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Golf Canada’s 2020 National Amateur Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Golf Canada Tee Block
Tsawwassen, BC – 03 August 2018 – Canadian Junior Girls Championship at Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen, BC. (Chuck Russell/Golf Canada)

OAKVILLE, ONT. (Golf Canada) – Due to continued health concerns as well as government restrictions on travel and group gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Golf Canada has cancelled all of its amateur golf competitions for the duration of the 2020 season.

The National Sport Federation had previously announced the cancellation or postponement of a number of its junior and amateur competitions scheduled through mid-June.

“National amateur competitions have been a proud focus throughout our 125-year history and while we share in the disappointment of competitors, our host clubs and event volunteers, the most important consideration is the health and safety of the people who come together at our championships,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Ongoing travel restrictions—both international and across some provincial borders—in addition to continued restrictions on larger group gatherings and limitations on player training were significant contributors to this decision. We are also sensitive to the needs of our host clubs to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their staff and members.”

The 107th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, one of the top-ranked women’s amateur events in the world that attracts many international athletes, was scheduled to begin in five weeks at The Royal Montreal Golf Club from July 21-24. In addition, the 116th Canadian Men’s Amateur which features a 264-player field was scheduled to take place at The Glencoe Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alta. from August 3-6 – marking the 125th anniversary of this storied championship. The cancellations will mark the first time since the second World War where these two national championships will not be conducted.

Golf Canada has also announced that the National Orders of Merit will not be awarded in 2020. The purpose of the points-based rankings is to identify and give recognition top-performing male and female amateur and junior golfers across Canada who have achieved success in the golf season. The decision to not award the Orders of Merit was made recognizing the varying access Canadian golfers will have to domestic and international competitions, and the resulting difficulty in running an equitable ranking system. Golf Canada will look to resume the Orders of Merit on September 1st, 2020 for the 2021 rankings. For more information, please visit the National Orders of Merit page by clicking here.

Golf Canada and Golf Ontario previously announced the cancellation of the 7th annual World Junior Girls Championship, scheduled for September 30 – October 3, 2020 at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.

Golf Canada annually conducts more than 20 championships nation-wide which play host to more than 3,000 domestic and international athletes from all corners of the world. In partnership with our host clubs, thousands of volunteers, provincial golf associations and our proud sponsors, Golf Canada is dedicated to supporting player development through world-class competition since our inception in 1895. Officiated by certified Canadian Rules of Golf referees, Golf Canada’s amateur competitions are fully compliant with golf’s international governing bodies and include marquee events such as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships as well as the Canadian Junior Girls and Junior Boys Championships. Golf Canada’s amateur championships are proudly supported by RBC, Canadian Pacific, Sport Canada, Levelwear, Titleist and FootJoy. For more information and scheduling visit www.golfcanada.ca/competitions.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

The Glencoe Golf & Country Club prepares to host Canadian Men’s Amateur in 2020

Glencoe Golf & Country Club
(The Glencoe Golf & Country Club)

CALGARY, ALTA. – There is no golf championship in Canada with a richer history than the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. First played in 1895, Canada’s oldest championship embarks on its 125th anniversary with the best amateur golfers in the world heading to The Glencoe Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alta., from Aug. 3-6, 2020.

The 2020 event marks the first time the championship will host the 264-player field on the same property (Forest & Meadows courses) since the field expanded in 2010. The inaugural Canadian Men’s Amateur was held in 1895 and has been conducted every year since (excluding times of war between 1915-1918 and 1940-1945).

Among the notable champions are Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured members Moe Norman (Kitchener, Ont.), Nick Weslock (Winnipeg, Man.), Gary Cowan (Kitchener, Ont.) and Doug Roxburgh (Vancouver, B.C.). PGA TOUR champions Nick Taylor (Winnipeg, Man.) and Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.) have also hoisted the coveted Earl Grey Cup.

