Laurent Desmarchais triumps at a Canada Life Series
Montréal, September 14, 2020 (Sportcom) – At only 19 years of age, amateur golfer Laurent Desmarchais recorded an extraordinary achievement last Friday at TPC Toronto, winning the fourth and final stop of the Canada Life Series. The Longueuil native got off to a strong start at the tournament organized by the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada, which brought together the nation's top professional and amateur players.
He opened with a 62 (-9), his best score of the season, before dropping four more shots in the second round to a par 67, keeping him in control of the tournament heading into the final day of competition.
"I was a little less nervous for this last tournament. I'd been in the other three events in the series, so I already had a little more experience. I had gotten used to the level of play and the pressure," said Desmarchais, who knew exactly what to do to be successful in his final round.
"When you're leading, you really want to get a good start to maintain your lead over the other players, so I wanted to cut shots quickly in the round. There were a few other golfers in the group ahead of me, so I didn't have a lot of room to maneuver. »
Like a seasoned veteran, Laurent Desmarchais delivered without really knowing what was going on elsewhere on the ground. Yet, a few warning signs began to emerge on the 17th hole where he made a long putt for the bogey.
"I had no idea of the scores of other competitors, but when I made my putt, everyone around the green pulled out their cell phones, so I knew someone was close to me. Then I asked a referee on the 18th hole to give me the scores and he confirmed that I was still leading, but that one group hadn't finished yet," he said.
After a missed approach and a putt that left him more than eight feet from the cup on the last hole, all eyes were on the young Quebecer. Especially British Columbia's Callum Davison who got closer to watch what would be the last shot of the day.
"When I saw him, I knew he was close to me. I had to make a good putt to win or force him to face me in a sudden-death playoff. In the end, I made a great putt that gave me a par and the victory. I was really happy!", continued the author of a cumulative -17 (196).
A few days later, Desmarchais is still struggling to realize the magnitude of this performance, which bears no resemblance to what he has experienced so far in his young career. Not even the Junior World Cup captured with the rest of the Canadian team in June 2019. "I've never experienced anything like it! It's a very high calibre tournament and I'm really proud of the result.”
“He is on a mission”
Daniel Langevin and Benoit Lemieux, two coaches involved at several levels in Québec golf, have been coaching Laurent Desmarchais for several years. According to Lemieux, it's not surprising to see him get his share of success at such a high level.
"You have to understand that Laurent is on a mission! When he enters a tournament, he is there to win. He has a confident nature and he always puts in the work to get there. It takes nerves of steel to win this kind of tournament at 19, but it comes with his basic attitude," comments the head coach of the Sport-études programs at Collège de Montréal and Cégep André-Laurendeau, while emphasizing the high calibre of play.
"It's a very high level! The best players we've seen this week are mostly players who are ready for the next step and it's very much like what we see on TV. It's really the elite that plays in these tournaments."
Lemieux also spoke about the game of Joey Savoie and Hugo Bernard, two other young golfers who were coached by his colleague Daniel Langevin. They finished 4th and 17th respectively. "It shows that Québec golf is healthy and that the best is yet to come. We have a lot of talent and our many athletes on the national teams prove it. It's good for our province.”
Occupying the top three places in the overall standings, Desmarchais, Savoie and Bernard had the chance to play together in the final round, giving way to a healthy mixture of rivalry and fraternity.
"Everybody was minding their own business during the day," says Desmarchais. "We were more opponents than friends, but on the 18th hole, both told me to go for the win. They were out of the game and they didn't hesitate to cheer me on. It was nice to know they were behind me."
This victory puts an end to Desmarchais' competitive season and he doesn't plan on playing any more tournaments, which is far from affecting his mood.
"I don't have anything planned for the next few weeks other than training. Then we'll see what happens with the Canadian team and the COVID-19 situation. For now, I don't mind. I enjoy ending my season with a win on the Mackenzie Tour," he joked.