Bellingham High School alum Chris Killmer won his first professional golf tournament on Sunday, July 16, at Winnipeg, Manitoba, and he did it in dramatic fashion.
Killmer claimed the title in the 2012 Canadian Tour Players Cup at the Pine Ridge Golf Club, beating Vince Covello of Philadelphia in a four-hole playoff. Killmer claimed $24,000 for the victory and moved to fifth on the Order of Merit on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour standings with $27,596 in earnings this year.
"I'm on top of the world right now," Killmer told CanTour.com. "To win the Players Cup this week and getting married to my best friend next month (Aug. 11), the timing couldn't be better."
Killmer, who helped the Red Raiders to back-to-back Class 3A state boys' golf titles in 2003 and 2004 and won the individual crown in 2004, shot 15-under for the four-day tournament to tie him with Covello. Toronto's David Lang was third, 5 shots back.
Killmer and Covello each shot 69s on Sunday's final round after entering the day with a 6-shot lead on the field.
The evenly-matched duo then halved the first three playoff holes, before Killmer made par on the par-4, 460-yard 18th hole to claim the victory.
Killmer's approach at the fourth extra hole ran through the green. Covello's second shot landed about 40 feet from the cup, but a brilliant chip by Killmer put him within a foot of the hole.
Covello's long birdie putt for the win slid 5 feet by the hole, and he missed the par-saving putt coming back, opening the door for Killmer to finally claim the win with a little tap-in putt.
Killmer earlier had rounds of 66 and 64 on Thursday and Friday, July 12-13, before a 70 dropped him into a third-round tie with Covello after Saturday, July 14.
Killmer grabbed a 3-shot lead with a birdie on No. 12, but Covello's birdies on 13, 15 and 17 ended up forcing the playoff.
"We had a great field this week," said Killmer, who was making his 15th start on the Canadian Tour. "A lot of guys played really good golf, and to call yourself the best of that field is a great feeling."