“Golf Canada is fortunate to have a world-class facility step up to make history as host of the 125th anniversary of the Canadian Men’s Amateur,” said tournament director, Adam Helmer. “The Glencoe Golf and Country Club is poised to raise the bar next year and we are grateful to have their commitment, along with Tourism Calgary, to host the world’s best amateurs in Calgary together at one facility.”

Ash Chadha, general manager of The Glencoe Golf & Country Club states “Our Board of Directors, members and staff are truly excited about hosting our first Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. Both courses will undoubtedly provide a terrific test for the best amateur golfers.”

Located just outside Calgary, The Glencoe Golf & Country Club represents the highest total of Golf Canada members at any one facility, offering 45 holes to over 1,700 golfers. Tourism Calgary played an essential role in the bid process of securing the event in Calgary for 2020.

“Tourism Calgary is thrilled to welcome one of the longest-running golf tournaments in the world to our city once again,” says Carson Ackroyd, senior vice president of sales, Tourism Calgary. “Hosting the Canadian Men’s Amateur enhances Calgary’s vibrancy and contributes to our economy while sharing our story as a golf destination and ultimate host city.”

The tournament champion will receive an exemption into the 2020 U.S. Men’s Amateur and potentially a spot into the 2021 RBC Canadian Open.

Since 1984, The Glencoe Golf & Country Club has welcomed all generations of golfers to enjoy the world-class practice facility, varied golf terrain and unique amenities. The Forest course is consistently ranked in the top 100 best courses in Canada by SCOREGolf. The Meadows course has an interesting and more elevated terrain that will challenge beginners and experienced players alike.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

William Buhl wins Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship

(Justin Naro/ Golf Canada)

HAMMOND PLAINS, N.S. – A final round of 1-under-par 69 from William Buhl was enough for the Fairhope, Ala., native to capture the 115th playing of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship held at Glen Arbour Golf Course in Hammond Plains, N.S.

Buhl, who was born in Oslo, Norway, was bogey-free during the final round. His final putt of the competition on the par-4 18th hole was his lone birdie on the day, capping four consecutive rounds in the 60s.

The 22-year-old carried a five-stroke lead into Thursday’s final round, finishing the tournament at 9-under-par 273, eight strokes clear of his closest competitors.

“It probably looks boring on the scorecard, but I had to grind a little bit for those pars,” said Buhl. “I had three or four eight-to-ten footers for par. It felt great to finish off with a birdie like that, especially in front of the crowd.”

Buhl, a member of the University of Arkansas golf team, is the second Norwegian to play the Canadian Men’s Amateur in the competition’s 115-year history. With the victory, he is the first Norwegian to win a tournament on Canadian soil since Suzann Pettersen won the (now defunct) 2015 Manulife LPGA Classic as well as the 2009 CP Women’s Open.

With the victory, Buhl earns an exemption into the 2020 RBC Canadian Open, June 8-14, 2020 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club as well as next week’s 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club (No. 2 & 4).

Finishing eight strokes back of Buhl at 1 under were Calvin McCoy (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Luke Kluver (Norfolk, Neb.). McCoy ascended the leaderboard Thursday with three consecutive birdies on holes No. 2 through No. 4, while Kluver, who entered the final round alone in second, five shots back of Buhl, carded 2-over 72 for a share of runner-up honours.

Sam Meek of Peterborough, Ont., finished as the low Canadian. The 2016 Canadian Junior Boys champion’s final round of 2-under 68 moved him to even-par for the tournament, good for a share of fourth.

Jacob Eklund (Carbondale, Ill.) and Julien Sale, a Gatineau, Que., resident representing France, finished tied with Meek following matching rounds of 2-over 72 on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, Team Ontario captured the inter-provincial title to win their first Willingdon Cup since 2014. Matthew Anderson (Mississauga, Ont.), Charles Fitzsimmons (London, Ont.) and Ty Celone (Long Sault, Ont.) helped Ontario to a 10 over par score and a six-stroke win – their 32nd victory all-time.

Glen Arbour Golf Course played host to the 115th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship alongside The Links at Brunello, who co-hosted the 264-player field during the first 36 holes.

