Fitzsimmons goes wire-to-wire, repeats as Men’s Mid-Am champion
Thornhill, Ontario - August 26: at the 2022 Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur Championship at The Thornhill Club
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Vogan/SPORTDAD Sports Photography
THORNHILL, Ont – Charles Fitzsimmons could not have scripted a better homecoming if he tried.
The North York, Ont. product carded an even-par 70 to win the 2022 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at his home course, The Thornhill Club in Thornhill, Ont.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Fitzsimmons.
With the win, the 35-year-old defends his title from 2021 at Fort McMurray Golf Club in Fort McMurray, Alta., and once again etches his name in the President’s Cup.
“[This one] feels even better,” said Fitzsimmons. “To do it here, to defend… it’s hard to put into words right now, it’s still kind of sinking in but it’s pretty special. This place has meant so much to me, to my family and to be able to win here is just awesome.”
Fitzsimmons grabbed a share of the lead in Tuesday’s opening round and didn’t falter. A steady diet of birdies and pars outweighed the few bogeys he made en route to the national championship. Rounds of 68, 67, 70 and 70 – all even par or better – totalled for a score of 5-under-par 275 and a five-stroke triumph.
On Friday, the lead slipped down to no less than three strokes, but even at that, Fitzsimmons says he was feeling the nerves.
“There were moments where I felt really calm and in control and good, and then moments where I felt nervous and a little more uncertain about how things were going to go,” said Fitzsimmons. “It was definitely a bit of a mental grind at times but, again, I just always felt the warmth and the support from the Club and there’s so many great members here, it was able to bring me back.”
With the win, Fitzsimmons ears an exemption into the 2023 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
Curtis Markusson was crowned champion of the Men’s Mid-Master division – a subdivision for players 40 and over – and with it, was awarded the Canadian Men’s Mid-Master Trophy.
“Well, I feel old, but also it feels great because like I said earlier, it takes a thousand swings to get here, and it’s on the bucket list so it’s quite emotional,” said Markusson.
Admittedly, it wasn’t the 41-year-old’s best round of golf, but he held on to win by one stroke over Rob Couture (Dallas, Texas) and Mike Dinner (Burlington, Ont.). Markusson says he knew exactly where he stood in crunch time.
“We’re leaderboard watchers whenever you’re in the thick [of things],” said the Gimli, Man. native. “We figured we have to grind in, and we saw some mistakes and knew that we’d just have to bring it in, but the stressful three pars coming in isn’t easy.”
Markusson got up-and-down for par out of the greenside bunker on No. 17 and rolled in a two-foot par putt on No. 18 to clinch the title.
Warren Sellors, of Hudson, Que., finished as this year’s runner-up at even-par on the tournament. Sellors’ 4-under-par 66 in Wednesday’s second round matched the low score of the week and propelled him up the leaderboard. He closed the competition with a 1-under 69 to vault into second place.
Brett Nymeyer (+2), Ryan Tsang (+3) and Barrett Jarosch (+4) round out the top five. The top-10 finishers and ties will earn a direct exemption into the 2023 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at a location to be determined.
Earlier in the week, On Wednesday, Team Ontario claimed the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy as champions of the Interprovincial Team competition. The victory marked the sixth consecutive provincial title for Ontario and 16th in the 29-year history of the team event.
Fitzsimmons maintains lead ahead of final round at Men’s Mid-Am
THORNHILL, Ont. – The rain came and went on Thursday at The Thornhill Club, but, as it has all week, Charles Fitzsimmons’ lead remained through three rounds of the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, presented by BDO.
Fitzsimmons didn’t even make it to the fairway on No. 1 before the rain started coming down. It was relentless, but so was he. Through the downpour, Fitzsimmons made a pair of birdies in his opening three holes to increase his lead to six shots in that moment. Bogeys on Nos. 6 and 7 offset the early birdies to re-establish the four-stroke lead that the defending champion will hold going into tomorrow’s final round.
“It brought me back to being a kid out there. No one would want to play, so I had the course to myself,” said Fitzsimmons of the heavy rain in the early stages of his round.
