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Former PNGA Champion Desmarchais wins Canada Life Series Championship

Laurent Desmarchais of Quebec shot rounds of 62-67-67 to go wire-to-wire in winning the season-ending Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.

Laurent Desmarchais wins Canada Life Series Championship
Laurent Desmarchais
(Photo: Mackenzie Tour)

Desmarchais, 19 and still an amateur, topped the field of tour professionals. In 2019, he won the PNGA Men’s Amateur, held at Tacoma Country and Golf Club. As a member of the Golf Canada Junior Squad, he trains at the Golf Canada National Development Centre at Bear Mountain Resort outside Victoria, B.C. on Vancouver Island.

“It was big to get off to a good start today,” Desmarchais said. “I had a few really good guys chasing me, and I knew that I would have to start strong, and so making those three birdies on my first four holes was really big. It just got me going, and I kept hitting good shots.”

But it was a wild back nine for Desmarchais during today’s final round. The amateur made four birdies and two bogeys to go with two pars—none bigger than the 10-footer he rolled in on the final hole to shoot a final-round 67 that gave him a one-shot triumph over Callum Davison.

While he doesn’t get to cash the first-prize check of $9,000, Desmarchais can walk away knowing he was the best player this week, winning his first pro tournament with a wire-to-wire performance.

“I don’t even have words right now,” he said afterward. “I made a few big putts down the stretch.”

Desmarchais took control of the tournament with birdies at Nos. 15 and 16, taking a two-shot lead with two holes to play. He made things tough on himself, though, with a bogey at the 17th hole. If there ever were a good bogey, however, that was it. His tee shot landed 20 feet over the green, long and left. Desmarchais tried to hit his second shot into the slope and roll the ball onto the green, but instead the ball rolled back into the collection area. Desmarchais putted up the hill for his third shot, barely getting over the ridge and onto the green. He then rolled in a 10-footer that just crept into the hole.

Things didn’t get any easier on the par-4 closing hole. Desmarchais missed the green with his second-shot approach and had an awkward lie, the ball in front of the green but on a downward slope. He elected to putt from there, and left his birdie try 10 feet short. He calmly rolled the putt, the ball clanking against the flagstick and dropping into the hole for the par and the win.

“I was quite nervous on the last few holes. My tee shot on 17 flew like 20 yards over the green, which I still don’t quite understand, but I made two big putts—one for bogey on 17 and one for par on 18. It’s just insane,” Desmarchais explained. “It’s big for my confidence knowing I can make those putts. Just winning this event is huge for my confidence and for my game.”

All week, Desmarchais, a University of Tennessee commit, was the player to beat when he opened the tournament with a 9-under 62. Consecutive 67s to finish the week sealed the deal for the 19-year-old native of Quebec. He finished fourth on the final Canada Life Points List.

“It’s really big,” Desmarchais said of the win. “I just want to thank Golf Canada and my coaches, Robert Ratcliffe and Daniel Langevin, who were a big part of this win. Even if I hit the putts, they were right there with me.”

All six amateurs in the field this week made the cut, led by champion Desmarchais. The others were Matthew Anderson (tied for 26th), Cougar Collins (tied for 33rd), Jordan Crampton (tied for 37th), Freddy D’Angelo (tied for 44th) and Nolan Piazza (63rd).