Impressive Showings for Locals

Denver native Mark Hubbard posts 2nd top-10 in last 3 weeks on PGA Tour; former CU golfer Yannik Paul notches 10th career top-10 on DP World Tour; Jake Staiano records his first top-20 on Korn Ferry Tour

By Gary Baines – 6/11/2023

Last Sunday, Denver native Mark Hubbard went into the final round of the prestigious Memorial Tournament just a stroke out of the lead. However, a 79 at Muirfield Village dropped him to a 30th-place finish.

But that didn’t derail Hubbard in the least, apparently. 

The Colorado Academy graduate, bidding for his first PGA Tour victory, was tied for second, two out of the lead, entering Sunday’s final round of the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto. And he was tied for the lead four holes into his last round. And though he couldn’t recreate his back-nine magic from Saturday — when he shot 30 — Hubbard recorded his second top-10 finish in his last three PGA Tour starts by tying for sixth place.

The 34-year-old carded rounds of 68-70-66-70 to check in at 14 under par, which left him three strokes behind champion Nick Taylor, who became the first Canadian player since 1954 to win the Canadian Open. Taylor sank a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole to defeat Tommy Fleetwood.

Hubbard, paired with Rory McIlroy each of the last two rounds, at one point on the weekend went 23 consecutive holes without a score worse than a par. But his three-birdie, one-bogey round on Sunday wasn’t good enough to keep up with Taylor, who went 63-66 in regulation on the weekend.

Hubbard now has eight top-10 PGA Tour finishes to his credit. With Sunday’s finish, he jumps to 56th in the season-long FedExCup standings.

After playing four straight weeks — and being in contention in three of them — Hubbard is looking forward to the coming week off.

“It’s been quite the stretch,” Hubbard said on Saturday. “I mean, (the Mexico Open in late April) is easy, but long. Quail (the Wells Fargo Championship in early May) is hard. The PGA (Championship) is the hardest course I’ve ever played. Contention at Colonial (for the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he placed ninth). Contention at Memorial — hardest walk all year, tough course. I’m ready for just an infinite nap.”

For the scores from the Canadian Open, CLICK HERE.

— By his recent standards, Yannik Paul was in a mini slump of late, having gone four straight tournaments on the DP World Tour without a top-20 finish. But the former University of Colorado golfer returned to form this week with a third-place showing on Sunday at the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed.

With rounds of 65-68-68-72, Paul ended up six strokes behind champion Dale Whitnell, who shot a second-round 61. Paul earned 104,842 euros for his performance.

Yannik Paul continued his strong play over the last two DP World Tour seasons.

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 season, Paul has recorded 10 top-10s on the former European Tour, including a win at the Mallorca Golf Open last fall, three second places and a third.

The showing in the Scandinavian Mixed moved Paul into third place on the European Ryder Cup point standings.

For all the scores from Stockholm, Sweden, CLICK HERE.

— Jake Staiano of Englewood recorded by far his best finish on the Korn Ferry Tour on Sunday, tying for 19th place on Sunday at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C.

The former Valor Christian and Colorado State golfer carded scores of 69-67-70-65 for a 14-under-par total, which left him seven strokes behind winner Adrien Dumont de Chassart. The 2021 Rocky Mountain Open champion went bogey-free on Sunday, making an eagle on the fifth hole, his 14th of the day.

Staiano’s previous best finish on the Korn Ferry Tour was 43rd place.

For all the scores from the BMW Charity Pro-Am, CLICK HERE.

— Justin Leonard, who lived in Aspen for seven years until moving to Florida last year, recorded his best PGA Tour Champions finish of his young senior career — and his third consecutive top-10 — by tying for fourth at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wis.

Leonard opened with a 62 and followed it up with scores of 69-74 to tie for fourth place at 11 under par, seven strokes behind winner Steve Stricker.

It was Leonard’s fourth top-10 overall in 13 Champions starts.

For all the scores from Wisconsin, CLICK HERE.

— Former University of Colorado golfer Robyn Choi, who will play in the Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open starting Wednesday at Green Valley Ranch, notched her second straight top-10 on the Epson Tour. Specifically on Sunday, Choi tied for eighth at the Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Mich. She was paired with fellow former Buff Kristin Coleman for the final round.

Choi ended up at 4 under par after scores of 69-71-72 and finished six strokes behind champion Siyun Liu. 

Choi tied for fourth last week on the Epson Tour.

For all the scores from the Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates