Eric Laporte Wins PGA Championship of Canada
Calgary, AB (June 24, 2012) - What began as an improbable dream on Tuesday became reality for Quebec’s Eric Laporte Friday afternoon at the PGA Championship of Canada sponsored by Mr. Lube and presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.
In the moments after winning his match on the Talons Course at Country Hills Golf Club's 17th green versus Lindsay Bernakevitch, the 34-year old head professional from Montcalm Club de Golf raised his hands in the air and let out an exuberant shout of joy.
“I didn’t think it was possible to win on Tuesday when I started,” Laporte admitted. “But round after round after round I’m here.”
Laporte, who amazingly never once trailed in any of his six matches, had a long and tough round to triumph; defeating Jeff Gross, the No. 2-seed Danny King, last year’s PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada winner Roger Beale, last year’s PGA Assistants’ Championship winner Mike Belbin and Bernakevitch.
“All week I’ve been up in my matches and I think that is the reason why today I’m the winner,” Laporte said.
With his victory at Country Hills’ Talons Course, Laporte takes home the historic P.D. Ross Trophy, $15,000 and 60 ranking points towards the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC. Entering this week’s championship at Country Hills, Laporte was ranked No. 41—with the win he’s expected move inside the top 15.
Laporte now his name on the same trophy as such golfing great’s as Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman, George Knudson and Stan Leonard.
“Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Steve Stricker — a lot of guys have won this tournament and for me it’s an honour to be with them,” Laporte said. “But you don’t play golf to have your name on trophies, you just want to play the best that you can."
Laporte needed this best on Friday on a Talons Course that played firmer and faster than it had all week long.
“It’s the firmest greens I’ve ever played; it’s the fastest greens I’ve ever played,” Laporte said.
In his morning semifinal match, Laporte took down Clapp 3&2 and then won 3&1 over Bernakevitch in the championship’s final match.
The consolation match saw Clapp and Eddward Boudreau go extra holes, with Boudreau eventually winning on the 22nd hole.
All week long, players, officials, volunteers and spectators were raving not only about an impressive Talons Course at Country Hills, but also about the level of talent showed by PGA of Canada Professionals.
“As a national association we are proud of our players and the abilities they posses both on and off the golf course,” said PGA of Canada President, Gregg Schubert. “From start to finish this has been a great championship at Country Hills and I look forward to watching the PGA Championship of Canada grow bigger and better with every year.”
The next PGA of Canada national championship takes place July 17-20 at Emerald Hills for the Mr. Lube PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon.