Barrett McCarthy and Mike Crapper crowned 2015 Men’s Better-Ball Champions
TORONTO— It was a beautiful day on May 14 at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club for the playing of the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) 2015 Ontario Men’s Better-Ball Championship. In total, 56 teams (112 players) took part in the 56th running of the event.
It was a great way to kick off the GAO season as after 18 holes, a champion was not decided with three teams finishing at five-under (67). A playoff was needed to determine the winner. The teams of Russell Bowie and Jordan Gregoris, Aidan Dunphy and Benjamin Thompson, and Barrett McCarthy and Mike Crapper all went back on the course to crown a champion.
It would be the team of McCarthy and Crapper who would emerge victorious from the playoff to claim the title of Men’s Better-Ball Champions. McCarthy, from Burlington and the Beverly Golf & Country Club and Crapper from the Hamilton Golf & Country Club needed just one playoff hole to close out the victory thanks to a birdie. McCarthy’s approach shot stuck within eight-feet of the hole and from there they were able to sink their putt for the win.
It is the first GAO championship for either McCarthy or Crapper. McCarthy did finish runner up last season in the GAO Public Player Championship.
Finishing in the tie for second place were the teams of Mississauga’s Bowie and Aurora’s Gregoris along with Whitby’s Dunphy and Scarborough’s Thompson. Both teams had solid rounds, but just came up short to the eventual winners.
After receiving the trophy the winners talked about what made the difference during the round and what it was like to head into a three-team playoff. “I was actually pretty excited and ready to go,” said McCarthy.
“When we were walking off our last hole we said we weren’t sure five-under would be good enough and that we wish we could have had a couple more holes. Then everything happened so quickly with the playoff and we really didn’t have time to get nervous,” added Crapper.
“It wasn’t until the last few holes that we thought we had a chance,” said Crapper. “We didn’t give ourselves a lot of chances today, we got up and down a lot but we finished strong and that was the difference.”
The Ontario Men’s Better-Ball Championship has been played since 1959. All but two of the championships have taken place at Oakdale. The tournament is open to teams whose members both have up-to-date Golf Canada Handicap Factor of 8.4 or less at the time of online registration through the completion of the championship and each team’s combined Handicap Factor must not exceed 12.8 at the time of online registration through the completion of the championship. Previous winners of the event include: Gary Cowan, Bill Morland, Nick Weslock, Kelly Roberts, Warren Sye, Bill Swartz and Albin Choi.
Newman, Whiteside capture 2014 Men’s Better Ball title
TORONTO— Light on and off showers throughout the day could not dampen the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) first championship of the season: the Men’s Better Ball, an event that has been running since 1959. On May 15, Oakdale Golf and Country Club played host to 61 teams (112 golfers) all looking to become this year’s champions.
In the end, it was the team of Brad Newman, from Beacon Hall Golf Club, and Jud Whiteside, Thornhill Golf & Country Club, who shot a seven-under 65 on the day.
They edged out the duo of Rob Cowan, Westmount Golf & Country Club, and Dave Bunker, Brampton Golf Course, who finished with a six-under 66. Bunker came into the tournament after a strong performance in late April in Lima, Peru at the Manuel Prado and Carlos Raffo Cups.
There was a five-way tie for third at five-under 67. 2013 Mid-Am Champion Tyler McDannold, Brampton Golf Club, who also had a hole-in-one on the 11th hole, and Brett Saunders, The Club at Bond Head; Nic Powell and Harris Bundy, both from Scarboro Golf & Country Club; Ryan Tsang and Truman Tai, both from Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club; Christian McCullough, Meadowbrook Golf & Country Club, and Alex Dumais, Caledon Woods Golf Club; and Geoff Goodwin and Walt Spivak, both from The Oaks Golf Club, all took home bronze medals.
There was no doubt that the weather was a factor during the round, but Whiteside explained that they were prepared for worse. “In general we thought it was going to rain more than it did, so I think we lucked out. We just kept it hole-by-hole and shot-by-shot and didn’t think about it too much.”After the round the winners were thrilled with their victory. “It is a great feeling to win. This is my first time playing in the event and it is awesome to win the first time playing here,” explained Newman.
The team got out to a strong start during the event and never looked back. “We were three-under through four and just continued to play well throughout the rest of the day but it certainly was good to get off to a strong start like that,” said Newman.“We kept saying to ourselves let’s just focus on the next shot and not get too far ahead of ourselves. You never know what the score will be in events like this so if you just keep plugging away and hit your shots well, the score looks after itself,” added Whiteside.
The win was the first GAO championship for either Newman or Whiteside.