CPGA Ottawa Zone golf professionals participate in the Flagstick.com Players Tour not only for prize money but also for points on the Order of Merit. Their reward for finishing high on the list is a spot on either the Professional or Assistant Professional teams participating in the PING Challenge Cup competition presented by Flagstick Golf Magazine. This year’s competition took place on Wednesday, September 14th.
Representing the professional’s team captained by Flagstick Publisher Jeff Bauder were Chris Barber, Marc Foucault, Chris Learmonth, Graham Gunn, Kevin Haime, Dale Pedersen, Gord Percy, Terry Kolar, Jean Leduc, Scott Mikkelsen, Eric Robillard and Luke Saunders, while Brad Deighan, Joe Dubinski, Jeff Gunn, Andre Harvey, Alex Hubert, Chris Johnson, Sean Joyce, Bill Keating, John Kelly, Dave McDonald, Marc Andre Piette and James Sperinck played on the Assistant Professional’s team captained by Flagstick Editorial Director Scott MacLeod.
Clouds covered the rising sun at the GreyHawk Golf Club in the east end of Ottawa but arriving players eyes lit up with the display of gifts provided by PING representative Andre Borys and event sponsor PING Canada. After transferring their equipment to their new PING carry bags, players and their caddies were treated to a continental breakfast.
Shortly before the start of the event, team captains Jeff Bauder and Scott MacLeod unveiled the line-ups for the best ball and alternate shot matches on the Talon course. With little fanfare and virtually no trash-talking matches hit the links. After the best ball nine holes, the professionals had won 4 matches and tied 1 while the assistants tallied 1 win and a tie. This 3 point advantage was maintained after the alternate shot matches were tied at 3 wins apiece.
After a short break for lunch, the teams headed out to the Predator course for individual nine-hole matches to determine which team would have bragging rights for the upcoming year. Both teams gave it their all but in the end the Assistants erased the mornings three point deficit with 7 wins and two ties to the 3 wins and two ties by the professionals.
The final tally – Assistant Professionals 12.5 / Professionals 11.5
Regional PING representative Andre Borys presented the PING Challenge Cup to the Assistant Professional’s team captain Scott MacLeod who commented on the day. “It was another great event and I’m proud of my team. They were down even further than last year heading into the singles and managed to pull it out with some great play. I’m still a little shocked that they were able to close the deficit and win the trophy for the second year in a row.”
After team pictures the players mingled along with their caddies in the clubhouse where they were treated to a delicious meal sponsored by PING and Flagstick Golf Magazine.
Eric Robillard, when asked had the following comment on the competition. “It’s competitive but also fun. I was pleased to meet some new assistants and play golf with friends.”
“The tournament is building each year,” said Zone Captain Luke Saunders. “Guys like it and there’s tremendous competition during the year to make the teams. Look at Chris Barber who withdrew from a Quebec tour event where he could have made some money. Instead he chose to play here with only bragging rights on the line. That speaks volumes about our events and the character of CPGA professionals in our Zone.”
Luke did have a final comment. “We’ll get them next year.”