Springer wins Fortinet Cup Championship, secures Player of the Year Honors
CALGARY, Alberta – Hayden Springer, the hottest player on PGA TOUR Canada the last three weeks, finished strong on Sunday and walked away with all the biggest prizes.
Springer showed little sign of nerves when he fired a 4-under 67 in the final round to finish 22-under and post a five-shot victory at the season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship at Country Hills Golf Club.
The victory was his second in three weeks and earned Springer Player of the Year honors, which goes to the the top spot on the Fortinet Cup standings, a season-long points race that rewards the winner with a full exemption on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour, along with a $25,000 bonus and an exemption into the final stage of PGA TOUR Q-School. He also receives an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Fortinet Championship in Napa, California and an exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.
“It’s perfect,” Springer said. “I’m feeling grateful and blessed to be in this position. It seems like the last few weeks I’ve done a good job not getting ahead of myself and just kind of hanging in there, just playing solid.”
Springer began the day tied for the lead with rookie Derek Hitchner and the day evolved as expected, with Springer and Hitchner going head-to-head in the final group for the second-straight day. Springer took a two-shot lead at No. 2 when he made a birdie and Hitchner took a bogey. However, Hitchner never gained much traction after that and ended up shooting 2-over 73 to finish in a tie for third place at 16-under.
“These last few days were windy, so I was just trying to hang in there,” Springer said. “I just really tried to stay focused the entire day. I haven’t really looked at the leaderboards a whole lot. But I’ve been able to hit some good shots and make the putts and kind of pull away, which is always nice.”
Springer extended the lead to four strokes with birdies on the seventh and eighth holes and it remained there after he made the turn at 20-under for the week. But there was a two-shot swing on the 10th hole when Springer took a bogey and Hitchner made a birdie.
Springer regained the three-shot lead with a birdie at No. 13. He stretched it to a four-shot advantage by making birdie on the par-3 16th and made it a five-shot cushion with a birdie at No. 17.
“Coming up 18 with a little bit of a cushion and not having to worry too much about it. My focus was on staying focused,” Springer said.
Yi Cao, another player who was on a hot streak during this final leg of the Tour, finished with a 66 and moved into solo second place at 17-under. Cao, who won last week’s CRMC Championship presented by Gertens, was playing four groups ahead of the leaders. He began his charge with four birdies on the front nine that pulled him within two shots of the lead.
Jeffrey Kang closed with a 63, the low round of the day, and tied for third with Hitchner. Kang had eight birdies and no bogeys on his card, but came up just short of a top-five finish in the Fortinet Cup race.
“I played pretty aggressively all week,” Kang said. “It’s kind of win-or-go-home this week, so I think from the start I tried to be aggressive.”
Tied for fifth at 14-under were Myles Creighton, Noah Steele and Eric McCardle, who each shot 68, and Eric Lilleboe, who shot 69.