08/09/2013 07:31 EDT | Updated 10/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Eli Cole edges Corey Conners to win Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

VICTORIA - Eli Cole captured the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship with a putt for par on the final hole of the tournament Friday.

The 23-year-old American entered the 18th hole tied with Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., at 6-under par. Cole tapped his putt in and celebrated after Conners' three-putt from outside 50 feet for bogey.

"I never thought Corey was going to three putt, he's just such a classy player and he's so good," Cole said. "I was lucky to play with him the last few days, he was just a great guy all the way around yesterday and today, start to finish."

As a graduate of Texas Christian University, Cole recently recovered from a double fracture of the tibia and fibula. The injury left him sidelined from golf from nearly a year.

"It's been a long road and if I said I did it by myself I'd be lying, so many people have helped me along the way," he said. "I'm really lucky to have come in contact with the people I have and everyone associated with TCU has just been incredible and everyone over in Canada this week have been so friendly."

Cole carded an even-par 70 to finish at 6-under 276 for the championship to earn the coveted exemption into the 2014 RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club and also a spot into next week's 2013 U.S. Amateur.

"One of my goals is obviously to play on the PGA TOUR and now I'm about 1-millionth of the way there playing in the event," he said. "I have to stay healthy knowing my history but I couldn't be more excited, I absolutely love it up here in Canada."

Finishing in a tie for second one-stroke behind Cole at 5-under par 277 were Conners and Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont.