PETERBOROUGH— Heading into the final round of the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Men’s Amateur Championship, at the Peterborough Golf & Country Club, Hamilton’s Elliott Whitley held a six-stroke lead.
Whitley, who plays for the Lynn University Fighting Knights in Boca Raton, Florida, came out focused on seeing out the win and got off to a terrific star with a birdie on the first hole. He would finish the turn, two-under increasing his tournament total to 10-under. Meanwhile, others around him struggled. Both of his playing partners in the final group, Thornhill’s Ryan Tsang and Waterloo’s Luke Moser struggled early and dropped out of contention.
On the back nine, Whitley continued to dominate. He added another four birdies and finished the day five-under (66) to bring his tournament total to 13-under (72-67-66-66-271).
After the win, Whitley spoke about what winning the Ontario Amateur meant to him. “It feels great! I have been playing in these events for a long time and to finally win one is a great feeling. Coming into the final round I just knew it wasn’t over and I needed to play well, keep pressing and making birdies because anything can happen out here.”
Whitley credited his victory to his strong wedge play. “My wedges were great! I hit many good, close, three and four-footers from 100-yards in, which really helped my game.”
Now he will turn his attention to the Canadian Men’s Amateur, Aug. 10-13, at Weston Golf & Country Club and Lambton Golf & Country Club in Toronto, something that he is quite excited about. “I’ll be gearing up for the Canadian Amateur. I’d really like to win that and have a good finish there.”
Finishing second was Napanee’s Josh Whalen. The Napanee Golf & Country Club member shot a four-under (67) during the final round to claim the silver medal at six-under for the tournament (70-72-69-67-278).
Finishing in a three-way tie for third at one-under for the tournament were: Unionville’s Max Sear (69-69-75-70-283), Woodbridge’s Dave Bunker (71-74-70-68-283) and Shanty Bay’s Mitch Macleod (69-74-72-68-283).
After a playoff, Macleod joined Whitley and Whalen as representatives for Ontario in the inter-provincial team competition at the Canadian Men’s Amateur.
The GAO would like to thank the Peterborough Golf & Country Club, along with their staff and volunteers for helping to run the event. Thanks also to all of the GAO volunteers and title sponsor Investors Group for their continued support of golf in the province.
For the final leaderboard and all other tournament information, visit the tournament site at: http://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao15/event/gao1519/index.htm
About the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Amateur
The Investors Group Ontario 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 ( ‘49, ‘51, ‘52, ‘53), 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 (’64, ’68, ’71, ’74, ’74, ’75, ’77, ’78, ’81 & ’84).
PETERBOROUGH – A field of 156 golfers will take to the Peterborough Golf & Country Club when the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) 2015 Investors Group Men’s Amateur Championship kicks off on July 14.
“To host the most prestigious event on the GAO calendar is certainly an honour for our Club,” said Chris Jones, Head Golf Professional at Peterborough Golf & Country Club. “It speaks to the level of quality of our Club and course as well as to the history that both this event and Peterborough Golf & Country Club share. Our members are extremely excited to be able to watch the best players in our province play our course.”
“It’s very exciting for the GAO to return to Peterborough Golf & Country Club to host another major championship,” said Mike Kelly, GAO Interim Executive Director. “The Ontario Amateur is one of the strongest fields in Canadian amateur golf and there is no question the players are in for treat but a stern test in their quest to hoist the Gary Cowan Trophy.”
Players qualified for the event, which will run from July 14-17, through one of 14 qualifiers that were held throughout the province during May and June.
In addition to the title itself, the golfers will be looking to claim one of the Canadian Amateur Championship qualifying spots and the top three finishers will earn the right to represent Ontario in the inter provincial competition at the Canadian Amateur, Aug. 10-13 at the Weston Golf & Country Club/Lambton Golf & Country Club in Toronto.
With so many of the favorites from last year moving on to the professional ranks, including 2014 champion Chris Hemmerich and 2010 Champion Corey Conners, this year’s event is wide open. The only former champion in the field is 2008 winner Dave Bunker. Bunker, 50, is also a three-time Ontario Mid-Amateur Champion and recently qualified, on his first attempt, and competed in the U.S. Senior Open (June 22-28).
A trio of recent GAO winners will also tee it up with the rest of the field. Waterloo’s Matt LeMay, 2014 Investors Group Junior Boys’ Champion, Bognor’s Josiah Dixon, 2015 Men’s Champion of Champions winner, and Aurora’s Peter Willis, 2014 Baka Public Player Champion, will all look for more provincial success.
The Golf Canada national programs will be well represented with National Team member Blair Hamilton, from Burlington, Development Squad members Tony Gil, from Vaughn, and Trevor Ranton, Waterloo, all part of the field.
Team Ontario will send a trio of players to compete in the event. Unionville’s Maxwell Sear, London’s Jackson Bowery and Vaughn’s Kelvin Lim will all be participating. Lim will have the distinct honour of being the youngest competitor at just 13 years of age.
The local contingent will be comprised of Ryan Ahrens, Michael Farrugia, Luke Gavin, Christian Rutherford and Paul Stevens who all call Peterborough home.
For complete results during the tournament and full information see the tournament page at: http://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao15/event/gao1519/index.htm
Spectators are welcome to attend the event and there is no charge. The first round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. on July 14.
About the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Amateur
The Investors Group Ontario 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), PGA Tour player Jon Mills (2001), Gerry Kesselring (1949, ‘51, ‘52, ‘53) and Gary Cowan, who holds the record for the most Ontario Amateur Championships with nine (1964, ’68, ’71, ’74, ’74, ’75, ’77, ’78, ’81 & ’84).