Finishing 2nd place at the Tour Championship, and 4th overall in the Order of Merits, I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do this year. One of my goals were met (shoot in the 70s) – I contribute a lot of the success to my swing coach Doug Warner from Golf Town, strength coach Clance Laylor of LPS, practice facility @ Lakeshore Links, and organizers & team at the GTA AM Tour.
Here is the press release from their site.
October 4, 2011 (Foot’s Bay, ON) – The TaylorMade GTA Amateur Tour concluded its competitive season today up in Muskoka. The Tour Championship featured 80 of the Tour’s top golfers, spread out over its four Flights; the combination made some of the most intensely competitive golf of the season. The two-day Championship proved to be quite the impactful event in the Tour’s Order of Merit races, and demonstrated the great ability of the Tour’s competitors to perform under pressure. Three of the Four Flights were anything but a lock coming into the event, and such knowledge would have most certainly weighed heavy on the nerves of each Flight’s respective points leaders. And after some challenging weather during Monday’s round, the Tour’s best were treated with some wonderful weather on Tuesday, closing out a fantastic season, and opening the door for a low second-day score to win the Championship. The results were some of the most exciting finishes of the season, and some of the Tour’s best golfing performances of the year.
The tightest races came from within the B Flight, where a four-way playoff was needed to determine the winner. After the first day, Brampton’s Fred Snel, Mt. Hope’s Jeff Springsted, Toronto’s Bruce Findlay and Brampton’s Brad Conley found themselves within a few strokes of each other, all in the top-five. An outright victory for any one of those players may have been enough to take home the season’s Order of Merit race outright. However, on day-two, each one of these competitors nearly matched their counterparts and all four players had 36-hole totals of 171; a sudden death playoff ensued, with the Tour Championship, and Order of Merit race on the line. “It was very intense,” noted Conley.
The playoff took place on the course’s dramatic risk reward par-5 18th, and it was on this hole where Conley separated himself from his competitors: “my approach into the 18th and the putt to win were undoubtedly my best shots of the day.” That finish proved to be the difference for Conley; those two shots gave him a playoff victory, in The Tour Championship, for the season-long Order of Merit title. “It feels so good to win under pressure,” said a relieved, and very happy Conley.
In the A Flight, it was a bit of dicey second day for Scott Kapuscinski, but a strong enough round on the first day to get the job done. On the first day, The Toronto native fired an impressive 73 – his low-round of the season – which sent him home that evening with a five-shot lead. At that point, it seemed like everything was a lock. “It was very competitive,” said Kapuscinski on his feelings after the first day.
On day two, Kapuscinski wavered a little bit, blowing up and shooting a much higher number (89) than his previous day’s performance, but the cushion he made for himself on day-one provided him with enough of a lead to hang on. “My best shot was the putt on 18 to secure the win,” said a very relieved Kapuscinski.
The victory today proved to also be the difference maker in Kapuscinski’s run for the Order of Merit title. Victories, and top finishes, in the closing events of the season had built up his points and brought him within range of the title, and a top-performance at the Championship rewarded him with that title: “It is an absolute dream come true – I have aspired to this and didn’t know that it could happen.”
Chasing Kapuscinski throughout the Tournament were the Corvese brothers: Chris and Michael. The two finished in, second and third, in the Tour Championship. Whitby’s Chris Corvese also finished the season in second place in the Order of Merit standings.
The Championship Flight was all but an official lock prior to the Championship, but that did not stop Waterloo’s Rob Cowan from finishing the season with another impressive performance. Cowan shot a 72-69 for a two-day total of 141, and an impressive 24 shot victory over his nearest competitors. This was Cowan’s fifth consecutive Order of Merit title, and he did so with a wire-to-wire season-long victory, having never given up the lead in the points race. “I knew I had a strong chance of winning the Order of Merit going into the event,” said a modest Cowan, “but to win The Tour Championship was a little extra awesome – I was really happy with how I played over these two days.”
Despite his strong lead throughout the season, Cowan was certainly tested and challenged on a weekly basis, which continued into the Championship. Multiple tournament winner Mississauga’s Matt Gay, and Milton’s Al Dairou finished in second and third place in The Tour Championship. Markham’s Steve Thompson finished fifth in the Tour Championship, and second in the Order of Merit standings.
Lastly, in the C Flight, it was another strong finish that took home the Championship title. Huntsville’s Jay White was in the hunt after a 92 on the first day, seven shots off the leader. But he really turned it on in the second round of the tournament by shooting an 84, the low score of his flight. This score gave White a two-day total of 176, and the Tour Championship title by six shots over Toronto’s Jeremy Choi. Toronto’s David MacLachlan finished in third with 183. “I really did not expect to do this today,” said a happy White. “This was only my 15th round of the season, so it is such a huge accomplishment.”
Although White’s victory was a huge accomplishment, he started the tournament too far back in the points race to make a run at the title, putting emphasis on top finishes for those just trailing. Answering those calls were Toronto’s Duane Gomes and Caledon’s Robert Squirrell who finished fourth and sixth place, respectively, in the Tour Championship. The finishes by those competitors left them tied, in the points race, for the season-long title, which ultimately named both of them 2011 Order of Merit Champions.
Over the two days there were two long drive titles captured by Morgan Rubes and Bruce Findlay, and two closest-to-the-pin titles, which were won by Peter Tobin and Jay White.
In addition to the TaylorMade prizing awarded to the Tour’s top finishers in the event today, there was also an abundance of draw prizing handed out from ECCO Shoes and The Mill Street Brewery. Dominic Marchesano, Neil Gahani, Troy Langley and Serge Marchuk each won a Mill Street Brewery draw; and Matt Perricciolo, Doug Remmer, Grant Brown and Bruce Findlay each won an ECCO Shoe draw.
For full field scores for the Tour Championship, please log on to your profile on the Tour’s website at www.gtaamateurtour.com. The Tour’s staff would like to congratulate its 2011 Champions, and thank them for such an exciting finish to the season; they look forward to seeing you at The Tour’s member guest event at Meadowbrook G&CC on Monday October 17, 2011.