Hayden Buckley (Si5 Offset) fires 63 to lead on Mackenzie Tour (TSN.ca)
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Buckley (Si5 Offset) wins ATB Financial Classic in sudden-death playoff - MacKenzie Tour CANADA (PGATOUR.com)

CALGARY, ALTA. — For the first time in 2019, 72 holes wasn’t enough as Hayden Buckley needed extra holes to claim the ATB Financial Classic title for his first professional victory. Buckley made par on the first playoff hole to defeat Sam Fidone.

“Sam is a great dude to play with, and we battled all day,” said Buckley, who moves to the fifth spot on the Order of Merit with the victory. “I’ve been close so many times, and finally finishing it off was something I really liked.”

Beginning the day with a three-stroke lead over Fidone, Buckley made two birdies in his first three holes to create some separation. Fighting back, the tournament quickly became a two-man race as Fidone played hole Nos. 2-7 in 5-under par to get within one of Buckley heading into the back nine.

“It felt like I was due for a good ball-striking day,” said Buckley, who was named the University of Missouri Male Athlete of the Year after a four win 2017-18 senior campaign. “I haven’t really hit it well all week. I’ve hit it good enough to compete, but I haven’t hit it where I wanted to, and I did that today.”

While Buckley was striking it well, but failing to convert on the greens, the opposite could be said for Fidone, who made a 40-foot putt for par on No. 10 after driving his ball into the fescue.

Buckley called hole No. 15 a “turning point,” when, for the first time of the day, his name was no longer at the top of the leaderboard.

“I had 95 yards in, hit it over the green and made bogey as (Fidone) made birdie and jumped ahead of me,” said the 23-year old. “I got a little flustered because I wasn’t sure how that happened. I got a little momentum, and the ball started flying farther. It was a pretty emotional day.”

With Buckley comfortably on the green on the 17th, looking at a 12-foot birdie chance, Fidone flew the green from 75 yards and left himself a tricky pitch, short-sided with the green sloping away from him.

Buckley watched as Fidone hit his chip well past the pin, to 50 feet.

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