Thirty-seven year old veteran pro Derek Gillespie of Oshawa has won the 2015 Mandarin Tour Championship presented by Hilton Fallsview Hotel and Suites at the Grand Niagara Golf Club, Niagara Falls, ON. Gillespie, who was in a 3-way tie with Eric Hawerchuk and Matthew McMahon after Day 2 at 4 under par, shot a 4 under par 68 on the final round to win by one stroke over Lucas Kim at 7 under par. Gillespie, who plays out of the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, had one bogey and five birdies on the day and took home a cheque for $10,000.
Gillespie was well placed after Day 1and in 4th place with a 2 under par 70 that included three bogeys, one eagle and three birdies. He moved into a 3-way tie after Day 2 with another 2 under par 70 with only one bogey and three birdies on the day. “I played nicely all day,” said a jubilant Gillespie. “Today when I hit good shots I took advantage of it. I knew at the turn that I’d be in contention, however, I did get into some trouble on twelve after a bad drive. Fortunately, I made a twenty foot putt for a par.” After a birdie on the par 5, 13th hole, Gillespie went on to par the remaining five holes for the win. “I knew I was in good shape after the birdie on thirteen. I just needed to get by the 14th and 15th holes that are challenging. I hit good shots for birdie on sixteen and seventeen but missed the putts.” On eighteen, Gillespie played conservatively for the win. “I saw the leader board on eighteen. I laid up to be safe, chipped to the left side of the green and then chipped again from the fringe to within a foot. I was nervous about my final putt that had a left to right break with a pretty severe slope. I played it outside the right edge to make par. It was a tricky putt.”
Gillespie, who played all spring in the PGA Tour Latin America, hasn’t made any final plans for his fall and winter golf. “I haven’t decided yet as to whether I’ll to go back to the Latin American Tour or instead, to the Web.com Tour Q-School,” said Gillespie.
“The players enjoyed a great week”, said Gillespie. “A BIG THANKS to the Mandarin Tour and Hilton Fallsview Hotel and Suites for a fantastic Tour Championship, kick-off dinner reception and Wednesday evening Pro-Am dinner.”
Second place winner Lucas Kim (69, 72, 68 – 209), winner of the Mandarin Tour’s 6th event two weeks ago at Tangle Creek, had three solid rounds over the Tour Championship. Kim, who was in a 3-way tie for first place after Day 1, and in 4th place after Day 2, earned $6,000.
Dave Markle (72, 72, 67 – 211), winner of the 2015 $30,000 Seaforth Classic, surged from even par after Day 2 to a 5 under par 67, and the lowest round of the day. Markle earned $4,000 for his third place finish.
Eric Hawerchuk (71, 69, 72 – 212) and Brendan Barrack (72, 70, 70 – 212) tied for 4th place at 4 under par. Each earned $2,750. Hawerchuk, who was in second place on the Order of Merit (money list) for the 2015 Mandarin Tour, was in contention for the win throughout the Tour Championship.
Matt Hoffman (71, 74, 69 – 214) and Matthew McMahon (71, 69, 74 – 214) tied for 6th place at 2 under par. Each earned $2,025. Hoffman, who wasn’t on the leader board on Day 2, moved aggressively up the leader board with six birdies on his final round for a 3 under par 69.
David Sheman (73, 73, 71 – 217) and Brennan Smith (69, 75, 73 – 217) tied for 8th place at one over par. Each earned $1,675. Sheman, made commendable progress over the season with his strong 5th place finish on the Order of Merit (money list) for the Mandarin Tour.
Colton Kalkanis (75, 72, 71 – 218), James Seymour (73, 70, 75 – 218) and Sean Bozuk (69, 74, 75 – 218) tied for 10th place at 2 over par. Each earned $1,400. Kalkanis, who moved from an opening round + 3 to a final round of one under par, was the winner of the first Mandarin Tour event of the 2015 season at Grey Silo G.C.
The Mandarin Tour, sponsored by Mandarin Restaurants, Wesbell Technologies and Hilton Niagara Falls / Fallsview Hotel and Suites is the ultimate developmental golf tour experience, playing championship courses with 100% of the entry fees going directly to the players’ purse.