Well, folks! That wraps up our final Major of the year! What a great weekend we had out in Sundre playing two amazing golf courses. If you've never made it up to Coyote Creek or Sundre Golf Club... you're really missing out. Both are in tremendous shape all the time and are absolute gems.
We had an excellent field out this weekend with four good sized Flights. We had perfect weather on Friday at Coyote Creek, with our awesome sponsor Wild Rose Brewery being there to hand out beer to the players as they came off 18, then ended the night with some food, drink, and laughs. We also had 8 first-timers out this weekend which was awesome as well! We always like seeing new faces and making new friends. The camaraderie on the Alberta Golf Tour is second to none. You only need to play one event to see what we're talking about... and luckily, we have one more left on Saturday, August 8 in Camrose!
Alright, let's get to the Major. We had players between 0 and 27 handicaps playing this weekend - we have a spot for ANY golfer! Some of the biggest highlights were some of the great scores we saw by the Champ Flight. After hole 7, Greg Charpentier was 4 under with Scott Wissler being 1 under! Wissler held steady at 1 under for the round while Charpentier finished at a personal best Even for round 1. Three-time winner Andrew Cook was 4 shots back at 3-over with the rest of the field a few more strokes out. For the final round at Sundre Golf Club, the Champ Flighters were the last group out and got sent off the course on before hole 5. As play resumed, some haunting bogeys showed up. The 9 Player Flight made 5 birdies all day, compared to 18 the day before. With scores bouncing back and forth all day, Charpentier came from behind to win by 1 stroke shooting an 80 to Wissler's 82. It was a hard fought battle by all the guys in this Flight and we got to see some really great golf out there.
The A Flight was anything but boring this week. There is A LOT at stake at Majors, especially this late in the season. When we've got double Order of Merit Points on the line, double Prizing, and a Championship entry on the line, these tournaments matter. When there is an unfortunate rulings decision that could potentially cause a 2-stroke penalty on multiple participants, that's a huge bummer. After much deliberation with 4 rules officials, only 1 person incurred the 2-stroke penalty. Clem Lozeau's lead after round 1 in the A Flight went from 1 to 3, with Rick Cloney, Greg Forsythe, and Brian Payne all looking to fight for victory the next round. Cloney shot another solid round, with Clem Lozeau coming in with a 2-round tying score which pushed these two into a playoff. We caught every shot of the playoff on the video - you gotta see these guys play! Congratulations to Rick Cloney for overcoming the struggles this weekend and playing some very good golf!
It's not often you come across a player who can shoot their handicap consistently in tournament golf. Usually nerves get the most of people, but this player seems to never waver from steady play. To have had the pleasure to watch this player improve from being a 23 handicap just a few short years ago... to consistently shooting low to mid 80's and winning tournaments all over the place has been amazing. Sandra Schell finished the first round at with an 82 giving her a 3-stroke lead over Robert Squibb. Squibby struggled a bit on Day 2, but Karen Kost and Stacy Lindberg exploded with some low scores at Sundre! Excellent playing by both of them, but it was too late to get ahead of Schell, who shot another soid 83 to win by 7 strokes, and lock up the Order of Merit Point Standings, which awards her the FREE ENTRY into the Championship!!! Congratulations Sandra!!
Our C Flight saw 3 new players, which is really exciting for us! We understand how intimidating it can be to sign up for a tournament when you are a higher handicap player, but rest assured you will only play with golfers of the same skill level - PLUS, they know how to have the most fun. It was a great weekend for these guys and gals who were 20+ handicaps and we saw some great golf from them too! To quote 4th place finisher Mike Stewart, "I made more birdies in these two rounds than I have in the past two years!" That's what happens when you're having fun and learning from other players! It was Gordon Desjarlais with the best round of the first round shooting a 90! Ryan Powell wasn't too far behind him with a 94. These guys made some pretty awesome shots both rounds... and it was very cool to see the improvement in all of these players just over a 2-day span. Gordon had a rough end to the tournament with a double on 18, but still locked up the C Flight with a 10-stroke victory. Congratulations!
The Mid-Tournament reception was a ton of fun and it was a blast having the chance to get to hang out together outside of the golf course! We're all really looking forward to the Championship now, but we still have one more Stableford Tournament to go at Camrose! If you've been wondering what the Alberta Golf Tour is all about, this is the perfect one to test out. No pressure, lots of fun, welcoming, nice people. It's time to come experience the AGT before the season is over!
Click here for full results from the Central Alberta Major.