FIVE shots back starting Sunday's final round of the Players Cup at Pine Ridge, Sarnia, Ont.'s Matt Hill led the charge on leader and eventual winner Tim Madigan.
Hill posted the day's best round, a four-under 67 (matched by Clark Klassen) and fell one shot short of his quest for victory in the fifth PGA Tour Canada event for the year.
He finished the week at eight-under 276, admirable in that he shot a 74 on Saturday.
His finish puts him back into the top 10 on the tour's money list, a title he won in 2012 before he graduated to the Web.com Tour.
"Anytime you get into contention and have a good final round, who knows if it'll hold up, but I'm happy with the way I hung in there this week," Hill said. "And I started making some putts."
Hill mounted his serious charge with back-nine birdies at Nos. 12, 13 and 16.
"I was basically dead," Hill said about his third shot on the 12th, to the left of the green and beside a tree. "I had to play it up the ridge, a flop shot out of a tire mark, over the bunker and it kind of trickled down there to 15 feet."
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Co-runner-up Ricky McDonald had three birdies and one bogey Sunday, just unable to get one more putt to drop over the final six holes.
He ended with a 69 and also fell one shot short at eight-under.
"It was a solid day, just a great week," said McDonald, who aced the par-3 14th after Saturday's storm. "I'm very pleased with how I played.
"Tim is an awesome guy so I couldn't be happier for him, to see him win here."
McDonald's payday put him into "the Five," in fifth on the tour's money list. He'll have a shot at playing himself into an RBC Canadian Open invite for the top three if he can have a good week this week in Thunder Bay.
"That's a problem I'd like to have," he said.
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Stats highlights for the week
- Five Canadians in the top 10 at the Players Cup (Hill, Ryan Yip, Beon Yeong Lee, Eugene Wong, Chris Ross) were the most this season.
- The tournament lead was eight-under after Thursday, and the eventual winner finished at nine-under; a clear victory for Pine Ridge over the final three days, even at a short 6,601 yards.
- Pine Ridge's ninth hole is again the toughest hole on the tour, playing to an average of 3.52 strokes and with only 10 birdies the entire week, six of them on Thursday. Through five 2014 tournaments, five of the six hardest holes on the tour are at Pine Ridge.