CARDIGAN, PEI — A few late birdies propelled Brian Carlson to the top of the standings Sunday at the Prince Edward Island Open presented by IMP Solutions. The former Purdue star shot a 65 in the final round en route to his first victory on the PGA TOUR Canada. He finished at 19 under, just ahead of Chris R. Wilson (18 under) and Austin Hitt (17 under).
“It’s amazing. It hasn’t sunk yet. They always say that when you win, but it’s not quite the case yet,” Carlson said, while congratulating the other Tour players. The level of competition is so good, so for a long time I thought I was never going to win.
Carlson, however, came on when it mattered most. He had eight birdies on the day. This included pivots on the 16th and 17th holes to take the lead.
Wilson, meanwhile, had a three-shot lead going into the round and shot a 69. It wasn’t enough for the Canadian to win, however. He had five birdies but two bogeys. The latter included a crucial loss from a stroke on the No.17.
“Losing in one fell swoop in four days is such a small margin,” Wilson said. “You just go over your rounds and think about every shot here and there that could have been better.
“But at the end of the day, I still played a good trick myself today, and I got beat,” he continued. “It’s not like I was fighting on the course. So I think I can sleep tonight knowing that.
Canadian Myles Creighton and Americans Joe Highsmith and Trent Phillips are tied for fourth at under 15. Americans Parker Gillam and Joey Vrzich were under 14 and tied for seventh.
Six golfers from the United States tied for ninth place with scores of 13 under. The group included Cooper Dossey, Parker Gilliam, Charles Huntzinger, Harrison Ott, Brad Reeves and Benjamin Shipp.
The win came on Carlson’s 24th career start on the PGA TOUR Canada. His previous record came at the 2019 Canada Life Open in Vancouver when he tied for second. Last summer on the Forme Tour, in the United States, Carlson finished tied for third in a tournament at his college course, Birck Boilermaker Golf Club. He played in all eight LOCALiQ Series events in 2020. This provided places to play during the global pandemic and basically kept his game sharp.
“It definitely gave me confidence knowing that I can finally win,” Carlson said. “It’s my first multi-day event as a pro to get a win. It just gives you the confidence that you’re good enough to play professional golf.
As the Prince Edward Island Open champion, Carlson won $36,000 (Canadian) and tallied 500 Fortinet Cup points to take the overall lead in the points race at the season, 12 points ahead of Wil Bateman. The three champions this season – Carlson, Bateman and Scott Stevens – are respectively 1, 2, 3 in the standings.
The tour is taking a three-week hiatus, resuming July 21-24 in Caledon, Ontario for the Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos CBM Aggregates. TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is hosting the tournament, which will take place on its Heathlands course.
Did you know that in 2020, Brian Carlson played in all eight LOCALiQ Series tournaments, designed for players on the international PGA TOUR tours who had no room to play due to the global pandemic? Carlson’s best finish came at the Classic at the Weston Hills Club in South Florida in October, where he finished tied for third. Earlier in the season, he finished tied for seventh in the championship at Echelon Golf Club in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.
How the Canadians fared
It was an excellent performance from the host nation’s golfers, with two players finishing in the top five. Chris R. Wilson (Toronto) finished second and Myles Creighton (Digby, Nova Scotia) tied for fourth. Here’s a look at how the 10 who made the cut ended up.