Sloan back in the winner’s circle with Utah victory
It’s been a long time between victories for Roger Sloan but the feeling of winning a golf tournament never changes.
Sloan birdied the final two holes of the Oak Ridge Country Club to win the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship. It marked his first victory since he took the title at the Nova Scotia Championship in 2014.
“I was actually joking earlier this week with my caddie, it's been a long time since I won,” stated Sloan. “To do it here is special just because this place reminds me so much of being back home. I love Salt Lake City, it's a great place.”
The Merritt, B.C., product trailed by one playing the 17th hole but hit an approach inside 10 feet and drained the putt. On the final hole, he drove his ball well down the fairway, leaving him just 95 yards from the hole. He hit his 56-degree wedge to three feet and then calmly rolled in the putt to notch the victory.
As soon as the putt dropped, he was greeted on the green by his wife, Casey and his three children.
“To see my kids run onto the green and hug them, that's a moment I'll never forget,” he said.
Sloan has spent much of this season trying to re-work his swing and as a result, has had good rounds but not as many good weeks. He’s had just one other top-10 finish prior to the win but stayed the course with his work and it paid off.
“I didn't really do anything special,” said Sloan of his four rounds. “I just did a lot of things really well. Hit a lot of good quality wedge shots, hit a lot of greens in regulation, rolled in a couple mid-length putts. Nothing crazy. Just one those weeks that was solid.”
The victory makes him the seventh Canadian player to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event this season. Ben Silverman won on the Korn Ferry Tour in January while Stephen Ames has captured. three PGA Tour Champions titles. On the PGA Tour, Mac Hughes, Adam Svensson, Corey Conners and Nick Taylor have all won tournaments.
Brooke Henderson has also won on the LPGA Tour, while Alena Sharp earned a victory on the Epson Tour.
“Yeah, it's great to be a Canadian, great time to be a part of Canadian golf. It's a beauty, eh?,” joked Sloan.
The win moved the Canadian into 27th spot on the Korn Ferry Tour points list with the top 30 earning PGA Tour cards for next year. There are six events left on the schedule, including the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, Oct. 5-8.
“While this win is great, I’ve really just got to keep chipping away at what I've been doing all year, staying committed to that,” Sloan stated. “The goal is for me to be the best player I could be, hopefully go back to the PGA Tour soon, but I'm just taking it one day at a time. While this is great and we're going to enjoy it, it's kind of back to the grindstone next week and just keep committed to that.”
Sloan will play this week at the Korn Ferry Tour’s next stop, the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Neb.