Killmer wins Players Cup

Chris Killmer, of Bellingham, Wash., hoists the cup at the $150,000 Canadian Tour Players Cup golf...

Chris Killmer, of Bellingham, Wash., hoists the cup at the $150,000 Canadian Tour Players Cup golf tournament at Pine Ridge Golf Club. Killmer beat Vince Covello, of Philadelphia, Pa., after four sudden-death holes. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Chris Killmer just found a way to help pay for his wedding.

Killmer also found out just how special it is to win his first Canadian Tour golf event, capturing the 2012 edition of the Players Cup on the fourth playoff hole at Pine Ridge Golf Club on Sunday afternoon, holding off a strong push from Vince Covello.

"Yeah, it will get us started on the right track," said Killmer, who will marry his fiancee Alyssa Ryan on Aug. 11. "Who knows if I'll get any of it, but I'm gladly giving it to us.

"Winning is so hard and it took 76 holes against a guy who is really good and against people and players out here that have tried their whole career and never won. To win in my second year is unbelievable, it's a huge accomplishment."

Killmer made a short putt for par on the fourth playoff hole to seal the deal.

"The adrenaline was going. I don't care how easy a one-foot putt is, your hands are shaking when you know it's to win.," said Killmer, who pocketed $24,000 for the win. "I knew if I didn't hit it then, I'd probably just run away.

"For a while there, it was just a battle, literally me and Vince slugging it out. It was intense. I couldn't have asked for a better finish. I made putts when I needed to."

It's the second professional victory for Killmer, who won a mini-tour event in Arizona in a three-hole playoff a few months ago.

Killmer and Covello each shot 2-under 69 on Sunday to finish the four rounds at 15-under 269.

Their spirited duel led to the first playoff on Manitoba's Canadian Tour stop since 1989 when Stuart Hendley won the Manitoba Open at Southwood over Dave Barr.

Killmer made an eagle on the Par-5 12th to take a three-shot lead, but Covello wasn't about to throw in the towel, making birdies on 12, 13, 15 and 17 to force the playoff.

"Nerves were great during the round," said Killmer. "I had a three-shot lead with six to play. I really want to thank him for challenging me personally. He played a great tournament."

Covello showed great resolve on Sunday and especially on the second playoff hole after his drive ended up under a tree. He ended up chipping out before scrambling for a nifty up-and-down from beyond the green.

Both players made par on the third playoff hole before Covello finally blinked.

Covello admitted afterward that he actually went for the win on the fourth playoff hole, but rolled his 40-foot putt about five-feet past the hole and was unable to drain the comebacker.

"I had a chip from the bleachers on the first time through in the playoff and it was close to the same line, I felt like I knew what the putt was doing," said Covello. "The longer playoffs go on ...at some point, somebody has got to get a look at it and take their shot. You only get so many looks.

"It's draining, but it's fun though. That's what we play for. I was tied for first after four days. You've got to have a winner and a second place every week and I just happened to be second."

Covello will take plenty of positives from the week.

"I had a lot of good stuff to feel good about, even though I didn't win," said Covello. "Fifteen-under par is my lowest score for four days out here. I will look forward to coming back in the future, if I don't progress up the ranks."

David Lang was fourth at 274, while Josh Habig and Matt Richardson tied for fourth at 276.

Among the Manitobans, Rob McMillan tied for 33rd (284), Tyler Mancini tied for 43rd (287) and amateur Josh Wytinck was 62nd (293).

Based on the Order of Merit money list, Canadians Matt Hill of and Cory Renfrew earned the two exemptions into the 2012 RBC Canadian Open PGA Tour event.

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca

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