“I really just tried to hit a golf shot, then try to hit another and was fortunate enough to hit a couple of good ones and make some putts. Honestly, kind of a little surprised that it got off to such a good start in such tough conditions but that was nice.”
Fitzsimmons, who was born in North York but has since relocated to London, Ont., not only has an advantage on the golf course going into the final 18 holes, but off the playing surface as well. The Western University alumnus graduated with a PhD in Sports Psychology and now works as a Mental Performance Coach. If there’s anyone that can block out tomorrow’s noise, Fitzsimmons is as safe a bet as they come.
“It’s been a huge part of my development as a player and what’s helped me to get better over time and to be bale to stay calm and focused under pressure so that I can get some wins and play well in these bigger events,” said the 2021 Men’s Mid-Am champion. “There’s nothing that makes me happier than be able to coach somebody and help them to play better, but obviously it helps my own game too so it’s kind of nice that way.”
Fitzsimmons shot an even-par 70 on the day and will vie for his second consecutive Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship on Friday.
Ryan Tsang and Curtis Markusson are the men chasing him. Tsang also carded an even-par 70 to remain four strokes back of the lead. The Thornhill, Ont., native got out to a bumpy start, making bogeys on holes 1 and 6, but Tsang found his mojo with birdies on 8 and 9.
“Early in the day was lots of rain, so I tried to keep it together [and] not get too wet,” said Tsang. “Overall, played pretty good; parred every single hole on the back nine, really big par on 15 and really big par on 18.”
As for his game plan tomorrow: “Just go out there and have fun.”
Markusson is five off the lead following a one-over par 71. The Gimli, Man., native posted two bogeys, one birdie and 15 pars in the third round. He, too, is just looking to have fun on the golf course tomorrow. “I just prefer playing golf and the competition. It’s such a good atmosphere and there’s so many great players across the country […] If you can’t get excited for this in the game of golf at any time of day, you shouldn’t be golfing,” Markusson laughed.
The 40-year-old holds a four-stroke advantage in the Men’s Mid-Master division – a subdivision for players 40 and over. Mike Dinner is in second place, four strokes shy of Markusson’s lead.
On Wednesday, Team Ontario claimed the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy as champions of the Interprovincial Team competition. The victory marked the sixth consecutive provincial title for Ontario and 16th in the 29-year history of the team event.
Ontario victorious again; Fitzsimmons in full control at Men’s Mid-Am
THORNHILL, Ont.– Team Ontario captured the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy as interprovincial champions at the 2022 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, presented by BDO. In its 29-year history, Ontario has now captured the title a record 16 times.
The trio of Cam Burke, David Lang and Brett Nymeyer combined for a total score of 3-over-par to edge Alberta by a single stroke on Wednesday at The Thornhill Club in Thornhill. Ont. It is the fifth time since the beginning of the event in 1992 that the province has won the trophy on home soil.
Charles Fitzsimmons continued to pace the field in round two as he seeks to defend his national title. For the second consecutive day, the 35-year-old handled his own through difficult conditions and challenging pins at The Thornhill Club, firing a 3-under-par 67 to extend his lead to four at the midway mark of the championship.
A pair of birdies on the front nine kickstarted Fitzsimmons’ round and an encore was delivered on No. 15 by way of an eagle to get the hometown favourite to 3-under on the day.
Curtis Markusson, Ryan Tsang and Warren Sellors made the biggest splashes on Wednesday, each carding rounds of 4-under par 66 to jet up the leaderboard and back into contention. Markusson and Tsang are T2 at 1-under par on the tournament, while Sellors creeped 37 spots up the standings into a tie for fifth.
A bogey to start the day set Markusson back to 4-over-par on the tournament, but that was as far back as the Gimli, Man., native would fall. The 40-year-old converted on seven birdie putts thereafter – including six in an 11-hole stretch – to reposition himself in the thick of the action.
“Just keep going, and kind of forget about the good things as soon as they happen and just think you’re still grinding to try to make the cut,” said Markusson about his hot stretch. “You know, there’s a lot of good players out here and you never know what can happen; a couple of bad swings or a couple of good swings, either way, so you just stayed focused, one shot at a time. You versus you is the mentality basically to play well.”
