Sim birdies first playoff hole to win 2016 Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
TORONTO — It was a dramatic finish to the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, on June 23 at Lambton Golf & Country Club. After 54-holes, a champion was yet to be crowned. First and second round leader, Ryan Kings, and Matthew Sim were all tied at two-over and needed a playoff to determine a winner. On the first playoff hole, it was Sim who brought the crowd surrounding the 18th green, to their feet by sinking a nearly 20-foot birdie putt to capture the title.
Heading into the day, Sim, from Oakville and the Mississaugua Golf & Country Club, sat in a tie for fourth at three-over for the championship. The 29-year-old got off to a great start with birdies on the fifth, sixth, and seventh holes and was two-under at the turn. He continued to lower his score on the back nine with three more birdies on 10, 12 and 14 and was four-under for the day, one-under for the tournament, with three holes to go. However, after a bogey on 16, he found the trees on 17 leading to a double bogey. He pared the 18th but was watching the final group to see where he would finish.
The final group included Kitchener’s Kings and Brooklin’s Ashley Chinner, who began the round in first and second place respectively. Kings, a Deer Ridge Golf Club member, started the day with a four-shot lead but gave it back as he finished six-over on the front nine. He would get one back with a birdie on 11, but still found himself tied for the lead at two-over heading to the 18th. On 18, Kings drained a lengthy par putt to force the playoff with Sim. Kings managed to par the playoff hole but there was nothing he could do except watch as Sim sank the winner for the title. Sim finished the tournament at two-over (75-72-71-218), Kings went (69-72-77-218).
After the win, Sim talked about how he felt during the week. “Coming into the week I felt great and things just came together for me. I struggled a bit down the stretch but I held it together. Today my putting was my strong point, I definitely made some key putts.”
The most key putt for Sim came on the playoff hole. He remembers what he was thinking as he starred down the shot for the win. “It was a double breaker over a slope and I thought it was going to straighten out. It got about two feet from the hole and I could see it going right in the middle. I couldn’t believe it when it dropped. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. This win feels fantastic, it is above everything else by a long shot!”
As for Chinner, a member of Coppinwood Golf Club, he too had a chance to join the playoff for the title. However, it all came down to 18 where he settled for a bogey dropping him to a share of the bronze medal. Chinner finished the tournament at three-over (71-74-74-219) and won the Mid-Masters Championship.
He shared the bronze medal with North York’s Charles Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons, from Thornhill Golf & Country Club, began the day in a tie for seventh at four-over. He finished the round at one-under to end the tournament at three-over (73-75-71-219).
Fitzsimmons and Chinner played off for the third Team Ontario spot for the team competition at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Aug 23 – 26 at Golf Château-Bromont in Bromont, Quebec. Fitzsimmons claimed the spot in the second playoff hole.
Golf Ontario would like to thank Lambton Golf & Country Club along with their staff and volunteers for hosting the event. Thanks also to the Golf Ontario volunteers and to title sponsor Investors Group for their continued support of golf in the province.
Casey Ward goes wire-to-wire to win 2015 Investors Group Women’s Mid-Amateur; Gail Pimm takes Ontario Senior Women’s title in playoff
BATH— There may not have been much drama when it came to the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, but the same could not be said for the Investors Group Senior Women’s Championship, which was being played simultaneously. The two events wrapped up on July 23 from the Loyalist Country Club in Bath. Any of the competitors who fell into the senior age bracket (50 and over) were also eligible to compete for the Ontario Mid-Amateur title.
Picton’s Casey Ward entered the day with the lead for the Mid-Amateur title. The Picton Golf & Country Club member quickly added to it thanks to birdies on the fourth and fifth holes. Ward, 25, would go on to be uncontested during the round and finished the day two-under (70) to capture the Mid-Amateur Championship with a three-day total of three-under (71-72-70-213).
After the win, Ward spoke about her strong performance during the week. “My play was very steady this week. It was a lot of fun to play with Mary Ann Hayward and Judith Kyrinis. I really loved the atmosphere here, it was very social and very different from the amateur, just a fun week.”
