Sept. 8, 2005
CALAGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA - Former California golfer Peter Tomasulo (2002-04) captured the Nationwide Tour's Alberta Classic on Sept. 4, playing on a Canadian Tour sponsor's exemption to earn his way onto the PGA Tour's premier feeder circuit.
One year after Canadian David Hearn won in Calgary, Tomasulo, who won the Canadian Tour's Montreal Open presented by Lexus less than a month ago, closed out with a 2-under 69 this past Sunday. Tomasulo' four-day total of 9-under 275 was two shots in front of Aaron Barber, the 2001 Canadian Tour money winner.
"It was fun and tough all at the same time," said Tomasulo, a 23-year-old native of Long Beach, Calif., who was a member of the Bears' 2004 NCAA championship squad. "It was stressful out there. The course was playing so tough."
Tomasulo is following Hearn's script from 2004. Like Tomasulo, Hearn won in Western Canada at the Times Colonist Open before following it up with his initial Nationwide victory in Alberta.
Tomasulo began the week with a 2-over 73, but quickly jumped into contention with a course record 10-under 61 in the second round. That round was instrumental in paving the way for his second strong showing on the Nationwide Tour this season. His previous starts in 2005 resulted in a tie for 13th place finish at the Scholarship America Showdown and a tie for 59th place at the Canadian PGA Championship.
"Shooting the 61 gave me a lot of confidence that I could get the job done," said Tomasulo. "You always hope it is going to happen this fast but to actually get it done feels so good. It is great to get out here and get a win so quickly. It has obviously been a big week for me."
After beginning the day two shots behind third-round leader David Branshaw (80), Tomasulo appeared out of contention after posting a double bogey on No. 6 and bogeys on Nos. 7 and 9. A birdie on the par-5 11th hole, followed by a birdie on the par-4 16th reversed that trend, giving the 2004 Palmer Cup team member a one-shot lead heading into his final hole. He then drained a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole for good measure.
"I saw the leaderboard on No. 18 so I knew I had some strokes to play with," said Tomasulo, who hit eight of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens in regulation. "But it still felt so good when that last putt went in."
The 13th first-time winner this season, Tomasulo collects a career-best $81,000 with the victory to move from No. 163 to No. 45 on the official money list with $91,883 in earnings. Even more important, he earns full status on the Nationwide Tour for the remainder of 2005 and the entire 2006 season.
"All of the perks that come with winning is all a little overwhelming right now," said Tomasulo, who plans on taking a week off from the Nationwide Tour to play in this week's Bell Canadian Open. "It hasn't all sunk in yet ... Getting status on the Nationwide Tour and getting to miss the first stage of Q-School."
Heading North of the Border was good medicine for the former captain of Cal's 2004 NCAA champion squad. After missing out at last year's PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, he headed north to play on the Canadian Tour. It turned out to be a wise decision. He entered the Alberta Classic with seven top-10 finishes in 10 starts on the Canadian Tour, including five straight top-5 finishes and a win at the Montreal Open.
"Everything has been going my way the past few weeks," said Tomasulo. "This has turned out to be a better year than I could have imagined."
Besides being a member of the Bears' 2004 NCAA championship squad, Tomasulo was also a first team All-American in 2004, an Academic All-American and a three-time first team All-Pac-10 selection. He had finished tied for 10th with teammate Jeff Hood at the 2004 NCAA championship (282, +2) in Hot Springs, Virginia.