Highlights from the 2016 Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, June 21-23, at Lambton Golf & Country Club in Toronto. Oakville’s Matthew Sim won the title in a playoff.
2016 Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship Highlights
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.
For full tournament information, including the final leaderboard, see the tournament site at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao16/event/gao163/index.htm
Investors Group Mid-Amateur Championship set to embark on Lambton G&CC for first time in club history
TORONTO— For the first time in club’s 114-year history, Lambton Golf & Country Club will host the Investors Group Ontario Mid-Amateur Championship, June 21-23.
Lambton is no stranger to hosting provincial events. The club has held two Ontario Men’s Amateurs (1961, 1971), two Ontario Ladies Amateurs (1951, 1973), a trio of Senior Men’s Amateurs (1942, 1944, 1952), and a Junior Boys’ Amateur (1943). In addition, Lambton was the co-host of the 2015 Canadian Men’s Amateur Champion.
This year, a field of 144 golfers will tee it up for the three-day, 54-hole competition. Players qualified for the event through one of eight qualifiers that were held throughout the province during the month of May.
“The players in the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur championship are in for a treat when they tee it up at the recently renovated Lambton course,” said Dave Colling, Golf Ontario Director of Rules and Competitions. “The combination of a strong layout, a finely-conditioned course and a large club volunteer contingent will make for a great week for all the competitors.”
This year’s field will be another strong one. While defending champion, Elmira’s Garrett Rank, is unable to defend his title, three-time champion, most recently in 2014, Woodbridge’s Dave Bunker, will lead the field. Bunker is also a three-time Canadian Mid-Amateur Champion (2008-10).
Other former champions will also be part the field, including Woodstock’s Drew Symons (2012) and 1999 Ontario Amateur Champion, Toronto’s Peter McCarthy (2006, 2008), and Collingwood’s Michael Jackson (2003), who is also a three-time Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur Champion.
The field also includes numerous Ontario champions from many of Golf Ontario’s recent events. Wellesley’s Rob Cowan is a two-time Ontario Champion of Champions (2014, 2010), has won the Mid-Master division of the Mid-Amateur Championship (2008) and the Ontario Men’s Match Play Champion (2002). Oakville’s Larry Cooper is an Ontario Senior Men’s Champion (2014), Aurora’s Peter Willis has captured the Ontario Public Player Championship (2014), as has Brampton’s Arnold Johnson (2015, 2011), and Scarborough’s Dan Kavanagh (2013). Teeing it up this week will also be Brooklin’s Ashley Chinner. Chinner is a past PGA of Canada Champion and was the low Canadian at the 1998 Canadian Open, finishing 13th overall.
In addition to the title itself, the golfers will be looking to claim one of the Canadian Men‘s Mid-Amateur Championship qualifying spots and the top three finishers will earn the right to represent Ontario in the inter-provincial competition at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Aug. 23-26, at Golf Château-Bromont, in Bromont, Quebec.
With so many players who have tasted success in the past at numerous levels, this year’s Investors Group Ontario Mid-Amateur Championship should be a hotly contested one.
Spectators are invited to Lambton to check out action throughout the week. The opening round begins on June 21st at 8 a.m. For complete information, including pairings see the tournament site at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao16/event/gao163/index.htm