She went on to talk about how she mastered her mental game and where the win ranks. “I haven’t played all that much this season, but I think that has helped keep my head out of my game for the most part. This win is on the top of my list, I haven’t won anything bigger than this!”
Ward said she will now turn her attention to the Ontario Women’s Match Play Championship, the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur, Aug. 26-28 at Sawmill Creek Golf Resort and Spa in Camlachie, Ontario, and to qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
The Investors Group Senior Women’s Championship was where things were more interesting. Heading into the round it looked like Aurora’s Mary Ann Hayward, from The Club at North Halton, was on her way to a fourth consecutive title. However, she carded a five-over (77), which opened the door for others to have a shot at the title. At the end of the round there was a three-way tie at five-over between Hayward, Uxbridge’s Gail Pimm, from the Whitevale Golf Club, and Mississauga’s Debbie Court, from the Toronto Golf Club. Pimm was two-under (70) on the day, while Court finished one-under (71).
On the playoff hole it was Pimm who made a clutch birdie to win the 2015 Ontario Senior Women’s Championship (73-78-70-221).
Pimm, Court (74-76-71-221) and Hayward (74-70-77-221) all shared the silver medal for the Mid-Amateur Championship. Court and Hayward also picked up silver medals for the Senior Women’s Championship. In addition, Pimm, Court and Hayward earned the right to represent Ontario in the inter-provincial competition at the Canadian Senior Women’s Championship, also Aug. 26-28 at Sawmill Creek Golf Resort and Spa in Camlachie.
Capturing the Senior Women’s 60+ Division title was Brockville’s Theresa deLuis. The Brockville Country Club member finished her final round five-over (77), which brought her to 14-over (81-72-77-230) for the tournament. That was good enough to clinch the title by four strokes. In the 70+ Division, the champion was Stoney Creek’s Phyllis Bennett (99-91-190), from Rockway Vineyards.
Also, being contested at the event were District Team Championships. Winning the Gross Mid-Amateur District title was the team from Kingston District made up of Ward and Trenton’s Megan Farrow. The duo finished the two-round event 26-over for the win. In the Mid-Amateur Net Championship, the team from Mississauga took top honours. The team consisted of Toronto’s Cindy Wegg and Oakville’s Anne McClure and finished at 13-over. In the Senior District Team Gross Championship, York was declared the winner at 30-over. The team members included: Etobicoke’s Marion Reid and Joanne Noble, Thornhill’s Judith Kyrinis, and Court. Finally, capturing the Senior Women’s Net Championship was the team from London District at 10-over. The team was made up of London’s Sue Postian, Cathy Koszman, Becky Ostrom and Judy Oryniak.
Also announced at the conclusion of the event was the Ontario Senior Women’s team for the 2016 Ada Mackenzie Matches with New York State. Spots for the team went to the top 10 finishers in the Senior Women’s Championship. The team will consist of Pimm, Court, Hayward, Kyrinis, deLuis, Strathroy’s Jane Hedges-McKinnon, Stouffville’s Ivy Steinberg, Dundas’ Sarah-Anne Smurlick, Toronto’s Kelly Koselek and Reid.
The GAO would like to thank the Loyalist Country Club along with all of their staff and volunteers for helping to run this event. Thanks also to the GAO volunteers and title sponsor Investors Group for their continued support of golf in Ontario.
About the Investors Group Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship
The Investors Group Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship has been contested annually since 1989 and features the province’s best female amateurs over 25. Past champions of the event include Gayle Borthwick, Terrill Samuel, Stefani Markovich and Mary Ann Hayward who has captured the trophy 14 times.
About the Investors Group Senior Women’s Championship
The Investors Group Ontario Senior Women’s Amateur Championship has been contested annually since 1962 and features the province’s best female amateurs age 50 and over. Past champions of the event include Ada Mackenzie, Kay Helleur, Gayle Borthwick, Mary Ann Hayward and World Golf Hall of Fame member Marlene Stewart Streit.