Markusson, who has relocated to Winnipeg, Man. where he plays at St. Charles Country Club, says lots of green and lots of fairways were the key to his low round today. Monday’s cancelled practice round was taxing for most of the players in the field, but Markusson saw it as a glass half full.
“If you see too much sometimes you get too in your head and you don’t see enough it’s sometimes a good fresh run,” he said. “You visualize it a bit more and you come out the next day and you’re visually set which is nice.”
Markusson’s 66 also gives him the lead in the Mid-Master division – a subdivision for players 40 and over.
Tsang, a native of Thornhill, Ont., capped off a 4-under-par stretch between holes 3-8 with an eagle on the par-5 8th. Bogeys on Nos. 12 and 14 put a halt on his round, but a pair of birdies down the stretch vaulted him back into a tie for second.
Sellors, out of Hudson, Que., was bogey-free in round two. The runner-up in Quebec’s Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship birdied holes 1, 6 and 8, before dropping a final birdie putt on No. 17 to settle into the top-5 heading into the final two rounds of the championship.
After Wednesday’s second round, the field was cut to the low 70 players and ties, including the low 15 players in the Mid-Master division. Round three is scheduled to tee off at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.
Defending champion Fitzsimmons opens strong at Men’s Mid-Am
THORNHILL, Ont. – Mother Nature put a damper on Monday’s practice round, but skies were clear as day for the opening round of the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, presented by BDO, on Tuesday at The Thornhill Club in Thornhill, Ont.
Charles Fitzsimmons used the home course advantage conveniently, carding a bogey free, 2-under-par 68 to grab a share of the lead.
“It was a really, really good day,” said Fitzsimmons. “The pins were in some really good spots and the wind was blowing for most of the round so it was a challenge. Felt fortunate to be able hit some good spots and be able to play a pretty solid round.”
The 35-year-old knows how to win this tournament. In 2021, his final round 67 propelled him into the winner’s circle at Fort McMurray Golf Club and with a lot of golf left to play, Fitzsimmons knows it’s not about how you start the tournament, it’s how you finish.
The Western University graduate played his junior golf at The Thornhill Club and won a club championship here in 2005. Today, his status remains active at the Club as an out-of-town member. Results aside, Fitzsimmons says he’s just excited to be back home.
“This place is really, really special to me,” said Fitzsimmons. “It’s been a huge part of my life in golf and any chance I get to compete here is such an amazing opportunity. To be able to compete here as the defending champion is pretty special, so I’m pretty happy just being able to be here and enjoy it and to play like today was just icing on the cake.”
Fitzsimmons made consecutive birdies on holes 17 and 18, his ninth and tenth holes of the day, and the rest of his scorecard was clean as a whistle.
Zachary Hallborg of Welland, Ont. matched Fitzsimmons’ low score of the day, rolling in six birdies to earn a stake of the lead. Hallborg, who plays out of Cardinal Lakes Golf Club, caught fire in the early stages of his round, making five birdies and two pars through a seven-hole stretch, but dropped a few strokes coming in.
Steven Jackson and Brett McKinnon fired rounds of 1-under-par 69 and sit one shot back of the leaders ahead of Wednesday’s second round. Jackson’s five birdies on the day were tied for the second most behind Hallborg.
Three-time champion Garrett Rank is tied for fifth after an even-par 70. Joining Rank in the T5 position are Sam Harris, Ryan Sevigny and Jesse Galvon.
John Walsh leads the Mid-Master division – a separate division for players 40 and over – by one stroke. The Prince Edward Island native shot a 1-over-par 71 in the opening round.
Nova Scotia owns a one-stroke advantage in the Interprovincial Team competition over Alberta and Ontario. McKinnon’s 1-under and Leon Carter’s 3-over contributed to the total team score of 2-over-par 142. The team event will conclude following tomorrow’s second round with the winner being award the Bruce Forbes Trophy.
Charles Fitzsimmons rallies to win 34th Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
Charles Fitzsimmons (Brodie Evans/Golf Canada)
Fort McMurray, Alta. – Charles Fitzsimmons shot the lowest round of the tournament to win the 34th Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Fort McMurray Golf Club on Friday.
“It still hasn’t quite set in yet,” said Fitzsimmons. “This has definitely been a long-term goal of mine and definitely a dream, so it just feels unreal.”
The London, Ont., native previously held both the 18 and 36-hole leads before a third-round six-over 78 put him five shots back of the leader, Neil Thomas of Edmonton at one under, heading into Friday’s final round.
But Fitzsimmons bounced back on Friday with the championship low round – a bogey-free five-under 67 – to win by four strokes over Thomas who shot a 76.
Matt Williams of Calgary and Justin Wood of Saskatoon finished tied for third at five over, while David Lang of Toronto rounded out the top five at six over.
In addition to shooting the lowest round of the tournament, Fitzsimmons’ final score – a one-under 287 – was the only final score under par in the entire field.
Going into this week, Fitzsimmons was the highest ranked amateur in the field at No. 1247 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Fitzsimmons has been in the mix for the past three Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championships with his previous best finish coming in 2019, when he finished third. That year he also won the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Fitzsimmons played on the Western University Men’s Golf Team between the 2006 and the 2018 seasons, where he won the OUA Championship in 2017. Fitzsimmons now coaches sport psychology and said focusing on breathing and engaging in the moment – things he coaches his athletes on – were the keys to his success on Friday.
With the victory, Fitzsimmons earns exemption into the 2022 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, Aug. 1 to 4.
“Any chance to get to play a national championship is always an honour that way, and I’m just excited to be able to go and compete again next year,” said Fitzsimmons, who finished tied for fifth at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship earlier this month at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont where Max Sekulic rallied to victory.
The Mid-Master division – run concurrently with the Mid-Amateur division for players 40 and over – was decided in a playoff between Ben Bandura of Selkirk, Man., and Glenn Robinson of Middle Sackville, N.S., where the latter came out victorious.
Fort McMurray Golf Club set to host 34th playing of Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
Fort McMurray Golf Club in Fort McMurray, Alta.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The top Canadian men’s amateur golfers over the age of 25 will head to Fort McMurray, Alta., for this year’s Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Fort McMurray Golf Club from Aug. 24 – 27.
The 122-player field includes two retired NHL players, Max Reinhart and Michael Cammalleri. Reinhart, brother of current Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart, played 23 games for the Calgary Flames between 2012 and 2015. He played in the 2019 B.C. Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master Championships at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club in Abbotsford, B.C., where he finished tied for fifth.
Cammalleri spent 17 seasons in the NHL between 2002 and 2018 where he played in 906 games, racking up 294 goals, 642 points and 425 penalty minutes. The 39-year-old most recently was in the field for the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont.
Charles Fitzsimmons of London, Ont., is the highest ranked amateur in the field at No. 1247 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Fitzsimmons finished third at the 2019 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and has also finished in the top 5 at the previous three national championships.
Other notables in the field that finished in the top ten at the 2019 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship include Mike Aizawa (Richmond, B.C.) at 5th, David Lang (Toronto) at 6th, and Ryan Sevigny (Ottawa, Ont.) at 9th.
Nestled along the banks of the Athabasca river, the Fort McMurray Golf Club is ranked one of the must play golf courses in Alberta by The Edmonton Sun. The 27-hole facility features a variety of shots both over valleys and creek beds along with large greens of varying degrees of undulation.
The Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event, with a 36-hole cut to the low 70 players and ties. In the event of a tie at the end of four rounds, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff immediately following completion of 72-holes. The Mid-Amateur division will run concurrently with the Mid-Master division for players 40 and older. The Mid-Amateur champion will earn an exemption into the 2022 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
Previous winners of the tournament include Canada’s top-ranked men’s amateur golfer and NHL referee Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., won the event three years in a row between 2014 and 2016; Graham Cooke who won it seven times between 1987 and 2002; and Stu Hamilton who won it on four separate occasions between 1990 and 1994.
Click here for the full field and tournament information.
Charles Fitzsimmons (London, Ont.)
Fitzsimmons is currently ranked at No. 1247 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and once had a career high ranking of No. 301. He played on Western University’s Men’s Golf Team for 12 seasons between the 2006 and 2018 seasons. In 2019, he won the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and finished third at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Brandon Markiw (Calgary, Alta.)
