Former Miner Sloan earns first win at Nova Scotia Open
POSTED: Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 11:13pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 1:58pm
El Paso, TX — Canada’s Roger Sloan calmly rolled in an eight-foot par putt to defeat Derek Fathauer on the first playoff hole and win the Nova Scotia Open, sending the homeland fans into a spontaneous rendition of the Canadian national anthem.
“I love being a Canadian,” said Sloan, who hails from the western province of Alberta. “They just broke out in song. This means so much to win this here. I don’t know which feels better – to win or to be done today. It was a long day.”
Sloan played for the Miners from 2005-09, earning second team All-Conference USA honors as a senior when he garnered an individual invite to NCAA Regionals. Sloan led the Miners in scoring average (72.7), top-10 finishes (five) and top-20 finishes (eight) as a senior. His wife is the former Casey McAnelly, a UTEP volleyball player from 2005-08.
Sloan, a 36-hole co-leader, posted scores of 71-70 on a rare 36-hole Sunday and forced the playoff with Fathauer, who stumbled with two bogeys in his final three holes of regulation to fall to 11-under 273.
“I had zero awareness of where I stood all day,” said Sloan. “I asked my caddie on 18 where we stood and he told me that up-and-down would get me in a playoff.”
With his mother and aunt watching in the crowd, Sloan calmly sank a 4 ½-foot par putt to add more holes onto one on the longest days in Tour history.
“That was ticklish putt,” he said. “It went down a cliff.”
Sloan opened with scores of 67-65 to join Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (T7) at 10-under at the halfway mark but then Tropical Storm Arthur blew into town with 40-60 mph winds and canceled Saturday’s play completely, resulting in the first 36-hole day since 2005.
“I was as nervous starting the third round as I was all day,” said Sloan. “My short game and my putter kept me in it for the first eight holes. After that I seemed to settle down a bit.”
Sunday’s finale at the Ashburn Golf Club featured several challengers, including California’s John Mallinger, who fell out of contention with a double bogey at No. 16 and finished third, three off the pace.
Kyle Thompson (69), Zack Fischer (67) and Henrik Norlander (69) tied for fourth place, four shots back. Another Canadian, Adam Hadwin closed with a 6-under 65 that put him into a five-way tie for seventh.
Sloan’s bogey at the par-5, 12th dropped him to 9-under and four back of Fathauer, who turned the front nine in 6-under 29 and then added a birdie at that same minutes earlier to reach 13-under.
Sloan, a transplanted Texan, bounced back with birdies on his next two holes and then became the beneficiary of two costly mistakes down the stretch.
“I kind of fumbled things coming in,” said Fathauer, who three-putted from 25 feet on the last hole.
Fathauer’s tee shot to open the playoff found the trees to the right while Sloan split the middle of the fairway at the 469-yard, 18th. A second shot by Fathauer clipped the trees and left him 100 yards away while Sloan had the gallery cheering when his second found the green, though 40 feet away.
“I hit an absolutely poor first putt,” said the winner. “It was a little bit of nerves and I didn’t put a good stroke on it.”
Fathauer then missed his par attempt from 30 feet, setting the stage for Sloan, who didn’t disappoint anyone as he picked up the winner’s crystal and a check for $117,000.