Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – Former University of Oklahoma star Abraham Ancer rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat fellow Texan Bronson Burgoon and win the Nova Scotia Open for his first professional win.
Ancer and Burgoon started the fourth round at the Ashburn Golf Club in a Web.com Tour-record six-way tie for the lead and were matched together in the final pairing Sunday.
Jason Allred (64), Travis Bertoni (68) and D.H. Lee (69) were all in the house at 12-under and getting ready for an overtime session as the two, also at 12-under, faced the last hole, a treacherous, uphill par-4 that played as the most difficult of the week.
Ancer canned a 30-footer for birdie to break the tie and then watched as Burgoon rolled in a 10-foot on top of it to join him in the Tour’s third playoff this year and the second in Halifax in as many years.
“I was just trying to cozy mine in there because they can get away from you quickly,” said Ancer. “I knew it was for a potential win but I was thinking Bronson was going to make his. It’s not the kind of putt you want to be aggressive with.”
After signing their scorecards, they returned to the tee for a second test.
Ancer hit 6-iron from 193 yards in regulation and had nearly identical yardage in the playoff but with a better lie. His 7-iron landed some ten yards short of the pin and funneled left of the flag to a spot a few feet away from where Burgoon stood in regulation.
“It was a pretty straight putt. It was right-edge and I smoked it dead center,” said the 24-year old rookie. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while. To win out here is tough. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for a while.”
The win was the first as a professional for Ancer and worth $117,000, which vaulted him to No. 4 on the money list with $192,945 at the two-third mark of the Tour’s regular season. His season should be more than enough to finish among the top-25 after 21 events and earn a spot on the PGA TOUR for the 2015-16 season.
“I started playing golf early and it’s a dream I’ve had since I was six years old,” said Ancer about the prospect of playing on the TOUR.
Sunday’s finale resembled Saturday’s play, when it seemed the entire pack of leaders had it reverse gear. At one point, there were 45 players within four shots of the lead. Later in the round, no less than nine players were tied for the lead.
“These greens can be tricky,” said Ancer. “I had 5-under as my goal but I didn’t get off to a very good start. I was unsettled and not making good swings. I just tried to give myself some good looks.”
Ancer, who has dual citizenship in Mexico and the United States, bogeyed the third hole but steadied himself and added four birdies along the way, highlighted by the tiebreaker on the final hole.
• Abraham Ancer earns his first career win in his 18th career start on the Web.com Tour and his 14th in 2015.
• Ancer tied for second in mid-March at the Brasil Champions presented by HSBC, but had made only three cuts in nine starts since then.
• Ancer’s win comes at the age of 24 years, 4 months and 8 days.
• Ancer collected a check for $117,000 from the $650,000 purse.
• Ancer moved from No. 39 to No. 4 on the Tour money list through 14 of 21 regular season events.
• Ancer was born in McAllen, Texas but grew up in Mexico, where his parents are from. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 and still lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
• Ancer becomes the 10th first-time winner in 14 Tour events this year, and the second in as many weeks (Rob Oppenheim/Air Capital Classic).
• Ancer becomes the 4th rookie to win on Tour this year. He joins Patrick Rodgers, Andrew Landry and Smylie Kaufman in that category.
• Ancer becomes the seventh third-round leader/co-leader to go on to win this year.
• Ancer is the fourth international player to win on Tour this year – Mathew Goggin, Dawie van der Walt, Rod Pampling.
• Ancer is the fifth different player born in Mexico to win in Tour history, and chalks up the eight total win – Keoke Cotner, Esteban Toledo, Alex Aragon (2), Carlos Ortiz (3).
• Ancer is third player from the University of Oklahoma to win on Tour – Doug Martin, Hunter Haas (3).
• Bronson Burgoon’s runner-up finish ties his career best – a second-place at the 2014 News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tennessee.
• Jason Allred fired a 7-under 64 Sunday and was finished at 12 under more than three hours in front of the final pairing. His T3 finish matches his career-best on the Web.com Tour.
• Up until the final-hole birdies by Ancer and Burgoon in regulation play, it appeared there could be a five-way playoff, which would have set a Tour record. The most players in a sudden-death playoff is four, and that has happened 13 times over the years, the last time coming at the 2013 United Leasing Championship, where Ben Martin defeated Joe Affrunti, Ash Hall and Billy Hurley III.