Machtaler wins at golf tourney

Greg Machtaler of Summerland won the inaugural Forces and Families Open in Ottawa on Sunday.

Greg Machtaler of Summerland won the inaugural Forces and Families Open in Ottawa on Sunday, becoming the first Canadian winner on the PGA Tour Canada this year.

Machtaler, 30, had a 70-foot birdie putt and a final round nine-under 62 on Sunday.

The other golfers, Jeff Dennis Peter Campbell and Greg Eason were unable to match him with a birdie on the last hole.

The win comes just under a year after the death of Machtaler’s father, Glenn.

“As soon as it came off the putter it felt great,” Machtaler said. “I can’t help but think my dad had something to do with that putt going in.”

From 2007 to 2011, Machtaler made 13 cuts in 24 starts.

He then returned to work at the Summerland Golf and Country Club after playing just three times in 2011.

Throughout the 2014 season, Machtaler has been dealing with a back injury that limited his ability to swing the club effectively.

“I thought I was going to have to write off the year,” he sad. “My back was just so bad, I couldn’t even swing. I just have to thank all the physio teams that I’ve worked with back home and on the road with PGA Tour Canada. They’ve really helped me. It got the point where I could finally stop thinking about it and I could finally just let my swing go again.”

The win puts Machtaler in ninth on the Order of Merit with four events remaining.

In addition to the win on Sunday, Machtaler also claimed the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian Player of the Week honours.

The weekly prize is given to the top Canadian on the leaderboard each week.