Golf Canada has also confirmed that the 2020 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship will be conducted in Calgary, Alta. at The Glencoe Golf and Country Club (on both the Forest and Meadow Courses) August 3-6, 2020.

Click here for full results.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

William Buhl extends lead to five strokes at Canadian Men’s Amateur

(Justin Naro/ Golf Canada)

HAMMOND PLAINS, N.S. – William Buhl of Fairhope, Ala., extended his lead to five strokes on moving day at the 115th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship held at Glen Arbour Golf Course in Hammond Plains, N.S.

Buhl, who was born in Oslo, Norway, carded a round of 3-under-par 67, moving to 8 under for the tournament. A member of the University of Arkansas golf team, Buhl made four back-nine birdies to open a convincing lead heading into Thursday’s final round. All three of the 22-year-old’s rounds have been in the 60s.

“I was telling myself ‘be patient’ the whole time,” said Buhl. “I’ve got the lead. There are two guys behind me, but at the same time, I wanted to play aggressive. I’m not going to change anything – that’s not the kind of person I am and that’s not the kind of player I am.”

Buhl is only the second player representing Norway to play the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in the tournament’s 115-year history, joining Kristoffer Ventura. Ventura finished in a tie for fifth in 2016 and is now playing on the Korn Ferry Tour.

“It’s good to represent Norway,” said Buhl. “It’s still part of my heritage, so being able to represent them and being able to be out in front is a great feeling. Glen Arbour is a very good golf course. It’s gettable, but also has its strong points as well.”

Sitting five strokes back of Buhl is Luke Kluver (Norfolk, Neb.) at 3 under par. Kluver entered the third round in a tie for fourth at even-par, but five front-nine birdies vaulted 19-year-old into second place.

Jacob Eklund (Carbondale, Ill.) and Julien Sale, a Gatineau, Que., resident representing France, are tied for third at 2 under. Both shot under par in round three, with Sale carding 3 under and Eklund firing a round of 2 under.

Johnny Travale (Stoney Creek, Ont.) rocketed up the leaderboard with a round of 4-under-par 66 – tied for the lowest score in the third round. Travale is a former member of the Team Canada National Junior Squad and is alone in fifth place at 1 under. The 18-year-old held a share of the lead after round one.

In addition to claiming the title of 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C. and the 2020 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8-14.

The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.

Click here for full scoring.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

Travale, Snyder and Sharpstene share lead at Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship

Justin Naro/ Golf Canada

HAMMOND PLAINS, N.S. – Johnny Travale of Stoney Creek, Ont., David Snyder of McAllen, Tex., and Matt Sharpstene of Cornelius, N.C., each hold a share of the lead after the opening round of the 115th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship held at Glen Arbour Golf Course and co-hosted by The Links at Brunello.

Travale, Snyder and Sharpstene all carded rounds of 3-under-par 67 at Glen Arbour.

Travale, a former member of the Team Canada National Junior Squad, fired a bogey-free round that included back-to-back birdies on holes No. 5 and No. 6.

Snyder birdied three of his first five holes, playing even-par golf for the rest of his round. The 21-year-old won the 2019 NCAA Championship with Sandford University.

“The best part of my game today was my driving, I just kept it in good position all day,” said Snyder. “I didn’t have any tree trouble, which is possible out here, so it kept the round nice and smooth throughout all 18 holes. Tomorrow I’d like to get a little better with my wedges from 100 to about 130 yards. I feel like I had some opportunities today that I didn’t capitalize on.”

Sharpstene birdied all three par-5’s at Glen Arbour during his first career round in Canada, but a pair of bogeys brought him back to 3 under.

“I hit my tee ball really well,” said Sharpstene. “I didn’t put myself in any bad spots today. I made a couple of putts. The driver was key, so hopefully I can keep it going.”

Julien Sale, a Gatineau, Que., product representing France, is in fourth place at 2 under.

The players will switch courses for round two – any competitor who played round one at Glen Arbour will play at The Links at Brunello and vice versa.

