WINNIPEG, Canada (August 7, 2014) — James Beale, a former Mercer University golfer, will get his shot at the United States Amateur Championship after winning Canada's version on Thursday. The native of New Zealand shot a final-round 69 to force a three-way playoff at the Canadian Amateur, making birdie on the third hole to capture victory.
Not only will Beale earn an automatic entry to the U.S. Amateur on August 11 at Atlanta Athletic Club, but he'll get an exemption to play in next year's RBC Canadian Open, part of the regular PGA TOUR schedule.
Beale trailed the third-round leader Corey Conners, Canada's top-ranked amateur player, by three shots heading into Thursday's final round, but Conners faltered on the back nine. He shot a three-over 38 on his final nine holes to miss being part of the playoff by a single stroke.
Canada did have a shot to capture their nation's most prestigious amateur title as Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ontario shot the lowest round of the day, 66, to catapult himself into the playoff, which also included second-round co-leader Jonathan Garrick, a Northern California native who plays collegiately for UCLA.
Pendrith had a spectacular back side, beginning with an eagle-two on the par-four 10th hole. He shot 31 on the final nine, which included a clutch birdie on the par-three 17th.
Garrick birdied the 14th hole, moving him into sole possession of the lead, but only for one hole as he bogeyed the 15th. His round of 68 consisted of three birdies and just the one bogey on 15.
Other second-round co-leader Sam Saunders, a University of New Mexico golfer, had fired consecutive rounds of 67 on Monday and Tuesday to tie him with Garrick through two rounds, but 71 and 72 in rounds three and four dropped him back into a tie for fourth with Conners — just one shot out of the playoff.