Ottawa Sun Scramble Kicks Off Friday

Winners of the 2012 Ottawa Sun Scramble Ladies Open and Flagstick Open Divisions. (L-R) Erika Godwin, Lisa Gordon, Jordan Rochon, Mathieu Rochon
Winners of the 2012 Ottawa Sun Scramble Ladies Open and Flagstick Open Divisions. (L-R) Erika Godwin, Lisa Gordon, Jordan Rochon, Mathieu Rochon
Winners of the 2012 Ottawa Sun Scramble Ladies Open and Flagstick Open Divisions. (L-R) Erika Godwin, Lisa Gordon, Jordan Rochon, Mathieu Rochon

What has become one of the largest golf events in the National Capital Region, the Ottawa Sun Scramble, will get underway later this week.  Eleven separate divisions will compete from Renfrew to Rockland.

It all begins with Royal Oak Kick-Off Day on Friday, August 2 at Falcon Ridge, when local media personalities will compete to get their names on the coveted Régimbal Cup, along with past champion teams Martin Comtois & Jonathan Blouin, Mark Papousek & Bob Radmore, Kurt Stoodley & Mike Pang, Kenny Walls & Angry Al, and Chris Stevenson & Tim Baines.

Kick-off day is the official launch of a two-week festival of golf and, along with the Régimbal Media Challenge, features the main tournament’s Central Qualifier, equipment demos by TaylorMade and Cobra, the Make-A-Wish $5,000 putt, long drive contest and complimentary hors d’oeuvres in the clubhouse.

The Michelob Ultra Million Dollar Ace

This tournament staple is back where 10 people will get a shot at $1,000,000 from 165-yards out from the first green. Two lucky shooters will be randomly drawn from the names of anyone in attendance (free for the public to attend), Ottawa Sun contest winner Anthony Webb, Royal Oak draw winner Victor Low, one winner from an Executive Golf online contest, one from the Régimbal Media Challenge, and four Sun Scramble competitors: Mary Shepherd (Ladies B); Chris Bowering (Flagstick Open); “Strongman” Travis Lyndon (Absolute Comedy C); and Marc Pilon (Flashpoint D).

Royal Oak Kick-Off Day is free to attend; however there is a simultaneous golf event available – a Slammer Tour match-play competition for a nominal play fee. This event is open to anyone who wishes to register at slammertour.com.

“It’s such an exciting time for the local golf community,” says PGA-member Andy Rajhathy, vice-president of Executive Golf and tournament manger. “We have several local pros playing this year in the Flagstick Open, Ladies Open and the Senior Open, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Graham Gunn vs. Tony Dunn battle for the André Lacasse Cup at Talon and Eagle Creek.”

Local pros playing in the Flagstick Open include Colin Orr, Joe Dubinski, Bill Minkhorst, Andy Rajhathy, Justin Riopelle, Julian James and Bob Flaro. Competing in the Ladies Open are Loch March pro Danielle Nadon and June Stanton of Anderson Links.

Six-time Flagstick Open champions Allen McGee & Kyle Koski are back, but with new partners for their ninth appearance. According to McGee: “I think our work as a team is complete, so we figured it was time to shake things up and try something new.” McGee will be playing with his son, Hunter, and Koski will hook up with Chris Bernard.

But the Sun Scramble isn’t just about the region’s top golfers: it is aligned with Executive Golf’s mission to grow the game of golf – and that means encouraging more people to play more golf in support of the overall industry. The tournament has evolved since 2005 into an annual event where players of all skill-levels get the chance to compete for a city title amongst others of equal caliber – from A-class to those still trying to break 100.

“We’re trying to dispel the myth that competition is just for top players,” said Rajhathy. “As long as you’re playing against others in your own league, then you do have a fighting chance at glory and that’s why we’re working hard to encourage high-handicappers, juniors and ladies to get a partner and give it a try.

According to tournament director and Executive Golf president, Jamie Ryan, good things can happen when kids pick up the game at an early age. “I still remember back in 2007, watching little Brooke Henderson push her monstrous cart up the hill at Chateau Cartier’s #17 in the Junior Open. Her determination was apparent and inspiring then, and just look at her now.”  Henderson, now 15, won the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship last week.

