Mother Nature put on quite the light show along with a drenching of the eQuinelle golf course in Kemptville, Ontario on the eve of the PGA of Ottawa Fall Championship presented by Boutiques Pro Golf on the Flagstick.com PGA Ottawa Tour.
So much rain fell that twelve of the fairways at eQuinelle were not open to power carts on Wednesday, September 15th but that didn’t deter a strong group of Ottawa area golf professionals in their quest for a new title on their schedule. They were also playing for points leading to the Zone’s Player of The Year standings and rankings for the upcoming Ping Challenge Cup pitting Head Golf Professionals against Assistant Professionals in a Ryder Cup style format.
First off the tee at eQuinelle were the senior golf professionals playing for honours in three age divisions. Cart path only holes would put a strain on these senior golfers but they persevered and finished their rounds in good humour. Indeed, the stories from past and present flowed as beverages were served on the patio overlooking the finishing hole.
Larry McCauley eked out a win in the Legends Division over Andre Harvey but wanted to call it a tie with his close friend.
A similar circumstance occurred in the Senior Plus Division where Cedarhill Golf & Country Club’s Greg White defeated his friend Barry Laphen by one stroke. On the patio discussions ensued as to circumstances of Greg’s win which this writer is sure will continue well into the future.
GUNNGOLF’s Graham GUNN had another fine day on the golf course in his fourth victory of the year in senior PGA of Ottawa competitions. His score of one under par 71 gave him first place over runner-up Paul Vaillancourt (74) in the senior division. Tied for third place with scores of 75 were Golf O Max’s John Watson, PGA of Canada’s Chris Bernard and Golf Lac Ste-Marie’s Marc Foucault.
Graham had previously partnered with Golf Lac Ste-Marie’s Marc Foucault in their Pro-Pro win at the Brockville Country Club and then he won the senior zone championship at the Mississippi Golf Club followed by his win in the senior division in the Zone Championship held at the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club.
When asked about his win today and his overall season, Graham commented – “It was all about being patient out there today. The goal today was to be patient and keep the ball in play and not get too excited.”
It was nice to win some previous events but I wanted to win this event. I told my son Jeff that I just wanted to play well and if somebody was better, that’s great. I just didn’t want to play bad. I kept to the program and stayed patient.”
About his long time caddy Stan Hogan, Graham said, “Stanley, I appreciate him so much. He’s been stalwart as a friend and a caddie and it’s always great to have him by my side.”
Prescott Golf Club’s Bill Minkhorst returned to the winner’s circle after a year’s absence with his score of three under par 69. One stroke back was Kingsway Park’s Michel Dagenais (70) and in third place was GolfTec’s Colin Pitchers (71). Tied for fourth place with scores of even par were Hylands’ Marc-Andre Piette, Casselview’s Denis Girard and Carleton Golf & Yacht Club’s Cameron Gall.
On his win, Bill Minkhorst had the following comments on his win today.
“It was a good way to finish the year for sure. It’s a nice course, we had a beautiful day and my caddie Dave Hawley was also great to have with me today. My irons and wedges were tight, but my driver was a bit wayward today. My lag putting was good and I wasn’t too stressed out all day.”
Only two events remain on the schedule for the 2021 Flagstick.com PGA Ottawa Tour. On Tuesday, October 5th at GreyHawk, a team of PGA of Ottawa Head Professionals will take on a team of PGA of Ottawa Assistant Professionals in Ryder Cup style competition for the Ping Challenge Cup.
Closing out their season, the PGA of Ottawa will hold an end of year awards evening with the date and location still to be determined.