Max Sekulic of Rycroft, Alberta, closed with three birdies in his final four holes to win the 116th Canadian Men’s Amateur on Thursday at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ontario.
Six of the previous seven winners of the tournament hailed from outside of Canada – four from the United States, one from Norway and one from New Zealand – but this year was an all-Canadian affair due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. That opened an opportunity for Sekulic, a 22-year-old who plays college golf at Washington State, to put his name on the Earl Grey Cup like countrymen Mackenzie Hughes (2011, 2012), Nick Taylor (2007) and Moe Norman (1955, 1956) have in the past.
The victory gets Sekulic into this week’s U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club. He also has a spot in the 2022 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
“It means the world to me,” Sekulic said. “You get your name on a trophy with a bunch of good players and your name’s permanent on that thing. It means a lot for all the people back in Rycroft and the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, where I spend my time in Canada.”
Sekulic started the final round three strokes behind Noah Steele, the fourth-highest ranked Canadian in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and a respected player who has competed in numerous national amateur events this year, including the Azalea Invitational where he was runner-up.
Instead of Steele taking control, he struggled to a final-round 73, making a costly double bogey on No. 10 and ending in a tie for fifth.
Sekulic quickly eliminated the deficit by making a birdie on No. 2 and an eagle at No. 3. Standing on the 15th tee at 14 under for the tournament, Sekulic needed a flourish and some good fortune to win – he got both when he birdied Nos. 15, 17 and 18 while leader A.J. Ewart went 1 over in that same stretch to finish at 15 under, two strokes back of Sekulic.
With a 17-under-par 267 total, Sekulic finished one stroke shy of the tournament’s scoring record. His 5-under 66 on the last day was the best of any player in contention, pushing him past a packed leaderboard.
The 2022 Canadian Amateur will be held at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver.
Staff and Wire Reports