Team Ontario consisting of Matthew Anderson (Mississauga, Ont.), Charles Fitzsimmons (London, Ont.) and Ty Celone (Long Sault, Ont.) jumped out to an early lead in the 36-hole inter-provincial competition for the Willingdon Cup. The trio combined for a score of 7 over par and a one-stroke lead.

Team Québec is in second place at 8 under par. The Willingdon Cup champion will be crowned on Tuesday at Glen Arbour.

In addition to claiming the title of 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C. and the 2020 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8-14.

The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.

Players from a record 15 countries are competing at the 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. This is the second Golf Canada championship conducted at Glen Arbour Golf Course, as the club hosted the 2005 CP Women’s Open, won by Meena Lee. Recent Golf Canada championships held in Nova Scotia have yielded some notable winners; Adam Svensson won the 2012 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, Garrett Rank won the 2015 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur and Hye-jin Choi was crowned the 2016 Canadian Women’s Amateur champion.

Click here for full scoring.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

Glen Arbour Golf Course and The Links at Brunello set to host 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship

(Glen Arbour Golf Course)

HAMMONDS PLAINS, N.S. – The world’s best amateur golfers are set to compete in the 115th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in Nova Scotia at both Glen Arbour Golf Course and The Links at Brunello from August 5-8.

The championship was first held in 1895, making it one of the most storied sporting events in Canada and the third oldest amateur golf championship in the world. Glen Arbour will play host to 264 players from 12 countries over four stroke play rounds, while The Links at Brunello will co-host for the first two rounds prior to the 36-hole cut.

“Golf Canada is delighted to be back in Nova Scotia to conduct the 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at two terrific venues,” said Adam Helmer, the Tournament Director. “We are confident both Glen Arbour Golf Course and The Links at Brunello will challenge some of the top amateur golfers in the world as they vie for exemptions into two prestigious national championships.”

In 2018, Zach Bauchou of Forest, Va. defended his championship by winning at Duncan Meadows Golf Course in Duncan, B.C., by a three-stroke margin. Bauchou is the 22nd American to capture the Canadian Men’s Amateur crown and made his pro debut at this year’s RBC Canadian Open.

Current PGA TOUR players Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.) and Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.) are both winners of the event. Taylor won it in 2007, while Hughes won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this strong field at Glen Arbour Golf Club and welcoming this prestigious championship to our course,” said Mike DeYoung, General Manager of Glen Arbour Golf Club. “The golf course is in tremendous shape and we look forward to seeing some of the world’s top amateur competitors take to the fairways.”

“The Links at Brunello and our members are excited to be the co-host for the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship,” added Miles Mortensen, General Manager of The Links at Brunello. “Our staff has been working tirelessly to prepare for the competition and we are proud to showcase our course and our community.”

A full field of competitors will compete for the Earl Grey Trophy and the title of Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, including Team Canada’s Josh Whalen of Napanee, Ont., who was the low Canadian in 2017, Brendan MacDougall of Calgary, who finished in a tie for 16th in 2018 and Chris Crisologo of Richmond, B.C., who is the reigning South American Amateur champion.

An inter-provincial team championship will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the competition, with three-member teams vying for the Willingdon Cup. Team Québec, consisting of Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.), Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.) and Julien Sale (Gatineau, Que.) shot a combined 10 under par to capture Québec’s second straight team championship in 2018.

The field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties for the final two rounds contested at Glen Arbour.

Glen Arbour Golf Course is one of Atlantic Canada’s and Halifax’s premiere golf destinations. Designed by renowned Canadian golfer and course architect Graham Cooke, the course previously hosted the 2005 CP Women’s Open, as well as the TELUS World Skins Game, the Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive and the first Wayne Gretzky & Friends Tournament.

The Canadian Men’s Amateur Qualifier will be played at Glen Arbour Golf Course on Aug. 2 – a minimum of five spots into the tournament will be awarded. Additional information can be found here.

