Phil Jonas is the 2021 Scotia Wealth Open champion.
The 59-year-old PGA of Saskatchewan member outlasted Kade Johnson Sunday at Nipawin’s Evergreen Golf Course to win by a stroke and take his first championship in the province. Jonas, a four-time Senior PGA major competitor relocated to Saskatoon early last year.
He said after the round that Johnson pushed him through 36 holes.
“I was good for the first seven or eight holes and then I struggled coming in, I didn’t make any putts. My irons weren’t too sharp, I struggled. Kade made a few birdies, he made it tough on me. I actually didn’t know where I stood, I’d lost track, but it turned out okay. Really good golf course, this was a lot of fun,” he said.
The two were paired together the first day of the event as well, both shot 68 to sit tied for first. Jonas jumped out to a five-shot lead just three holes into the second round, but Johnson did turn his game around on the back including birdies on 12, 13, and 14 closing the gap to just a stroke. Johnson had a chance to force a playoff but came up shy with his birdie putt on 18. Jonas parred to claim the title.
“This course isn’t easy, a lot of good amateurs,” Jonas said about the strong field in the tournament that allows both professionals and amateur players. “I think Saskatchewan players need to prouder of how good they are when they play in other provinces. What I’ve seen this week and what I’ve seen at Saskatoon Golf and Country Club, I’m really impressed. I’m glad in my advancing years I am able to sneak this one out.”
The complete results can be found here.
Scotia Wealth returns after one-year hiatus
Not to be lost in low-key celebration of Jonas’ win was the fact the event was back on the Order of Merit schedule after being cancelled due to COVID-19.
The tournament is a highlight for many pros and top-end amateurs and is reflected on as the official start of the competitive golf season in Saskatchewan. Chair Dean Prosky said it was great to have the Open back in 2021.
“It’s just nice to be back, to see the guys, it’s nice to get the event going again. I think the guys really missed it. There were some tournaments last year, but it’s nice to see everyone again after two years. It is great to the golf talent we have, Saskatchewan golf is in a great place,” he said.
The field had 84 players entered this year including many former champions and college players as well as Saskatchewan’s top professionals. Having Jonas’ name added to the trophy will add some luster to its history.
“It’s great, there is a lot of guys that you’d like to see win, Kade is going to win this event one year for sure. It’s great to have Phil on there, he’s had a great career playing tour golf so it’s nice to have him on there. It’s kind of a who’s who that’s won this event so it’s nice to have his name on there,” Prosky added.