Peterborough, ON – Brooklin resident Tyler McDannold captured the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship title on Wednesday, June 19th at Peterborough Golf and Country Club, topping the field of Ontario’s best amateur golfers age 25 and over.
McDannold turned out a steady performance through all three days of competition at the Stanley Thompson-designed course, earning his first Mid-Amateur crown by a two-stroke margin. The Brampton Golf Club member posted rounds of 70-69-71 to close out the tournament with a total score of 210, three-under par.
The final round got under way on Wednesday with McDannold trailing first and second round leader Michael Rutgers by a single stroke, setting the stage for a tight race to the finish. McDannold came on strong out of the gate, firing a string of birdies to get the day started.
“I just wanted to come out and get a good start, luckily I birdied three of my first four and that got me going,” explained McDannold.
The 30-year-old grabbed hold of the lead on the 2nd hole and didn’t relinquish it through to the end of the day, although he didn’t post any more birdies after the 4th hole. McDannold held on to a single stroke advantage before Rutgers bogeyed the 12th hole, doubled the 14th and missed his par putt on 15 to fall four strokes back with three holes left to play.
McDannold wasn’t able to cruise to victory however, as Rutgers mounted a recovery effort down the stretch.
“(Rutgers) birdied 16 and then I didn’t hit a very good drive on 17, but he hit it right in the middle of the fairway then made a nice little two putt birdie,” explained McDannold.
“It definitely closed the gap and got me thinking a little bit. He gave me a couple on 14 so I guess it was only fair that he got a couple back,” he said.
Despite Rutgers’ rally to the finish, he wasn’t able to recover the two-shot deficit and finished with runner-up honours as both golfers rolled in putts for par in front of the gallery at the 18th hole.
McDannold’s win marks his second major provincial victory, he also captured the Ontario Men’s Match Play title in 2005.
“I didn’t really play or practice as much as I wanted to leading up to this event, but maybe that was a good thing because I didn’t really have any expectations coming into the week,” he said.
“I was relaxed over the first couple days and played really well so it worked out. ”
McDannold also spoke highly of the host venue, which was playing at 6605 yards for competitors this week.
“Peterborough is an awesome golf course. I really like playing the old courses, Stanley Thompson is a world-famous designer and getting a chance to play one of his is always fun.”
“The greens are very difficult, there’s lots of undulations out here you have to be very careful about where you hit it on each side of the flags so you’re thinking all the way around,” he said.
Rutgers picked up the silver medal, finishing at one-under with a three day total score of 212 (68-70-74), while Stoney Creek’s Darren Shaw carded a solid final round 68 to move into third place overall and earn the bronze medal. Shaw’s three day total 213 (71-74-68) also put him into first place in the Mid-Master (age 40 and over) division.
Two golfers tied for fourth place at 215 (+2), Jonathan Dunlap of Toronto and Brent McClung of Burlington, while Pickering’s Mark Brewer finished alone in sixth place.