Ten spots remain in the Flashpoint D division – for players still trying to break 100 – and there is still plenty of room for juniors.

2013 Sun Scramble Divisions & Schedule

·         Aug. 1 – East-End Qualifier, Hammond, 11a.m.

·         Aug. 2 – Central Qualifier, Falcon Ridge, 11a.m.

·         Aug. 2 – Royal Oak Kick-Off Day, Falcon Ridge (All Day)

·         Aug. 2 – Régimbal Media Challenge, Falcon Ridge, 11 a.m.

·         Aug. 2 – Michelob Ultra Million Dollar Ace, Falcon Ridge, 6:30 p.m.

·         Aug. 3 – West-End Qualifier, Eagle Creek, 1p.m.

·         Aug. 5 – Champions Dinner, il Primo, 6 p.m.

·         Aug. 12 – Flashpoint Photobooth D Division, Pine View, 8 a.m.

·         Aug. 13 – Absolute Comedy C, Dragonfly, 8 a.m.

·         Aug. 14 – Promomedia B, Le Sorcier, 7 a.m.

·         Aug. 15 – Ladies Open, eQuinelle, 7 a.m.

·         Aug. 15 – Ladies B, eQuinelle, 7 a.m.

·         Aug. 15 – Ladies C, eQuinelle, 8 a.m.

·         Aug. 15 – Junior Open, eQuinelle, Noon

·         Aug. 16 – Senior Open, Talon, 7:30 a.m.

·         Aug. 16 – GolfWorks A, Talon, 9 a.m.

·         Aug. 16 – Flagstick Open, Talon, 11 a.m.

·         Aug. 17 – Championship Saturday, Outaouais, 12:30 p.m.

·         Aug. 18 – Championship Sunday, Eagle Creek, 11:30 a.m.

Ninth Annual Sun Scramble Tournament Notes:

Philadelphia Flyer’s captain, Claude Giroux, is playing in the GolfWorks A

Smiths Falls sensation, Brooke Henderson, placed 29th in the 2007 Junior Open at age nine

Lisa Haime is back to defend her Ladies C title – with partner Diane Roscoe

Single round record stands at 58 by Scott Johnson & Jim Bursey in round two of the 2006 Flagstick Open

Overall tournament record of -26 was set in 2011 by Curtis Dancy & Robert Mustard – which was a major upset in the dethroning of Allen McGee and Kyle Koski after six straight titles

Ottawa Sun Scramble City Championship Week has grown from just two single-round events in 2005 to a major weeklong festival of golf with an expected 700 competitors in 11 partner events targeting every type of golfer, from beginner to professional.

The event is conducted by local golf promotion company, Executive Golf (executivegolf.ca), and is a scramble format where both players take a shot and the best of the two is used, from the tee box, on the fairway, in the rough, in bunkers, hazards and on the green.

All divisions are two-round events with a cut after the first (excluding the Media Challenge) and teams that make the cut play for their respective city title on either Championship Saturday at Club de Golf Outaouais (Promomedia B, Absolute Comedy C, Flashpoint D and Ladies C) or Championship Sunday at Eagle Creek Golf Club (Flagstick Open, Ladies, Ladies B, Senior Open, Junior Open and the GolfWorks A). Executive Golf provides over $30,000 in EG Memberships (any competitor who makes the cut receives a $299 membership to Executive Golf), along with more than $15,000 in sponsor prizing for the top finishers and contest winners. There  are also cash prizes for the top professionals.

All events are open to the public, as participants and/or spectators, and people are encouraged to drop by the golf courses to show their support and to watch some great golf.

The tournament organizers would like to thank participating courses Dragonfly, Eagle Creek, eQuinelle, Falcon Ridge, Hammond, Outaouais, Pine View, Le Sorcier, Talon at GreyHawk, and we look forward to another great week of golf.

For a complete schedule of events, qualifying information and other details, please visit the tournament website at ottawasunscramble.com.