OVGA Crowns Men’s Match Play Champions

 by Joe Mclean

Kurtis Barkley celebrates the win at the 2013 OVGA Men's Match Play Championship (Photo: Joe McLean)
Kurtis Barkley celebrates the win at the 2013 OVGA Men’s Match Play Championship (Photo: Joe McLean)

The Ottawa Valley Golf Association held their Match Play Championships at the Mississippi Golf Club in Appleton, Ontario the last week of May and Kurtis Barkley and Bill Holzman emerged as champions.

They both survived an opening round qualifier and then two days of match play to earn their crowns as OVGA Match Play Champions.

Kurtis Barkley, from the Cedar Glen Golf Club, took home the Ottawa City & District Match Play Glenlea Championship Trophy, donated by the late Lyn Stewart in 1939. Kurtis qualified in 6th place for the match play portion of the event and over two days dispatched Hyland’s Michel Perrault (5 & 3), GreyHawk’s Marc Carrier (21 holes), Rideau View’s Tim Sullivan and in the final Rideau View’s Chris Collins after three extra playoff holes.

“The biggest win for me,” is how Mr. Barkley described his victory. Never down in the final match, Mr. Barkley appeared calm and determined throughout his match against Chris Collins, the low qualifier for the event. Mr. Collins admitted after the match that, “It’s hard to play someone that shows no emotions.” A further highlight for Mr. Barkley was the touching text message of support he received from his father after the event.

It was an interesting match as both players had opportunities to change the outcome of the match. On the par 5, 16th –hole, Mr. Collins was on in two but unfortunately he walked away with his par after an aggressive first putt. On the next hole, he drove past the green and made an excellent up and down for birdie from an almost impossible position. At the turn, Mr. Barkley was up one in the match.

On their 11th hole, number two at Mississippi, Mr. Barkley made an uncharacteristic mistake as he hit his second shot over the green ending up with a bogie and leaving the match tied. This status would remain until their 17th hole. Mr. Barkley hit his tee shot right and ended up behind a tree leaving him one option which was to chip out to the 100 yard marker. Meanwhile, Mr. Collins had hit a perfect tee shot to the center of the fairway 120 yards from the centre of the green. Whether he was a little pumped up or the breeze hitting his ball in flight, the result was his approach shot ending up 15 yards over the green. Mr. Barkley laid his third shot in the centre of the green and Mr. Collins chipped on to 10 feet away from the cup. Mr. Barkley then dropped his long putt for his par and Mr. Collins was unable to reciprocate.

Advantage Kurtis Barkley as he teed it up on their 18th hole. Playing it safe, Kurtis lit his ball short of the crossing ditch approximately 135 yards from the green. Mr. Collins proceeded to hit his drive just short of the green. This was an aggressive play but his driver had been working well most of the week. After Mr. Barley hit his approach onto the green, Mr. Collins chipped close to the cup. He would go on to drain his putt for a birdie forcing a sudden win playoff.

Three holes later, Mr. Curtis stroked a two foot par putt into the cup walking way with his first big win. Unfortunately, that same driver that worked so well for Mr. Collins on the eighteenth hole got him into a little trouble on the same hole resulting in a bogie.

In the senior portion of the OVGA Match Play Championships, Rideau View’s Bill Holzman walked away with the championship after a hard fought match (3 & 2) with Smiths Falls Ron Dolinki. Along the way, Mr. Holzman had dispatched Pakenham’s Mike Kelly (1 up), Hammond’s Willie Walker (4 & 3) and Rivermead’s Robert Fugere (19 holes).

Mr. Holzman had won the City & District Match Play Championship exactly 30 years ago and was thrilled to be in the winner’s position again. “It’s nice to know that I’m still capable of playing really good golf thirty years later,” were the words of the 2013 Senior OVGA Match Play Champion. As Mr. Holzman had just turned 55, this was the first time he was eligible for OVGA senior competition. “My dad would be proud of me,” were Mr. Holzman’s parting words. His dad was the late John Holzman who was instrumental in the formation of the OVGA back in the early 1980’s.

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