Story by Pat Payton | St. Marys Independent
It was no contest this year at the St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
Marty Rutledge easily defended his Men’s Club title, winning by a margin of 13 shots in the two-day golf championship, reduced to 27 holes (from 36) because of Saturday’s all-day rain and wet conditions.
Forty men and eleven ladies competed in the 2018 Club Championships. Due to all the wet stuff on Saturday, organizers shortened the opening round to just nine holes. Everyone played a full 18 holes the following day.
Fourth title for Rutledge
On Saturday, Rutledge opened with a three-under-par 34 and held a five-shot lead on his nearest competitor in the Men’s division. On Sunday, Rutledge opened with a 41 on the front nine, but regrouped to shoot an even-par 35 on the back to finish with a four-over 76 and win going away.
It’s his fourth Men’s title at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club.
“Marty opened the door early, but nobody in the final four took advantage of it,” said Jason Skipper. Ben Dale and 16-year-old teenager Sam Watt, a ‘C’ Flight player, were the other golfers in the final group.
Rutledge, a one-handicapper, finished with a two-day total of 110. Dale and Skipper both posted 123 totals. Dale (40-83) was the ‘A’ Flight winner over Skipper (40-83) due to retrogression.
Three, three-putts didn’t help his front-nine score on Sunday, Rutledge noted.
“It was a grind - it wasn’t pretty golf at times,” Rutledge said with a smile. “I had three three-putts to start my round today, but I settled in after that. I got into a little more rhythm on the back nine, and my putting was better on the back, too.
“I wish I would have played a little better today, but overall it was a respectable round,” he added.
The ‘B’ Flight winner was Peter Hughes, who had a 42 on opening day and an 87 on Sunday for a 129 total. Troy Carter (43-86) also had a 129, but Hughes won on retrogression.
Graham Glousher took ‘C’ Flight honours with a score of 129 (46-83), three fewer than Tom Charette’s 132 (45-87).
The closest battle on the weekend came in the Senior men’s group.
Defending champ Rich Parsons emerged as the division winner by one shot over Jim Craigmile and Neil Dust.
On Saturday, Parsons fired a two-under 35, while Craigmile finished with a 36 and Dust with a 37. On Sunday, Dust held the lead after 16 holes, but had a costly double-bogey 6 on No. 17. The slim margin of victory came on the 18th hole when Parsons managed a par 4, while Craigmile made 5.
Parsons finished with a 35-78-113 two-day total, while Craigmile (36-78) and Dust (37-77) both finished with 114s. Craigmile was the ‘A’ Flight champ and Dust the ‘B’ Flight winner. Second place in ‘B’ Flight went to Jamie Hodgins (43-76-119).
The ‘C’ Flight winner in the Senior division was Tom Jenkins (44-86). He and Dave Lay (42-88) both finished with 130 two-day totals, but Jenkins won on retrogression. Robby Smink was next with a 131 (43-88).
The ‘D’ Flight winner was Pete Vossen with a 48-87-135 two-day total. Kelvin Chambers was second with 49-91-140 numbers. Steve Graham was third (49-93-142).
In the Super Seniors division (70 and over), Paul Fitzgeorge shot two good days of golf to claim the title. The left-hander from London posted a 41-83-124 total to win by seven shots. Bill Taylor (43-88-131) of Stratford was second.
The low Net Champion in the Senior Men’s category was John Cooke.
The new Ladies Club champion is Loretta Czernis, who had a 49-95-144 two-day total. She finished five shots ahead of Jan Jenkins (53-96-149). First-day leader Janis Kapp was third with a 42-108-150 total. Kapp was also the ladies low net winner.
Club ‘C’ notebook:
Golf is a great game, and it’s even better when there’s a friendly team competition involved. One of the annual traditions at St. Marys Golf & Country Club is the President’s Cup, where members line up on different sides for a couple days of matches.