Ancaster, ON – An early run of four straight birdies on Sunday vaulted Scott Piercy into the lead at the Canadian Open. From there, he hung on to win for the second time on the PGA Tour.
Piercy closed with a 3-under 67 to finish at 17-under-par 263, His total of 263 matched tournament's scoring record, first set by Johnny Palmer in 1952.
"John Deere was a big turnaround for me and I got a lot of things figured out. I got a week off and got rested, then picked up right where I left off," Piercy said in a televised interview of his third place finish at the John Deere Classic. "I'm so excited."
Piercy's first win came last year at the Reno-Tahoe Open, which is next week. However, thanks to this victory, he will play in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which is also next week.
"Reno was definitely a platform for me to showcase how good I could really be. If that's any sign as to how this year's been, I think there's a lot of big stuff for me," Piercy said on TV.
William McGirt bogeyed the final hole at Hamilton Golf & Country Club to end one stroke back at minus-16. He carded a 1-under 69 to share second with Robert Garrigus, who parred the first 13 holes. Garrigus birdied 14, but bogeyed the 16th to end in a tie for second after a final-round 70.
Josh Teater and Bud Cauley both shot 4-under 66 on Sunday to grab a piece of fourth place. They ended alongside Chris Kirk (68) at 14-under-par 266.
Garrigus led by one to start the day, but he parred the first 13 holes to lose his lead.
Piercy looked as though he would run away with the title in the early stages. He converted a 5-footer for birdie on two and followed with another birdie on the third.
The 33-year-old 2-putted for birdie on the par-5 fourth and made his fourth straight birdie at the fifth, where he ran home a 30-footer. That burst gave him a 1-stroke lead over McGirt.
McGirt, playing in the final group with Garrigus, birdied three and four to get to 17-under. He briefly took the lead by himself with a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 7.
McGirt led at that point after Piercy failed to save par from a greenside bunker on the par-3 eighth. However, McGirt also found sand off the tee at eight, and couldn't get up and down for par.
At the ninth, McGirt drained a birdie effort from off the green, as he putted his shot through the fringe with a hybrid club.
That unlikely birdie put him back atop the leaderboard at 18-under. He remained there with five pars in a row around the turn.
Piercy also parred five straight holes with his run starting at No. 9. Piercy made a mess of the 14th and dropped a shot there. He fought back with a chip- in birdie on the 15th to move back to 17-under.
McGirt's par run ended at 15 with a 3-putt bogey, his first 3-putt in 119 holes. That forged a tie for the lead.
Piercy parred the last three, then watched the final groups finish.
McGirt found sand with his approach at 18 and couldn't convert an 18-foot par- saving putt. That left him one back.
"My No. 1 goal coming into this week was to make sure I locked up getting into the playoffs," stated McGirt in a television interview. "My second goal was to make sure I locked up my card and I accomplished both of those today. I would have loved to win the golf tournament, but I played very well all week."
Garrigus had a chance to force a playoff, but his 14-footer for birdie at the last stayed above ground.
"I don't think I was thinking about what I was thinking about the last three days with the putter. My chest was moving too," Garrigus admitted in a TV interview. "This was my 18th or 19th tournament with the [long putter]. The more and more I play, the more and more comfortable I'll get with the thing."
NOTES: Piercy earned $936,000 for the win...There are two events on the PGA Tour next week. After coughing up the lead in the final round of the British Open, Adam Scott will look to bounce back in his title defense at the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational...The remainder of the tour will be in Nevada for the Reno-Tahoe Open, where Piercy won last year, but won't defend thanks to his win Sunday in Canada.