Co-host The Links at Brunello, located in Timberlea, N.S., was voted as one of Canada’s top 25 golf courses by Golf Digest in 2018. Designed by Thomas McBroom, the course was opened in 2015 and is regarded as one of the region’s finest.

In addition to claiming the title of 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C. and the 2020 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8-14.

The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.

NOTABLES

Josh Whalen, Napanee, Ont.
Whalen returns to the Canadian Men’s Amateur with unfinished business. The Kent State alumnus finished third with four under-par rounds in 2017, but missed the cut last year. He enjoyed a strong 2018 season that saw him earn top-5 finishes at the Flagstick Open and the Argentinian Men’s Amateur Championship. He enters the tournament ranked No. 623 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Canon Claycomb, Bowling Green, Ky.
Claycomb has represented the United States on the international stage on numerous occasions, including most recently as a member of the 2019 Wyndham Cup team. He was the youngest member of the 2017 Junior President’s Cup team. The 17-year-old was the winner of the 2017 PING Invitational, and is the 61st-ranked player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Chris Crisologo, Richmond, B.C.
Crisologo made a name for himself at the 2018 RBC Canadian Open, winning the Gary Cowan Award as the low amateur at the event. Currently studying at Simon Fraser University, he won three tournaments in 2018 – the Concordia Invitational (NCAA), the South American Amateur and the British Columbia Amateur. This season, Crisologo won the South American Amateur in February.

Noah Goodwin, Corinth, Tex.
Ranked No. 67 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Goodwin is entering his junior year at Southern Methodist University. The highlight of his junior career was winning the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. Goodwin won the Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017, becoming only the fifth player ever to do so, joining an exclusive club that includes Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Brendan MacDougall, Calgary
As a sophomore, Calgary’s MacDougall captured the Big South Conference Championship as a member of High Point University by a convincing six strokes and added four top-20 results for the Panthers. He followed his collegiate season with a T16 result at the 2018 Canadian Men’s Amateur and a victory at the Alberta Match Play Championship. In 2016, MacDougall lost in a playoff at the Future Links, driven by Acura Western Championship.

Christopher Vandette, Beaconsfield, Que.
One of the brightest prospects in Canadian golf, Vandette recently placed third at the 2019 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. As a 16-year-old, he made the cut of the 2018 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship and was in a tie for 7th following the opening round after posting a 68.

More information on the 2019 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship can be found here.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship From the Archives RBC Canadian Open

Rod Spittle returns to Hamilton for historic career milestone

Rod Spittle
Rod Spittle

While the 63-year-old St. Catharines native won’t be teeing it up with the best on the PGA Tour, it will mark the first time he’s visited the historic Harry S. Colt layout since winning the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in 1977.

It’s hard to believe that Rod hasn’t been back, but that will change when he’s inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame on Tuesday, June 4 during RBC Hall of Fame day at the RBC Canadian Open.

When the 22-year-old collegiate golfer arrived at HGCC in the summer of 1977, he was just happy to be playing at the private country club where his dad caddied as a kid in the 1940s. Nobody expected Rod to win, as seasoned BC amateur Jim Nelford was trying to make it three consecutive Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships, but Spittle’s parents watched from the sidelines as their son made a name for himself.

“It was a huge victory for me and so unexpected. I was home from school for the summer looking to play a few tournaments and it all came together,” says Rod, who didn’t play much on the Ohio State men’s golf team in his first two years – that changed after winning our national amateur championship.

“It was the biggest tournament I had won to that point. Looking back over 40-plus years of golf, it remains significant in my journey, because I learned what it felt like to win for the very first time. It gave me some confidence and the drive to take my game to a higher level,” he adds.

”To be able to go out a year later and win the title for a second consecutive time at Laval-sur-le-Lac was another incredible moment. I’m very proud of both trophies,” says Spittle, who won by a commanding 10 strokes in Quebec.

Rod’s victory at HGCC, which was hosting the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship for a fifth time, wasn’t nearly as convincing. Nelford was highly favoured to become the first person to win the championship threeyears in a row since the great George Lyon accomplished the feat from 1905 to 1907.

