LETHBRIDGE, Canada (Aug. 14, 2008)--Cam Burke of New Hamburg, Ont. captured Canada’s biggest amateur golf crown Thursday, carding a final round 2-under par 69 to win the 2008 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship by four-strokes.
“This is my biggest win by a little bit, yeah,” said a light-hearted Burke. “I feel absolutely fantastic. The only other tournament I’ve ever won has been my club championship at Foxwood Golf Club, so I’m pretty excited about this one.”
Burke, who plays golf at Eastern Michigan University, may be unfamiliar among many golf fans across Canada, but his game has undoubtedly been picking up momentum over this past summer.
The newly crowned Canadian amateur champion has already amassed two runner-up finishes this year, including one at the Ontario Amateur and another at the Toronto Star Amateur. He also qualified for the 2008 U.S. Amateur Championship which tees-off next week at Pinehurst Golf Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Burke started today’s final round tied for first and was one of very few players who managed to maintain their positions atop the leaderboard. Occasional Alberta breezes and tough hole locations kept most players’ scores at bay, as only 13 players were able to better par for the day.
One of those players was Junior Worlds winner Eugene Wong of North Vancouver, B.C.
Wong, who finished tied for second with Scott Stiles of Calgary, shot a 1-under par 70 today. Both Wong and Stiles finished at 6-under par for the week, four-strokes back of Burke.
“With the wind and the tougher pin placements today, I’m pretty happy with how I ended-up,” said 17-year old Wong. “I knew heading into today that I needed to shoot at least 5-under to have a shot at winning and I didn’t get it done.”
While Wong made his way up the leaderboard, Stiles, who was one of yesterday’s co-leaders, slipped down it. Stiles shot a final-round, 2-over par 73.
“I have to give it to Cam,” said Stiles. “He’s a true champion. Nobody can take that away from him. He didn’t falter today and he deserved to win.”
With the win, 21-year old Burke joins an elite group of golfers who have claimed the coveted Earl Grey Cup, including Canadian golf legends Moe Norman, Nick Weslock, Doug Roxburgh, Jim Nelford and Richard Zokol.
Burke also earns an exemption into the 2009 RBC Canadian Open being held July 20 – 26 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville.
“Everyone thinks about playing a PGA TOUR event when they’re little,” added Burke. “I guess now I’ll get the chance to find out how it feels.”