While preparing this story, I reviewed the notes I had made at the first tee while watching the 2020 participants in the Golf Quebec Alexander of Tunis Championship tee off.
My notes read – Since its inception in 1950, the Alexander of Tunis has always been a 36-hole tournament. This year Golf Quebec was fortunate to secure the Camelot Golf & Country Club in Cumberland, Ontario for a one-day shootout. This means the potential champion could come from anywhere in the field between 7:30 am and 2 pm.
How prophetic as the winner of the 2020 Alexander of Tunis was Tom Westfall from the host Camelot Golf & Country Club and he was the first player to tee off at 7:30 in the morning and the first to post a score. That score of 5-under-par 67 would hold up for the day.
At the conclusion of his round, Golf Quebec took a picture of Tom Westfall holding the Tunis Trophy while hockey players throughout Canada cringed and a few spectators and players around the clubhouse did likewise.
Thankfully the curse of hoisting the trophy before the tournament was over didn’t come through for Tom.
Flagstick caught up with the new Tunis Champion and the first ever from the Camelot Golf & Country Club to hoist the Alexander of Tunis Championship Trophy. We asked him about his win and how he spent the day after he played his round of golf.
“I feel like really, really wonderful because I haven’t played any serious competitive golf in many, many years and I was thinking back to when I was 15 years old, the last time I played a Provincial tournament at my home club and I shot a 68 in my first round and I was seven shots better than I had ever shot in any other round and I tried to channel that feeling today and things worked out really well for me. I’m ecstatic. It’s been a long day. I had to go into work after my round and now I know that I’m the Tunis Champion for the 2020 year.”
Tom continued, “My game this year, because of the pandemic and the fact I’m transitioning into becoming a teacher, I’ve been able to play a lot of golf this summer, some of it the best golf ever. At the start of the year, I set an objective of breaking par from the tips at Camelot and I accomplished that a few weeks ago. Since then, it’s been going very well. My game has been sharp and I’ve built some confidence. I’m not going to lie, watching Sophia Popov win the AIG last week kind of inspired me. She was an underdog who people hadn’t heard of necessarily and I thought you can do it. You just have to work your way around the course and make the shots that count. That’s kind of what I was thinking about today.
I know this course really well because I’ve been playing here for 25 years so I know every bump and bruise on the course. It was about taking the shots today that were available. Some of the pins were tucked in tight and I played to the middle of those greens. I made a few longer putts and took advantage of my distance on the par fives. Other than that I avoided making too many mistakes.”
On it being a one-day shootout, “It definitely helped me because I don’t know if I could go out and break 80 tomorrow. It helped me focus on taking one shot at a time knowing that if I made a bogey it was going to be more costly than over a longer tournament. My short game was really sharp and I avoided any stressful putts.”
Flagstick talked to a number of players teeing off after Tom’s score had been posted. Some enjoyed the fact that they knew the score they had to beat while others felt the pressure of having to go low.
Finishing in a tie for 2nd place with scores of three under par, 69, were recent Flagstick Open winner and Carleton Golf & Yacht Club member Robert Mustard along with Alexis Clement who plays out of Drummondville. Alone In fourth place with his score of 70 was Alexandre Gelinas from the Blainvillier Golf Club. Tied for fifth place with scores of one under par 71 were Jared Coyle from the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club, Thomas Cox from the host Camelot Golf & Country Club, and Ryan Sevigny from the Eagle Creek Golf Club.
Congratulations to the OVGA team of officials and volunteers led by Golf Canada Director and Camelot Golf & Country Club Member Jean Stone-Seguin on a job well done. Thanks also to Camelot Golf & Country Club Superintendent Chris Chapman and his greenkeeping crew for the great course conditioning.
Most of all, in a year when tee sheets are full, thanks have to be given to the Camelot Golf & Country Club Members for giving up a day of golf to host a full field of players in the 2020 Golf Quebec Alexander of Tunis Championship. Bravo!