The opening two rounds of medal play suggested an easy Nelford victory. Jim’s first-round 69 was followed by a brilliant performance on the second day, during which he tied the course record of 64 that had stood since 1930, when the great Tommy Armour established it en route to winning the RBC Canadian Open that year.

Nelford’s 36-hole total of 133 gave him an impressive seven-shot lead over Spittle, but a third round 73 saw his lead reduced to four, before a closing-round 75 left him two shots back of the mark set by Spittle, who posted scores of 72-68-70-69 over the four days of competition.

“After the first two rounds Jim had a seven-stroke lead and all the reporters were writing that it was almost a foregone conclusion that he was going to win the championship, and that the rest of the field was playing for second and third place,” says Rod. “After the first two rounds I just dug in and tried to make every shot count. I was playing well and slowly chipped away at the lead. There wasn’t a lot of pressure on me. Nobody was expecting me to win, but in the back of my mind I believed that I wasn’t out of it.”

The two leaders didn’t play in the same group for the final round, so they only had glimpses of each other over the closing holes. Rod birdied No. 17 after hitting the green in two on the par-5, and then he bogeyed No. 18, but it was enough for the two-stroke win.

In the Willingdon Cup, the Ontario team of Gary Cowan, Ian Thomas, Nick Weslock and Spittle posted a 215 on the first day and a 213 on the second day for a total of 428, which gave them the victory by 11 shots over Alberta.

Rod graduated from Ohio State in 1978 with a degree in Business Administration. After a brief stint as a professional golfer and not enjoying life on the road, he opted to focus on supporting his family by selling insurance for 25 years in Dublin, Ohio, and continuing his passion for the game in amateur golf.

In 2006, Spittle and his wife, Ann, left their regular jobs behind and made a five-year plan to fulfill the dream of playing professional golf. In 2009, four years into that plan, Spittle’s goal of being a full-time Tour professional took a severe hit after he failed to secure his PGA Champions Tour card.

In 2010, the final year of the five-year plan, Rod was forced to Monday qualify into events. Playing with limited status, Spittle got into only five events the entire season. He Monday qualified into the final event of the year, the AT&T Championship in San Antonio, and in a storybook ending, he played stellar golf all week to beat Jeff Sluman in a playoff for his first-ever professional title. Just like that, his dream of playing professional golf, nearly dead and gone, gained new life with a full exemption for 2011 as a PGA Tour Champions winner.

Spittle stats are remarkable! In 195 starts over his 13-year PGA Tour Champions career, Rod missed just five cuts and earned more than $4M in prize money. He never missed more than one cut in any year, and played nine full seasons without missing a single cut. He had a pair of runner-up finishes, a pair of third-place finishes and 23 top-10s. He played his final PGA Tour Champions event on home soil, finishing T17 at the 2018 Shaw Charity Classic.

Rod Spittle

CALGARY, CANADA – SEPTEMBER 1: Rod Spittle of Canada hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the second round of the Shaw Charity Classic at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club on September 1, 2018 in Calgary, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

On the personal level, he and his wife Ann have three children (Leslie, Steve and John) and seven grandchildren. His mother still lives in Niagara Falls. His father passed away in 2010 at the age of 84, six months before Rod won in San Antonio.

“It’s very exciting thinking about going into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. It’s been very emotional. I’m looking forward to it, and to be able to go back to Hamilton G&CC, where I enjoyed that first win four decades ago, is going to be very special,” Spittle says. “It’s been a great run. I could never have dreamt up a story like this when I won the Canadian Am at HGCC in 1977.”

While he may not have been able to dream it, there is an undeniable symmetry to that national championship of 42 years ago in Ancaster. Rod first took up the game of golf at age 10 when his father became one of 25 original founders of Willodell G&CC in Niagara Falls. The course designer was none other than Nicol Thompson, who, from 1912-1945, was the head professional of Hamilton G&CC.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

American Zach Bauchou repeats as Canadian Men’s Amateur Champion

Zach Bauchou
Zach Bauchou (Chuck Russell/ Golf Canada)

DUNCAN, B.C. – American Zach Bauchou held on in Thursday’s final round of the 114th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows to become the 13th back-to-back champion in history.

