Some of the biggest guns in the Canadian golf world took their best shots in West Vancouver Saturday but it was lesser-known Ryan Williams who ended up as the last man standing.
A star-studded field showed up for the Vancouver Golf Tour's unique West Vancouver Shootout at Gleneagles Golf Course including the Abbotsford duo of Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, both bound for the PGA Tour next season, as well as North Vancouver's Eugene Wong and Bryn Parry. It was Vancouver's Williams, however, who took the last shot, a 20-foot birdie put on hole No. 9 to win the Shootout and claim his $1,000 prize.
The event featured a field of 10 pros and three amateurs all teeing off at the same time with one or two players eliminated after each hole - highest score out, with ties settled
by a closest-to-the-pin competition from a prechosen drop zone on or off the green.
Hadwin finished No. 1 on the Web.com Tour this season, the circuit one step below the PGA, to earn a full PGA exemption for 2014-15. That status didn't help him in West Vancouver, however, as he was eliminated on hole No. 3. Taylor followed on No. 5, and by hole No. 8 it was just Williams left with Parry, whose been a VGT superstar in recent years, and Parry's friend and co-worker at the Seymour Creek Golf Centre, Oliver Tubb. Williams knocked off Parry in a sudden death sand shot to make it to the two-man final where he followed up a Tubb par with a 20-foot birdie putt for the win.
Though not as well known as some of his fellow competitors, Williams is no stranger to the winner's circle. The 33-year-old hockeyplayer turned golfer from Vancouver claimed seven titles, including the Shootout, on the Vancouver Golf Tour this season and recently won the PGA Tour Canada Championship in London, Ont.
Williams said it was inspiring to play against, and beat, players who sharpened their games on the VGT before going on to reach the sport's highest levels.
"We play a lot of events out here together and when you start seeing guys you know have success it helps," he told Postmedia News. "It keeps you going. If Nick and Adam can do it, we can do it, too."