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Wes Short Jr. birdies final hole to win Calgary’s Shaw Charity Classic

Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, celebrates winning the PGA Tour Champion's Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. .
Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, celebrates winning the PGA Tour Champion's Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — Wes Short Jr. took full advantage of a great break to win the 2019 Shaw Charity Classic.

Short’s second shot on the par 5, 18th hole at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club just cleared the water before bouncing off a rock and onto the green.

“I caught a little bit of a thin three wood and pushed it a little bit,” said Short, who proceeded to birdie the hole to finish the tournament at 13 under, just one shot ahead of two-time defending champion Scott McCarron. “I thought it might have been over, but it hit a rock and kicked up on the green. It was a really good break.”

After Short’s eagle attempt came up short, the 55-year-old golfer from Austin, Texas, calmly drained his three-foot putt to earn him just his second-ever PGA Tour Champions victory.

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“It probably looked five, six feet and I was sure glad it went in,” said Short, whose round of 4-under 66 included six birdies and two bogeys. “All the hard work you put into this stupid game comes to the top.”

Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, hits from a sand trap on the seventh fairway during the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.
Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, hits from a sand trap on the seventh fairway during the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Short’s only previous PGA Tour Champions win was also on Canadian soil at the 2014 Quebec Championship.

“Maybe I need to move here,” he joked.

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The start of the final round of the three-day event was delayed by 30 minutes due to thick fog and golfers also had to battle chilly conditions until it warmed up in the afternoon.

McCarron rolled in a 39-foot putt for eagle on the 18th hole to card a round of 5-under 65, which pulled him into a tie for the lead with Short and Tom Gillis at 12 under.

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“It was going a little faster than I wanted, kind of banged the stick and went in,” McCarron said. “Just to do that to have a chance was really cool, but I shouldn’t have put myself in that position to begin with.”

The Charles Schwab Cup standings leader then watched as Short made his clutch birdie, while Gillis fell back into fourth spot at 10 under with a double bogey on the last hole.

“Wes obviously got a great break on 18, hit the rocks in the hazard and bounced on the green and birdied it to win the tournament,” said McCarron, who had bogeys on 16 and 17 before his eagle on the final hole. “Sometimes those things happen when you win. He got the good breaks and I made a few bad swings with poor timing, unfortunately.”

Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, celebrates winning the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.
Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, celebrates winning the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Second-round leader Steve Flesch shot 69 on Saturday to fall back into third spot alone at 11 under.

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“I wanted to play aggressively and I drove it great and I ironed it OK on the front, but I just didn’t make any putts today,” Flesch said.

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Joe Durant, Billy Andrade and Tom Byrum finished in a tie for fifth spot at 9 under.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and former Calgary resident Stephen Ames carded a round of 1-under 69 to finish in a tie for 29th with six other golfers at 3 under.

“Besides freezing, it was really good,” said Ames, who recently relocated from Vancouver to Turks and Caicos. “When you don’t play as often in the cold weather, I tend to struggle a little bit with it. That’s always been my nemesis is cold weather.”

Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, lines up his putt on the 18th green during the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.
Wes Short Jr., of Austin, TX, lines up his putt on the 18th green during the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic golf event in Calgary, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

David Morland IV, from Aurora, Ont., agreed with Ames that the weather didn’t help him during the final round. After shooting 64 on Friday in the first round, Morland carded back-to-back scores of 72 to finish in a tie for 36th at 2 under.

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“I got off to a little slow start in the fog this morning,” said Morland, who double-bogeyed his first hole of the day. “I left a couple out there, but I made an eagle and a couple birdies. Overall, you can’t be too disappointed. Just come back next year guns ablazin’.”