By Pat Payton, Sports editor, The Journal Argus
Mike Verga, of Strathroy, Ontario, rolled in a long birdie putt on the par 4 No. 18 hole to win the annual Coca-Cola Men’s Invitation Saturday at the St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
The three-man playoff involved Verga and two St. Marys members, Rich Parsons and Daryl Sterkenburg. Parsons won the event in both 2010 and 2013.
About 80 golfers teed it up in warm, windy conditions.
Verga, who carries a 6 handicap, was in ‘B’ Flight with a 6 to 10 handicappers. Parsons, with a 2 handicap, and Sterkenburg, with a zero handicap, were in ‘A’ Flight with the 0 to 5 handicaps.
Verga, Parsons and Sterkenburg all fired three-over-par scores of 75 over the regulation 18 holes.
The first playoff hole was the par 4, No. 17 hole and all three men walked off the green with par.
Verga’s birdie putt on No. 18 was approximately 20 to 25 feet long.
Sterkenburg finished first in ‘A’ Flight, while Parsons was second. Jeff Thorne, with a 76, was third.
Don Frasier, Doug Lynch, 2014 Invitation winner Pat Anderson and St. Marys member Jon McPhail all fired 77s.
St. Marys member Jimmy Craigmile, the 2007 winner, and Justin Sherrif shot 79s.
In ‘B’ Flight, 6 to 10 handicaps, St. Marys member Eric Henkemans finished first with a 76.
Two other St. Marys members, Jon Cole and Jason Skipper, was second and third, respectively. Both lefties, Cole had a 77 and Skipper a 78.
Gerry Morrisey was fourth ‘B’ Flight with an 80, and St. Marys member Bob Hearn fifth with an 81.
Shack wins ‘C’ Flight
In ‘C’ Flight (11 to 15 handicaps), St. Marys member Paul Shackleton finished first with an 80.
Matt Camenzuli was second with an 84, and St. Marys member John Cooke third with an 85.
Marcel Lamipad was fourth with an 88, Ryan Dasilva fifth with an 88, and Mitchell’s Pete Chessell sixth with a 90.
In ‘D’ Flight (16 to 21 handicaps), Fred Cull finished first with a 90. Former St. Marys resident Ken Harrison was second with a 91. Mike Degan was third with a 97.
Several golfers commented that the wind was a factor Saturday.
“I think the wind is a factor, and the greens are quick today,” noted veteran Jimmy Craigmile.
“The course is in great shape today,” Bob Hearn added.
--There were seven golfers, including Sterkenburg, with zero handicaps in ‘A’ Flight Saturday. Sterk won a skin for a birdie on No. 14.
--Some previous winners of the St. Marys men’s Invitation were: Jimmy Craigmile (2007), Brett Nymeyer (2008), Vince Dwyer (2009), Rich Parsons (2010), Zach Faulds (2011), Zach Faulds (2012), Rich Parsons (2013) and Pat Anderson (2014).