Story by Pat Payton - St. Marys Independent Newspaper
There’s a new men’s club golf champion at the St. Marys Golf and Country Club!
At Sunday’s award presentations, General Manager and Director of Golf Matt Staffen said six or seven players in the ‘A’ Flight were within striking distance of capturing the 2020 title before the day started. Bob Hearn emerged the winner after shooting consistent rounds of 77 and 76 to claim a two-shot victory over Kyle Heinbuch. One of several good young players at the club, Heinbuch posted rounds of 81 and 74.
It’s Hearn’s first-ever Club championship. He said everyone thought three-time defending champ Marty Rutledge would be the player to beat in the 36-hole event.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Hearn told the Independent Sunday. “I was Junior Club champion when I was 13. Now, a long time later, I’m men’s club champ.
“Usually, Marty plays a little better than he did this weekend. He didn’t bring his ‘A’ game and I played quite well. I played to the best of my ability, didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t miss any short putts. You can’t make mistakes and win the tournament when you’re playing a guy like Marty, who’s a scratch golfer.”
Hearn, Rutledge, Andy Cunningham and Kenny Hutton made up the final foursome Sunday.
A five-handicapper, Hearn has a great short game and he also didn’t three-putt in either round. He had splits of 39 and 37 on Sunday.
“My short game, chipping and putting, was really good this weekend,” he said. “I just tried to make pars (Sunday), and if they make birdies that’s fine. That was my philosophy (Sunday), just make pars.
“It was a grind, and you can’t give up,” Hearn added. “(Course superintendent) Sandy (Fifield) had the greens in super shape this weekend.”
Going into Sunday, Hearn and Rutledge were tied and two shots back of opening-day leader Cunningham, who posted a 75 Saturday. Cunningham, who finished with back-to-back birdies and an 84 Sunday, tipped his hat to Hearn.
“Bobby drove the ball well and he always chips and putts well,” Cunningham said. “He didn’t make any real mistakes. I was terrible coming out of the gate today. I couldn’t get any momentum going.”
With Hearn overall champion, Heinbuch took first place in the ‘A’ Division. Rutledge, who had rounds of 77 and 80, finished third. Rutledge, who has won five Club titles altogether, admitted having his putting woes on the weekend.
‘B’ Division winner was Brett Hyatt, who had rounds of 82 and 77 for a 159 two-day total. Second place went to Cameron Horne (78-86-164). Hyatt was also the overall net winner in the men’s division with a 143.
In the ‘C’ Division, Graham Glousher (88-86-174) took top spot by one shot over Wade Niezen (90-85-175).
One thing that didn’t change this past weekend was in the Senior men’s division. Rich Parsons won the title for the seventh consecutive year, dating back to 2014. Parsons, who had rounds of 67 and 73 for a 140 total, was the only golfer to shoot under par on the weekend.
“I putted well the first day, but I didn’t putt well (Sunday),” Parsons said.
The runner-up in the Senior ‘A’ Division was Jimmy Craigmile, who had solid rounds of 77 and 75 for a 152 total. Third place overall went to Jamie Hodgins (81-75-156).
Derek Van der Linden took top spot in the ‘B’ Division after shooting rounds of 80-82. One shot back was Jon Rittenhouse (84-79-163).
In the ‘C’ Division, first place went to John Cooke with a two-day total of 178 (89-89). Bill James was second (89-92-181) and Ian Grant third (93-93-186).
In the ‘D’ Division, Kelvin Chambers was first with a 182 (89-93), followed by Casey Howorth (96-89-185).
The overall low net winner from all four Senior men’s divisions was Van der Linden, with a 146.
It was “very tight” in the Super Seniors Division (70 and up) as Robby Smink (83-83-166) edged Paul Fitzgeorge (84-83-167).
The overall low net winner in Super Seniors was Garry Ransom (145).
In the Ladies Division, featuring 10 golfers, a “very consistent weekend” helped Loretta Czernis top the field with a 183 two-day total (92-91). Finishing one shot back was ‘B’ Division winner Linda Cooke (92-92-184).
With Czernis winning the overall Ladies title for the second time in three years, Deb Lemmons (98-103-201) finished first in the ‘A’ Division.
The ‘C’ Division winner was Susan McMaster (108-120-228). The overall low net winner among the ladies was Jan Jenkins (146 by retrogression).
- Matt Staffen described course conditions as “incredible” this past weekend.
- Weather conditions (both days) were hot, but nobody seemed to be complaining.
- Jimmy Craigmile described the pin placements as “interesting.” There were “some I’ve never seen before,” he said with a laugh.
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London native Len Foran, a long-time junior golf instructor and Ryder Cup player at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club has passed away.
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