Wes Short Jr. birdies final hole to win Shaw Charity Classic

CALGARY — Wes Short Jr. took full advantage of a fortunate bounce.

Short made a short birdie putt on the final hole to win the Shaw Charity Classic by one stroke on Sunday.

His second shot on the par 5, 18th hole at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club just cleared the water before bouncing off a rock and onto the green.

“I caught a little bit of a thin three wood and pushed it a little bit,” Short said. “I thought it might have been over, but it hit a rock and kicked up on the green. It was a really good break.”

After his eagle attempt came up short, he tapped in a three-foot putt for a final-round 4-under 66 and a a 13-under 267 total — just ahead of two-time defending champion Scott McCarron.

“It probably looked five, six feet and I was sure glad it went in,” Short said. “All the hard work you put into this stupid game comes to the top.”

Short’s final round included six birdies and two bogeys to give the 55-year-old golfer from Austin, Texas, just his second-ever PGA Tour Champions victory. His last one was also in Canada at the 2014 Quebec Championship.

“Maybe I need to move here,” he joked.

The start of the final round of the three-day event was delayed by 30 minutes due to thick fog and golfers also had to battle chilly conditions at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club until it warmed up in the afternoon.

McCarron rolled in a 39-foot putt for eagle on the 18th hole to card a round of 5-under 65, which pulled him into a tie for the lead with Short and Tom Gillis at 12 under.

“It was going a little faster than I wanted, kind of banged the stick and went in,” McCarron said. “Just to do that to have a chance was really cool, but I shouldn’t have put myself in that position to begin with.”

The Charles Schwab Cup points leader then watched as Short made his clutch birdie, while Gillis fell back into fourth at 10 under with a double bogey on the last hole.

“Wes obviously got a great break on 18, hit the rocks in the hazard and bounced on the green and birdied it to win the tournament,” said McCarron, who had bogeys on 16 and 17 before his eagle on the final hole. “Sometimes those things happen when you win. He got the good breaks and I made a few bad swings with poor timing, unfortunately.”

Second-round leader Steve Flesch shot 69 to fall back into third at 11 under.

“I wanted to play aggressively and I drove it great and I ironed it okay on the front, but I just didn’t make any putts today,” Flesch said.

Joe Durant, Billy Andrade and Tom Byrum finished in a tie for fifth at 9 under.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and former Calgary resident Stephen Ames had a 69 to finish in a tie for 29th with six others at 3 under.

“Besides freezing, it was really good,” said Ames, who recently relocated from Vancouver to Turks and Caicos. “When you don’t play as often in the cold weather, I tend to struggle a little bit with it. That’s always been my nemesis is cold weather.”

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