Yohann Benson claims 2024 PGA Championship of Canada in Playoff over Mitchell Fox at Mickelson National

Yohann Benson claims 2024 PGA Championship of Canada in Playoff over Mitchell Fox at Mickelson National

By: Brendan Stasiewich, PGA of Canada

Full leaderboard can be found here.
Photos from the event can be found here.

In one of the hardest-conditioned days in PGA of Canada Championship history, with winds at 40 KM/h, gusting up to 60 KM/h, Mitchell Fox somehow carded a bogey-free 70.  

Playing in the 8th last group of the day, he finished at -1 for the championship. 21 players were still on the course, all beginning their day with a better score than him – including Nigel Sinnott, who began leading at -7.  

All of those players, apart from Yohann Benson, finished worse than -1.

Benson, one of the few survivors of the Rockyview winds, carded an even-par 72 – one of only four players to do so during the final round.

Benson and Fox watched on as Sang Lee had a 25-foot birdie putt on 18, needing a two-putt to win the title. Lee left his birdie try five-feet below the hole and, as many did throughout the day, fell victim to the difficult Mickelson National greens, missing two more to fall one-stroke shy of a playoff.

In the playoff, Fox left his approach short of the green and made bogey, while Benson nestled his 30-foot birdie try next to the hole, earning the 2024 PGA Championship of Canada title and $13,000 first-place cheque.

“It feels awesome because I really had no clue until I signed my scorecard that I had a chance,” said Benson, who also won the 2023 PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada presented by Callaway Golf. “I said, ‘see you guys in Vancouver’ when I signed my card [to the scoring staff] and they said, ‘hang on a minute, you might want to hang around’. I was very happily surprised and went to the playoff and pulled it off.”

With a tight leaderboard that saw 10 players within two strokes of the lead on the back nine, Benson made back-to-back birdies on holes 10 and 11, and held on through the rest of the day as many of the remaining hole were straight into the strong wind.

“What a golf course this is, it was quite the test all three days,” said Benson, who teaches out of Le Mirage (Club de Golf). “When you look at the names on the trophy it is really an honour to put my name next to the greats that have won the PGA Championship of Canada.”

Arriving on Sunday, the opening round was the first time Benson saw the golf course.  

“I played it blind during the first round, but the conditions were nice, so I thought it was a scorable course,” said Benson, who carded a first-round 70. “Yesterday, I didn’t complete round two, so I came back at 6:15 AM to play three holes and I didn’t finish well. I made bogey on the last two holes, and I plotted along this afternoon.”

“Thank God it is a wide golf course, so hitting the ball in play off the tee wasn’t so difficult, but hitting the right areas on the greens that were running fast was a grind. I did my best, and I generally have a good attitude. I don’t get to play competitive golf much, so I truly enjoyed it.”

All three players who finished in a tie for third, as well as runner-up Mitchell Fox, have roots in Calgary. Wes Heffernan and Chris Horton both call Calgary home, while Lee grew up in the city, learning under Randy Robb at Edge High School.

One of the activations taking place during the week was the E-Z-GO “It’s Good to Go” hole of the week. The three players who made eagle on the drivable par-4 were Ben Boudreau, Katy Rutherford and Steven Lecuyer.

All three were put into a draw for a $250 cash prize. After the random draw, Rutherford earned the bonus.

A huge thank you to local partner Flint Energy, who offered meals to players each of the first two rounds, Stony for supplying staff clothing, Golf Avenue for supporting the full championship schedule, Golf Away Tours for their support of our championship previews, National Partner Wesko Locks and local partner Harmony Developments.

Special shoutout to Miles Motensen and the entire Mickelson National Golf Club team - what a host venue!