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Runner-up accentuates positives after gruelling Players Cup finale

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IF only he could have gotten that 18th hole right.

Vince Covello had four cracks at it Sunday, once in regulation play and three more times in a four-hole playoff before he eventually bowed to Chris Killmer in the Players Cup at Pine Ridge.

Covello had two pars and two bogeys against the par-4, 460-yard closing hole at the Ridge, his final three-putt bogey paving the way for Killmer's winning par.

"It's a good hole, one of the better ones out here," the runner-up said. "Unfortunately I didn't hit enough good golf shots. I left a couple out to the right and that was a good hole location today all the way back in the green."

The 29-year-old from Philadelphia is still looking for his first Canadian Tour win.

"Immediately after, of course you're disappointed," he said. "We play to win every week and I've been here before and not gotten it done.

"I'm in the same boat again this year but I'm really encouraged with the way I'm playing. I felt like I definitely played better than I have any other year and the scores show that."

Covello has been fifth, sixth and second in the last three years at the Players Cup and that's earned him $31,740.

On the last hole of Sunday's playoff, he had a 40-foot birdie putt from the right edge of the green. Trying to make it, he went five feet by and then missed it coming back.

"I had a chip from the bleachers the first time through in the playoff and it was close to the same line and I felt like I knew what the putt was doing," said Covello, who was the only player to shoot in the 60s every day. "I obviously didn't get it right... I was trying to take a shot at it. I hit enough putts up there close and tapped it in.

Berths for money leaders

AS the top two players on the CanTour money list after the Players Cup, Matt Hill of Sarnia, Ont. ($47,350) and Cory Renfrew of Victoria, B.C. ($37,258), will be invited to the RBC Canadian Open next week at Hamilton, Ont.

Renfrew hung onto the spot after finishing tied for 38th with a Sunday 74. Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., third on the money list, was taking a run at the spot but fell about $800 short when he bogeyed two of the last three holes in the tournament.

Hill shot 71 Sunday, making birdie on the final three holes to finish tied for eighth.

McMillan top 'Toban again

AGAIN, Rob McMillan set the pace for Manitobans at the Players Cup.

The former Manitoba Open champ shot one-over 72 on Sunday and finished the event at even-par 284, tied for 33rd spot. It was worth a payday of $1,087.

"Tee to green I was pretty good but my short game was kind of rusty, which was to be expected," said McMillan, who no longer plays tour golf. This week gave him 10 rounds on the year. "Chipping and putting was very good. It was fun. Just good to play four rounds."

Any more tour golf in his future?

"Absolutely not."

Tyler Mancini, a member of the Canadian Tour, made his second cut of the season this week. He shot 72 on Sunday to finish at 287. He made $662.

Josh Wytinck of Glenboro, the first amateur to make the cut here in five years, shot 77 on Sunday and finished in 62nd place at 292.

Ninth yields few birdies

PINE Ridge's famous ninth hole, the 231-yard par-3 up the hill, saw just one birdie on the weekend, on Sunday, and only eight all week as it again played as the hardest hole against par in the tournament, at an average of 3.51.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2012 C2

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