BLAINVILLE, Quebec—Brendan Leonard began the day tied for third, five shots off the lead but the Cambridge, Ontario, native made clutch birdies Sunday to win the Mackenzie Investments Open, the first tournament on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada.
“It feels awesome,” said Leonard. “It was a grind out there today, but I just stuck to what I’ve been doing all week and ended up coming out on top.”
Tied for the lead with two holes to play, Leonard saved his best for last, closing with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to seal the deal. His approach on 18 ended up within five feet of the pin, putting an exclamation point on his two-stroke victory.
“That’s why we’re all out here,” said Leonard. “You want to come out here, you want to perform and under the gun you want to pull off the shots. That’s what I kept telling myself: just commit to this and get it done, and luckily I was able to come away with it.”
Mississauga, Ontario’s Sudarshan Yellamaraju charged up the leaderboard Sunday, vaulting all the way from a tie for 10th to a tie for third, at 7-under. When he finished his round, he was briefly tied for the lead before Leonard’s heroics.
“I definitely expected that I could play well,” said Yellamaraju. “I’m not surprised by that. Actually, doing it is the big thing, so I’ll definitely have a lot of confidence going into the rest of the events.”
The top Quebecer was Keven Fortin-Simard, who tied for fourth. The Chicoutimi native was loudly cheered by the gallery every time he hit a good shot.
“Yeah, it was great,” said Fortin-Simard, who had four birdies in the final round. “It’s not something that you come here and expect to get that many cheers. I had the chance to see a bunch of people I haven’t seen for a while that made the trip here to see me play so I’m definitely grateful for that.”
The next tournament on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule is the Osprey Valley Open at TPC Toronto, set for August 16-22.