Bauchou, a Forest, Va., native, fired a 5-under 66 in the final round to finish with a three-stroke victory at 18 under par—tying the tournament record set in 1970 by Allen Miller.

“It’s truly an honour to be a back-to-back champion at the Canadian Men’s Amateur—words can’t really express how much it means to me to come up here and defend and play as well as I did,” said the 22-year-old. “I’m truly honoured to win this tournament again.”

In 2017, Bauchou became the 22nd American to hoist the Earl Grey Cup, and now becomes the fourth American to win back-to-back championships (Han Lee, Frank Stranahan, Albert Campbell).

Zach Bauchou repeats to win the 114th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows #CDNAm 👏🏼👏🏼

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For the first time since Monday, Bauchou relinquished the lead to momentarily sit tied at 14 under par with fellow American Philip Knowles, who surged up the leaderboard early with birdies on three of his first four holes.

Bauchou pulled away on the back nine, with a momentum swing on the 15th hole where he sunk a winding birdie putt, while Knowles slipped with a three-putt from inside 10 feet.

“He [Philip] played really well, especially on the front nine, he really putted good,” said Bauchou. “My putt was right in the middle which was really nice – sometimes you need those putts to go in in order to win.”

With the victory, Bauchou receives an exemption into the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Hamilton, Ont., from June 3-9. Having already received an exemption into the U.S. Amateur via World Amateur Ranking (No. 21), Bauchou had his mind set this year on defending.

“I think the feelings are a lot different for me this year,” said Bauchou. “Today I was playing to defend, and you have a little difference in responses and I was a lot less nervous today than I was last year, which was the different this year.”

Knowles closed in solo second at 15 under par. The Jacksonville, Fla., native also shot a 64 in Wednesday’s third round to set the course record.

“Just like that you go from walking up the green, thinking you might get back to all-square to being three down with three to play,” said Knowles, who is entering his senior year at the University of North Florida. “I shot 15 under. You can’t shake your head at that, there’s a lot of circles on the scorecard.”

Elmira, Ont., native Garrett Rank finished in third place at 13 under par, also taking home low Canadian honours in the process. The 30-year-old will return to B.C. from Aug. 21-24 to compete in the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur at Victoria Golf Club, where he’ll look to collect his fourth title in five years.

“You’d like to add this one to the resume for sure,” said Rank. “Without sounding arrogant I have won a lot of Golf Canada championships so it would be nice at one point to get one of these.”

Earlier in the week, Team Quebec captured the inter-provincial title to win their second consecutive Willingdon Cup. Julien Sale (Gatineau, Que.) and Team Canada members Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.) and Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.) helped Quebec to a 10-under-par score and a seven-stroke win—their eighth victory all-time.

Duncan Meadows Golf Course played host to the 114th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship alongside Pheasant Glen Golf Resort, who co-hosted the 246-player field during the first 36 holes.

Click here for full scores.

Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

Defending champion Zach Bauchou shoots 67 to lead Canadian Men’s Amateur by two strokes

Zach Bauchou
Zach Bauchou (Golf Canada)

DUNCAN, B.C. – American Zach Bauchou fought the heat with a 4-under-par 67 in Wednesday’s third round of the 114th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship to hold a two-stroke lead at Duncan Meadows.

The 22-year-old Forest, Va., product sits at 13 under par for the tournament and has held the lead through the first three rounds. Bauchou, a junior at Oklahoma State, felt he left a lot of strokes on the course today.

“I didn’t really feel like I played that great today. I just didn’t hit it close to the hole so I didn’t have many great birdie looks,” said Bauchou, who was on his way to the practice range. “I was fortunate to only make one bogey which minimizes the damage a lot—I just need to play better tomorrow.”

