Dave Bunker and Stephen Jensen remain tied for the lead in individual Senior Championship
Pemberton, B.C. – Team Alberta shot a combined score of 2-under to win their third consecutive Senior Inter-Provincial Team Championship at the 2023 Canadian Men’s Senior Championship, presented by BDO at Big Sky Golf Club in Pemberton, B.C. on Wednesday.
Team Alberta finished seven shots clear of Team New Brunswick, who finished in second at 5-over, with Team Manitoba in third place at 10-over. Alberta opened the day with a four shot lead and were led by Ken Griffith of Red Deer, Alta. who shot an even par 72 on Wednesday. Teammate Brian Laubman of Edmonton shot a 2-over 74, with his score also counting, while James Varnam, also of Edmonton shot a 4-over 76.
“Being on the team is a great honour in our province. Alberta takes the team event very seriously and we have a lot of very competitive golfers. It means a lot; we’re representing all of the Alberta golfers and we really enjoy that and it’s a great honour to be able to play at national level and represent your province,” said Ken Griffith, who has won back-to-back inter-provincial team titles with Alberta.
“Feels wonderful. It’s the third senior win for myself. I’ve made a total of 11 provincial teams, but the senior teams, I think are the best. Playing with guys that really good friends and we have a lot of fun off the course, but we try to beat each other’s brains out on the course which makes it all that much better. To share this with these guys is an honour,” added Brian Laubman.
James Varnam was playing for the Alberta Senior Men’s team for the first time and was very proud to play for his province, “even at the events before we got here, we met and we talked and it has tremendous meaning to everybody in Alberta, especially the seniors to be on this team. I’m delighted, I just feel grateful to be a part of this.”
Big Sky played to tougher conditions on Wednesday, with Dave Bunker and Stephen Jensen both finishing with rounds of 2-over 74 to remain tied for the lead in the Senior Championship division at 5-under.
Bunker of Ridgeway, Ont. put in a solid round, recording 16 pars and only two bogeys on Wednesday. Jensen of England had a tough finish to the front nine with a triple bogey on nine but played the back nine at 1-under with one birdie and eight pars for his round.
The duo increased their lead to three shots over a trio of golfers at 2-under heading into Thursday’s third round. Rupert Kellock of England and Team Alberta’s Ken Griffith both posted rounds of 72 to remain at 2-under for the tournament. Doug Hanzel of Savannah, Ga. shot a 2-over 74 to drop two strokes and is at 2-under for the tournament. The 2017 runner-up maintains the lead in the Super Senior division by three shots over 2018 Canadian Men’s Senior Champion, Brady Exber of Las Vegas, who sits at 1-over.
Following today’s round, the cut has been set at 12-over with the top 74 players advancing to the final two rounds in the Senior division of the national championship. The tournament began with a field of 156 golfers competing for the John Rankin Memorial Trophy with the winner receiving an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. The Super Senior division will have 15 golfers making the cut and progressing to the final two rounds.
For the full leaderboard of the 2023 Canadian Men’s Senior Championship, please click here.
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