Brandon Markiw is currently ranked No. 1530 on the WAGR. In early June of this year, Markiw won the Alberta Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. His best finish at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship came in 2016 when he finished tied for 12th.
Ryan Sevigny (Ottawa, Ont.)
In 2019, Ryan Sevigny finished ninth at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and finished tied for second at the 2016 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Matt Williams (Calgary, Alta.)
Matt Williams is a former member of the Team Canada Junior Squad (2014). Williams finished tied for eight at the 2017 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, and runner-up at the Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship in 2016.
The Championship was first contested in 1987 and was originally known as the RCGA Pre-Seniors Championship before it was renamed to its current name in 1989.
Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que. and Stu Hamilton of Brampton, Ont. captured 11 of the first 20 championships played. Cooke was the inaugural champion in 1987 and has the most event wins with seven.
Three players have won the event three times in a row: Garrett Rank, Dave Bunker and Graham Cooke – no one has won it four straight years.
The format changed from match to stroke play in 2006, with the Mid-Master category introduced for golfers over the age of 40.
In 2019, Team Ontario won the inter-provincial R. Bruce Forbes Trophy for the fifth straight year.
Golf Canada’s 2020 National Amateur Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
(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.
American Joseph Deraney defends Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
(Jeff Vogan/ Golf Canada)
RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – Joseph Deraney knows exactly where he will be on June 11, 2020.
The Belden, Miss., product carded a final round of even-par to defend his Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, earning an exemption into the 2020 RBC Canadian Open.
“I didn’t hit it very well,” said Deraney. “I was getting tired – my legs are hurting. I had a couple of incredible up-and-downs that kind of helped save the round. I was pretty steady.”
Deraney, 36, started the final round at Summit Golf Club in a tie for the lead with Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont. He was able to rebound from back-to-back bogeys on holes No. 5 and No. 6 to win the championship by one stroke.
Deraney took the lead on the par-5 No. 16 with a birdie. Rank held a four stroke lead on the front-nine, but had bogeyed the two previous holes. With the birdie giving Deraney a one-shot lead, the two golfers parred the rest of the holes down the stretch. Rank had a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to force a playoff, but missed it to the right.
This is Deraney’s second straight year earning an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open. He played the tournament in 2019, missing the cut.
“I’m pretty stoked about that,” said Deraney. “The field was so good last year. The golf course was so good. Getting to hit balls next to major champions was a once in a lifetime experience…I thought.”
Rank finished the championship at 5-under-par with a final round of 1 over 72.
Charles Fitzsimmons came in third place at 2 under for the tournament, carding a final round of 3 over. The longtime member of the Western University men’s golf team has finished in the top-five of each of the past three Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championships.
Philip Arci of Vaughan, Ont., finished at 1 under in fourth place, while Mike Aizawa of Richmond, B.C., rounded out the top-five at 1 over.
Derek Meinhart of Mattoon, Ill., won the 40-and-over Mid-Master division with a 72-hole score of 4 over. Meinhart carded a final round of 2 under, making six birdies to win the division by two strokes.
“I’ve been hitting it really well all week, but I haven’t been making putts,” said Meinhart. “Today I got a few to fall. I enjoyed this golf course all week and the challenge that it brought. This is my fourth year [playing the Canadian Mid-Amateur]. I enjoy it and look forward to it every year. I brought the family this year, so we had a great time.”
Meinhart was Deraney’s caddie when the latter played the RBC Canadian Open in 2019, and Deraney is planning on having his countryman on his bag again in 2020.
Mike Dinner of Burlington, Ont., finished runner-up in the Mid-Master division at 7 over, while Ryan Kings of Kitchener, Ont., came in third at 9 over.
On Wednesday, Team Ontario defended their inter-provincial team title, securing the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy for the fifth straight year and the 15th time overall.
Deraney and Rank tied for lead heading into final round of Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – It’s tight atop the leaderboard heading into the final round of the 33rd Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship held at Summit Golf Club, with Joseph Deraney of Belden, Miss., and Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., sharing the lead.
