at the top. Ultimately that No. 1 spot is very important. Hoping to have a nice week again next week and try to chase down Paul and get to No. 1.”

Pendrith has been on the Korn Ferry Tour before — when it was called the Tour — but ongoing wrist issues, a partially torn tendon in his arm and a torn muscle in his palm, disrupted his 2016 and 2017 seasons. He just missed out on earning a card on this season’s Korn Ferry Tour after a disappointing round in the second stage of qualifying school on Nov. 9.

“Moving back up there is going to feel really good,” said Pendrith, who will earn at least a conditional exemption on the Korn Ferry Tour by finishing in the top five of the Mackenzie Tour’s order of merit.

“Been up there before, haven’t had my best stuff and was battling health and injuries when I was out there. I’ll know what to expect and my game is in a really good spot right now.”

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