Apart from the war years of 1946 and 1947, the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) has started their golf season since 1939 with male golfers vying for the Ottawa City & District Match Play Glenlea Championship Trophy donated by Lyn Stewart.
Over three days (May 28-30), the OVGA held a qualifying round for both female and male golfers and then two days of match play at the Smiths Falls Golf & Country Club. This was the first time for female golfers, apart from Intersectionals, to participate in a dedicated Match Play Championship competition.
Although the Smiths Falls course was wet from the earlier spring downpours, the qualifying round was held under sunny skies and warm temperatures. Ryan Sevigny, playing out of Eagle Creek, was the low qualifier with a fine 2 under par score of 69. The top sixteen qualifiers were ranked according to their scores and all showed up for their first rounds of match play.
What also showed up on Monday morning was inclement weather which threatened to be the main story.
Heavy rain changed the direction of the day, causing not only a 90 minute weather delay, but also causing a shortening of matches. As play resumed after the heaviest of rains, the women were able to get their quarter-final matches in on schedule but the men’s quarter-final competition saw the matches shortened to nine holes due to daylight constraints.
Look at the list of winners engraved on the trophy and it reads like a Who’s Who of golf in the Ottawa Valley. You can now add Rideau View’s Justin deVroome to the list after his 1 up win over Nicholas Brisebois, the 2016 Match Play Champion.
Justin reached the finals by his 1 Up wins over Hylands Tom Hossfeld, Eagle Creek’s Ryan Sevigny and Cedar Glen’s Kurtis Barkley (the 2013 Match Play Champion who also won the consolation final this year). Nicholas beat out Smiths Falls’ Jeff McGrath (3&1), Greensmere’s Brad Goodman (11 holes) and Ontario Public Player Chris Campbell after 3 extra holes.
It was nip and tuck in the final for both Justin and Nick with neither giving an inch and the match came down to the par 3 finishing hole measuring 160 yards from the blue tees. Neither player hit a solid tee shot with Nick finding the water and Justin plugging his ball just inches to the good side of the lateral hazard stakes. After his drop, Nick chipped his 3rd shot well past the hole and Justin chipped to a manageable distance. After Nick’s miss and Justin’s made putt, Justin walked away the winner after they shook hands.
Women’s Match Play Championship
They had to leave the green quickly however as Carleton Golf & Yacht Club’s Lise Jubinville and Hyland’s Diane Dolan were playing the finishing hole for a third time to declare a Women’s Match Play Champion.
Lise reached the final after her 5&4 win over Brockville’s Teri De Luis and her 3&2 win over Rideau View’s Kristin Ranieri. Diane beat out Rideau View’s Julia Malone (2&1) and Carleton Golf & Yacht Club’s Bonnie Wolff (4&3) to earn her spot in the final round. Wolff won this year’s consolation final.
After Lise had built up a 4-hole advantage by the end of the 7th hole, Diane slowly picked away at the lead and by the end of the thirteenth hole, their match was all square. With neither golfer gaining a big advantage, the match came down to the par 3, 102 yard 18th hole and they played it 3 times. A par for Lise on the 2nd playoff hole to Diane’s bogey gave her the inaugural Women’s Match Play Championship.
Flagstick Golf Magazine caught up with both champions after the awards presentations and following are their comments on their championship wins.
“It was a struggle for sure”, said Justin deVroome. “I don’t think either of us was playing our best. The course was great even though it was wet. Yesterday was a struggle in the rain but I walk all the time and my legs held up. It was my third time trying in this event and as they say the third time is a charm.”
When asked about her win in the inaugural Women’s Match Play Championship, Lise Jubinville responded – “Very good. Obviously it’s a great event because we didn’t have a match play event apart from the Intersectionals. It’s nice to have that one on one match play competition. I got up to a good lead for a little while and Diane came back. I had a few issues with keeping my drives straight. I’m playing with a new set of irons and I’m not exactly sure of my distances.”
This wasn’t the first appearance in the winner’s circle in the OVGA for Lise Jubinville. She has also previously won the Ahearn Trophy for her two Women’s City & District Championships.
It was a great start to the season for the OVGA. Tournament organizers and rules officials ran a well organized event and they quickly adjusted to the changing weather patterns to get their Match Play Championship in and on time. But what else would you expect from an organization that has been running Championship events since 1921.