Bauchou’s motivation comes from many sources, one of which included Oklahoma State teammate Sam Stevens, who now sits in a tie for third at 8 under. The pair shared a short exchange at the 17th tee to compare scores.

“I was asking Sam what he was at and he was 6 under,” smiled Bauchou. “So I was really gearing up to birdie the last two holes but I didn’t do that so that was disappointing. You know, I think I’m in a really good frame of mind to have a good day tomorrow.”

Trailing Bauchou is fellow American Philip Knowles, who shot a 64 to tie the course record (set this week by Australian Justin Warren). The Jacksonville, Fla., native sits at 11 under in solo second, narrowing Bauchou’s 36-hole lead by one stroke.

A trio of golfers sit tied for third place at 8 under par: Canadian Kaleb Gorbahn (Smithers, B.C.), Sam Stevens (Wichita, Kans.) and Cameron Young (Scarborough, N.Y.).

In 2017, Bauchou rallied from behind in the final round to win the title. On Thursday, he looks to close it out playing with lead. He tees off at 9:31 a.m. PT alongside Knowles and Gorbahn, the current low Canadian.

Team Canada graduate and NHL referee Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., sits in 6th place at 7 under for the tournament.

In addition to claiming the title of 2018 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., and the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ont. from June 3-9.

The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.

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Canadian Men's Amateur Championship

Reigning Canadian Men’s Amateur champion Zach Bauchou extends lead to three strokes

Zach Bauchou
Zach Bauchou (Golf Canada)

QUALICUM BEACH, B.C. – Defending champion Zach Bauchou battled the extreme heat in Tuesday’s second round with a 3-under 68 to extend his lead to three strokes at the 114th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.

Bauchou, a Forest, Va., native, posted six birdies against three bogeys at co-host Pheasant Glen Golf Resort heading into the final two rounds back at Duncan Meadows.

“With all the par-3s you’re going to have to hit a lot of mid-irons—I was able to hit some really good shots and I putted really well too,” said the 22-year-old, greenside at No. 18. “I had some nice looks that I capitalized on today.”

The Oklahoma State junior grew his lead by one stroke on Tuesday and looks to stay aggressive in Wednesday’s third round.

“The goal is just to play as good as I can and make as many birdies as I can,” said Bauchou. “I’ve had some short game errors where I didn’t get up-and-down, so I’ll be looking to sharpen up my short game over the next two days and keep playing aggressively—pedal to the medal.”

Alone in second place is Gatineau, Que., resident Julien Sale, who shot a 2-under-par 69 at Pheasant Glen to move to 6 under for the tournament, three back of Bauchou.

“I’m just trying to put the ball in play and then go for the green and get the putter working well,” said Sale, who grew up in France. “For tomorrow, I’ll see if I need to be a bit more aggressive depending on how the other guys do.”

Sale’s efforts played a large part in helping Team Quebec capture the inter-provincial title to win their second straight Willingdon Cup. Alongside Sale were Team Canada members Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.) and Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.), who helped Quebec to a 10-under-par score and a seven-stroke win—their eighth victory all-time.

Congrats to Team Quebec, who captured the #CDNAm inter-provincial competition by 7 strokes to capture the second straight Willingdon Cup 👏🏼👏🏼

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Team Alberta was the only other team to finish under par, closing with a score of 3 under to finish alone in second place.

Also making significant moves on Tuesday were Garrett Rank and Justin Warren. Rank, an Elmira, Ont., native and Team Canada graduate, shot a 65 to tie the course record at Pheasant Glen. The 30-year-old climbed into a five-way tie for sixth place at 3 under for the tournament.

At Duncan Meadows, Australian Justin Warren carded a scorching 64 to set the new course record (Bauchou tied the old record of 65 on Monday). Warren, a senior at Little Rock, sits tied for 24th at even par.

A total of 71 players who finished 3 over par or better have advanced to the final two rounds of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship to be contested at Duncan Meadows.

In addition to claiming the title of 2018 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., and the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ont. from June 3-9.

The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.

For full results click here.