Riley Fleming was cool under the scorching Alberta sun.
The 2018 champion at the PGA of Alberta Championship fought off the field Tuesday at River Bend Golf and Recreation Area to win his second title at the event.
Fleming held off the charging field at the 2020 championship, cashing in birdies on three of the last four holes for a seven-under-par 65 in the final round and 11-under overall for the tournament.
Behind him at nine-under-par, last year’s champ Wes Heffernan, who tied with Jeremy Maher and Dustin Ridson for second, all of whom have won the event before.
“It’s amazing. Winning in golf is the best feeling ever. You’re doing it by yourself. It’s awesome, I will never get tired of it,” Fleming said of the win.
Jaxon Lynn of Alberta Springs, Ridson, Maher and former champion Tyler LeBouthillier were all tied for the lead after day one at five-under-par.
Fleming, who was tied for second with six players at four-under-par after round one, knew it was going to be a long day in the final round. He added that with a crowded field, including 91 of the top professional and assistant professionals across Alberta, it was anyone’s tournament to win in the final nine holes.
“It was a tough round because there were so many of us on the leaderboard. You had to keep going but you also had to be careful a couple of mistakes and you weren’t just falling a position… I think there were 10 (guys) within three. It was pretty jam-packed,” he said.
“There were six winners of this championship within a shot of the lead. It was not an easy day.”
Overall, Fleming said he was just happy to relax for a couple of days with his fellow professionals after a hectic summer at the course, brought in part by the increased interest in the sport due to COVID-19.
“The golf industry is so busy, I think everyone is excited to have a couple of days away midseason to play a tournament and playing well is just a really nice bonus,” he said.