Deraney, the defending champion, ascended the leaderboard by carding a 3-under-par 68, the lowest score in round three.
“It was windy and it’s very blustery,” said Deraney. “It blows in between the trees. The pins were in some really good locations, so it’s a tough golf course. We knew anything under-par was going to be a good score.”
“Last year I wasn’t that far out,” said Deraney. “I was in the second-to-last group and clearly visible to the guys behind me. Again, this golf course is set-up pretty difficult. You have to keep hitting shots. If you need to start pressing towards the end, you can do that, but the first 14 to 15 holes you just have to play good golf.”
Mike Aizawa of Richmond, B.C., is alone in fourth place at 1 under for the tournament, shooting a 2-under-par 69 in the third round.
Philip Arci (Vaughan, Ont.) rounds out the top-five at even-par.
In the 40-and-over Mid-Master division, Mike Dinner of Burlington, Ont., has opened a three-stroke lead. Dinner carded a round of 2 under on Thursday and now sits at 3 over for the tournament. He is in eighth place in the Mid-Amateur division.
Derek Meinhart (Mattoon, Ill.) and Ashley Chinner (Brooklin, Ont.) are tied for second at 6-over-par.
In addition to the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title, the 2019 champion will receive an exemption into the 2020 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
Garrett Rank leads by two at Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship
RICHMOND HILL, Ont. – Garrett Rank increased his lead by shooting a 1-under-par 70 in the second round of the 33rd Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship held at Summit Golf Club.
Rank entered Wednesday with a one-stroke lead and made three birdies and two bogeys in the second round to move to 6 under for the tournament. His advantage over the field is now two strokes after 36 holes.
“It was kind of tricky with the wind, and the greens were definitely a lot firmer than they were yesterday afternoon,” said Rank. “I’m not happy with my back-nine. I probably gave away four shots, which makes lunch taste a little worse, but it’s a long week and we’re only halfway through.”
Rank’s round got off to an ideal start. Teeing off on the par-3 No. 10, his tee shot carried over the green. The 31-year-old then chipped in for birdie from 30 feet while standing on a steep incline.
“I hit a really good shot off the tee, just with the wrong club,” added Rank. “I was in a bit of a pickle there and hit a great chip. I was lucky for it to go in. It was a nice start after kind of a bad decision off the tee.”
Sitting in second place and two strokes back of Rank is Charles Fitzsimmons of London, Ont. Fitzsimmons ascended the leaderboard with a round of 4 under 67, the lowest score of the second round. He made an eagle on the par-5 No. 14 and recorded two birdies to move into second.
“I just hit the ball really, really well,” said Fitzsimmons. “All of my shots were on point. I got a couple of putts to drop at key points to keep things going, but I really was just hitting it well all day.”
“I hit my approach shot a little to the right and just got a really good bounce off the front slope,” said Fitzsimmons when asked about his eagle. “It rolled up to 30 feet below the pin – it’s tough to get it there. I had a really nice look at it and just put it right in the jar.”
Defending champion Joseph Deraney of Beldon, Miss., carded 2 under on Wednesday. He now sits alone in third place at 3 under for the tournament.
Mike Aizawa of Richmond, B.C., and Philip Arci of Vaughan, Ont., round out the top-five at 1 over.
Ryan Kings of Kitchener, Ont., Derek Meinhart of Mattoon, Ill., and Ashley Chinner of Brooklin, Ont., lead the 40-and-over Mid-Master division. All three sit at 3 over par for the tournament, nine shots behind Rank in the Mid-Amateur division.
Team Ontario continued their tradition of dominance in the inter-provincial competition. The trio of Fitzsimmons, Arci and Simon McInnis of Toronto, combined to finish the 36-hole competition at 3 under par, 12 strokes ahead of runners-up Team Québec.
It’s Ontario’s fifth straight year winning the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy. It is also the province’s 15th win all-time in the inter-provincial team competition, the most since the division was established in 1992.
A total of 72 players who finished 12-over-par or better have advanced to the final two rounds. The third round is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. local time on Thursday.
In addition to the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title, the 2019 champion will receive an exemption into the 2020 RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.