SCARBOROUGH — The final round of the Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Championship, July 27 at Cedar Brae Golf Club, was a back and forth affair. The day saw numerous lead changes between Orillia’s John Murphy and Pickering’s Christopher Kertsos. The two players were the first and second-round leaders respectively, so it only made sense that they would be battling on the final day for the prize.
Things began well for Murphy, from Barrie Country Club, as he was three-under through seven. Meanwhile, Kertsos, from York Downs Golf & Country Club, had some early struggles and was two-over through three. However, Murphy would bogey eight, nine and 10 allowing Kertsos to regain the lead. Both players bogeyed the 12th and 14th and it was Kertsos with a one-shot lead with four holes to play.
It came down to the final hole where Kertsos put his second shot into a hazard. That resulted in a double bogey and opened the door for Murphy. Murphy was able to get up and down for par to win the title. He finished the day and the tournament at two-over (69-73-73-215). Kertsos finished the day five-over (76), the championship three-over (72-68-76-216) and tied for the silver medal.
Barrie’s David Greenaway also finished the tournament at three-over (74-71-71-216) in a tie for the silver medal. Greenaway, began the day in the second to last group at three-over. The Barrie Country Club member had one of the more consistent rounds on the day and found himself even after nine. He went on to play the back nine even as well, which helped lift him to the podium.
Afterwards, Murphy spoke about what winning the title meant to him. “Winning this means everything. It is what we practice for and is why we play as much as we do. To win the Ontario Senior is unbelievable!”
Murphy chalked up his success during the week to his game off the tee. “For the most part, I drove the ball pretty well. Near the end, I didn’t hit it as well but you just can’t win here, with the field as tough as it is, without everything going your way.”
During the tournament, Murphy saw a first-round lead disappear after the second round. He admitted his nerves got to him but entering the third round he found a way to put it past him. “I had never held the lead at an Ontario Championship. I was pretty nervous in round two but I got through it. Coming into today I thought ‘If I handled round two, today should be fine.’”
The 65+ Division title went to Vineland’s Kerry Short. Short, who entered the day with a share of the division lead, went on to card a two-over (73) during the final round to end the tournament at 10-over (75-75-73-223).
In the 70+ Division it was New Hamburg’s George Stokes who captured the title. Stokes shot a six-over (77) on the last day to bring his tournament total to 14-over (71-79-77-227).
Murphy, Kertsos and Greenaway all earned the right to represent Ontario in the interprovincial competition at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championship, Sept. 11-14 at Kanawaki Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec.
For more information, including the final leaderboards see the tournament site at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao17/event/gao175/index.htm
Golf Ontario would like to thank Cedar Brae Golf Club, 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.
About the Investors Group Senior Men’s Championship
The Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Championship is contested annually and features Ontario’s best male amateur golfers age 55 and older. 2017 marks the 82nd playing of the event, and notable past champions include: Ontario Golf Hall of Fame members Stu Hamilton and Nick Weslock, Herb Carnegie, Ed Ervasti, and Michael Jackson.