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On May 5-8, 2011 the Canadian Tour's best professionals competed in the Mexican PGA Championship at Estrella Del Mar. Designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 7,045-yard championship course provided a stout test as some of the world's best up-and-coming golfers from around the globe competed for a $125,000 purse. The Mexican PGA Championship is one of only two events held in Mexico on the Canadian Tour's 2011 schedule and the first at Estrella Del Mar.

Rodriguez edges Sloan for Mexican PGA title
The Canadian Press
09 May 2011

MAZATLAN, Mexico - Mexico's Jose de Jesus Rodriguez shot a final round of 5-under 67, then beat Canadian Roger Sloan in a playoff hole and claimed the Canadian Tour's Mexican PGA Championship on Sunday.

It's the first time a Mexican national has won the tournament since the Canadian Tour began sanctioning the event four years ago.

Rodriguez and Sloan, from Merritt, B.C., were tied at 14 under after 18 holes.

After both players hit their approach shots close to the hole, Sloan's birdie putt just barely missed the hole to the right. Rodriguez sent his birdie putt right in the centre of the cup to claim the championship.

"I'm really, really happy," Rodriguez said. "It feels good to finally get my first win on the Canadian Tour and I'm especially happy to win here in Mexico."

Rodriguez began Sunday's final round five shots back of leader Rafael Claux and three shots behind Sloan. He began his charge early with a birdie on the first hole and then another on the fourth, a bogey on the par-5 fifth hole put him at 10 under par for the tournament and four shots behind the leader.

Rodriguez then made a birdie on hole 7, then three birdies on the back nine moved him into a tie for the lead with Sloan by the 17th hole. Both players made par on 18 to force the playoff.

"I was calm, I felt the hard part was already past and now I just had to concentrate on playing one hole," Rodriguez said.

Sloan came into the final round two shots back of the lead. Two birdies on the front nine put him into a tie for the lead. Sloan made another two birdies on the final nine at holes 10 and 15, but bogies on 11 and 14 and a final score of 2-under 70 was enough to tie Rodriguez.

"Even though I didn't win the experience still leaves me with a level of confidence, knowing that I've been in the situation and can handle the pressure," Sloan said.

Peru's Claux, who led the tournament by two shots going into Sunday's round, was not able to put anything together. He followed nine straight pars on the front nine with two birdies and three bogies on the back nine for a final round of 1-over 73. He finished in a tie for third with Chile's Benjamin Alvarado at 13-under 275 for the tournament.

The Canadian Tour returns to Victoria next week for the 2011 Times Colonist Open.

About the Canadian Tour
For more than 35 years, the Canadian Tour has operated professional golf championships across Canada and beyond. Today's membership represent some of the top PGA Tour prospects and Canadian Tour alum have amassed more than $400 million in career earnings. Its graduates include Paul Casey, Steve Stricker, Tim Clark and Master's Champion Mike Weir. In the past five years the Canadian Tour has graduated an average of 14 players annually to the Nationwide and PGA Tours, more than any other golf circuit in the world.