Bauchou shoots final round of 68, wins Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship

On the first tee during men's individual golf. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

TORONTO — Zach Bauchou shot a final round 2-under 68 Thursday to win the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at The Toronto Golf Club.

The 21-year-old from Forest, Va., made three birdies on the back nine to win the tournament by a single stroke over fellow American Shintaro Ban.

"I’m really honoured and pleased," Bauchou said, standing next to the 18th green moments before he was awarded the Earl Grey Cup. "This caps off the summer and the good playing I’ve had. I finished third twice and I’ve been in the last group both times on those so today, to (start) in the last group and not make many mistakes, was awesome and that was really cool."

Bauchou played the 18th green conservatively knowing he had a one-shot lead. After putting his approach shot in the middle of the green and putting it to within two feet, he huddled with his caddie and said five words to him.

"Oh, we’re going to California."

In addition to becoming the 22nd American to claim the title of 2017 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, Bauchou earned an exemption into the 2017 U.S. Amateur at the Riveria Country Club in Palisades, Calif., from Aug. 14-20.

Ban, from San Jose, Calif., shot one of the two low scores of the day with a 66 to move up the leaderboard and into second place at 7 under par. The 21-year-old made the turn at even par before going on a tear and making birdies on 10, 11, 13 and 16.

Josh Whalen of Napanee, Ont., was the low-Canadian of the tournament shooting a 1-under-par 69 during the final round to earn bronze medallist honours.

"I can speak for all the Canadian guys like Matt Williams and Hugo Bernard, in saying that as Canadians we really want to be the ones to take it home," said Whalen. "Low Canadian isn’t something I thought of at the start but it’s definitely something I’m proud of and speaks to the way I played today."

After he made a birdie on the 10th hole, Whalen was leading the tournament at 6 under par, but a bogey on No. 15 stretched Bauchou’s lead to three, which proved too much to surmount.

Colombia’s Camilo Aguado entered the round with a one-stroke lead, but had a triple-bogey on the ninth hole and finished tied for fourth with 2016 champion Bernard, a native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.