THORNHILL— After coming close to the title a year ago, finishing in a tie for third, Unionville’s Max Sear came into the 2016 Investors Group Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship, at the Thornhill Club, with unfinished business. Sear, a York Downs Golf & Country Club member, took care of that business with an impressive week that was capped off by hoisting the trophy on July 15.
Entering the final round, Sear, 19-years-old, sat alone in top spot at 11-under for the tournament with a three-shot lead. He began his round well with birdies on third and fourth holes. He would settle for a pair of bogeys on five and nine and was even at the turn. Meanwhile, Kitchener’s Keaton Jones, who entered the day in second, was one-over at the turn giving Sear a four-shot lead with nine to play.
After Sear birdied the 11th and Jones, a Whistle Bear Golf Club member, bogeyed the 13th, Sear had a six-stroke lead with five holes to play. That turned out to be more than enough as Sear ended the round at even par (71) to finish the tournament at 11-under (69-68-65-71-273).
Afterwards, Sear spoke about how his experience last year helped him claim the 2016 title. “It felt really good to come out on top this year. I think the big difference was my third round. Last year I had the lead after the second round, but shot four-over in the third round. This year I knew I had to keep my foot on the gas pedal, which I did. It was frustrating last year, but I learned a lot and I guess it paid off this year.”
Conditions were a factor this week, but Sear managed to keep them at bay. He talked about his week and the key moments on his march to the championship. “I felt like my game was in a good spot and had a lot of momentum coming off the first round. I think the real turning point for me was the final four holes during the second round. I went five-under on those four holes and that just sparked me. I came into the third round with a lot of confidence and went low. Everything seemed to work out for me after that.”
Picking up the silver medal was Jones. Jones ended the day with a one-over (72) and finished the tournament seven-under (70-67-68-72-277).
Earning the bronze medal was Cayuga’s Charles Corner. Corner began the day at one-under in a tie for third. He separated himself from the rest of the players in that tie thanks to the low round of the day, three-under (68). That brought him to four-under (69-72-71-68-280) for the tournament.
The three will represent Ontario in the team competition at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, Aug. 8-11, at The Royal Ottawa Golf Club & Eagle Creek Golf Club in Ottawa-Gatineau.
For full tournament information, including the final leaderboard, see the tournament site at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao16/event/gao168/index.htm
Golf Ontario would like to thank the Thornhill Club, along with their staff and volunteers for hosting the event. Thanks also to title sponsor Investors Group and the Golf Ontario volunteers for their continued support of golf in the province.
About the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Amateur
The Investors Group Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship was first played in 1923 at Lakeview Golf and Country Club, and has a rich history of former champions. Past winners include: 2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir (1990 & 1992), Gerry Kesselring (1949, 1951, 1952, 1953), professional players Jon Mills (2001), Corey Conners (2010), Albin Choi (2012), Chris Hemmerich (2014) and Gary Cowan, who holds the record for the most Ontario Amateur Championships with nine (1964, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981 & 1984). This is the fourth time Thornhill has hosted the Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship. 155 players began the four-day, 72-hole tournament.