CALEDON, ONT – It was a solid week for Steelheads Ambassador Taylor Pendrith at the Osprey Valley Open. The Richmond Hill, Ontario native opened with the lead on Thursday; firing a 63 in a round that included nine birdies and no bogeys. Pendrith followed that up with a 68 on Friday and reeled off three straight birdies to cap off a 67 on Saturday. The strong finish put him in the final grouping with top money earner on the Mackenzie Tour, Paul Barjon, in what was an entertaining Sunday.
Pendrith had this to say prior to the final round as he looked to become the first Canadian to win on the Mackenzie Tour since 2016. “I’m going to embrace it, have fun with it and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Sunday opened with some sparks as Barjon and Pendrith traded birdies at the par-5 first. It was Barjon who had the first blemish on the card, making bogey on the par-3 seventh and finding himself tied with Pendrith. Quickly bouncing back, Barjon made an eagle on the par-5 eighth and added another birdie on the par-4 ninth. From there, Pendrith had to play catch up in front of the near-hometown crowds.
“It was awesome … all the support out here. A lot of my buddies, family and friends and a lot of local support too. Saw some people in Steelheads gear out there on Friday as well and its great to see some fans of the hockey club.” said Pendrith. “It was definitely a fun week and I played pretty good. I have to be happy.”
Pendrith made birdies at 13 and 15 but after hitting his tee shot right into the trees on 17 and making bogey, Barjon held a two-shot lead with one to play. The native from France would not relinquish that lead, finishing with a birdie that would seal his second victory and vault him to number one in the order of merit.
Pendrith had this to say about his round. “There was a couple times in the round when the momentum was going my way and he was grinding for pars. He made a lot of nice 5-8 footers for par so he played awesome. He hit the ball well and was just very steady all day. I figured it was the two of us up top, but I didn’t know until 17 and then I needed an eagle, and he needed to make par, but he hit a great shot in there to 15-20 feet. It was going to be difficult. But I hit a good putt, it had a chance to go in but hit the lip. I kind of thought it was just me and him at the top, but it was fun playing with Paul.”
The 28-year old Canadian also reflected on his play of late. “I’ve been playing really well for the last year I’d say, and it’s only a matter of time before I get my chance. I played great this week and I had a chance on Sunday with a few holes left, and that’s all you can ask for. Hopefully I’ll have a few more of those going forward.”
Barjon also spoke about playing with Pendrith for the first time. “I’ve never played with him before but people told me ‘oh yeah, he hits it a mile.’ He does hit it far and he’s got great hands around the green. I was playing behind him yesterday and I was like, ‘this guy is scary. He can make a lot of birdies. But it was fun. We had a good match.”
With the runner-up finish, Taylor Pendrith won his second Canada Life Canadian Player of the Week Award of the season and moved up the rankings in the order of merit to seventh. Next week the Mackenzie Tour heads to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the inaugural HFX Pro-Am presented by Steele Jaguar.