Story by Pat Payton | St. Marys Independent Newspaper
Taylor Booth is a first-year member at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
The 31-year-old Londoner is also the overall 2021 Men’s Club champion after shooting consistent rounds of 74 and 75 in the G&CC’s annual two-day Club Championships this past weekend.
Booth, a one-handicapper, won by six shots.
“You have a tremendous short game,” Mitch Watt told Booth as the two players walked off the No. 9 green (the final hole) Sunday.
In an interview with the Independent shortly after, Booth agreed that his chipping and putting were the brightest parts of his game on the weekend.
“I got up and down from everywhere; it was nice to get to within a couple of feet (from the pin) every time with my chips,” he said. “I also putted well both days.”
Booth said it felt “pretty cool” to win the Men’s Club title.
“I haven’t won a Club Championship in a long time, so it’s kind of nice,” he said with a smile. “I was Junior Club champion at Cobble Hills for four or five years when I was a kid, and I was second at Craigowan (near Woodstock) three or four years in a row, so I was close.”
Booth said he loves playing the St. Marys course. “It’s a beautiful course,” he said. “I came here as a kid and always loved playing this course.”
Second place in ‘A’ Flight went to Greg Wolfkamp, who fired rounds of 78 and 77. Defending Club champ Bob Hearn (82-75) finished third. Both Wolfkamp and Hearn are 5 handicappers. For finishing second, Wolfkamp received the plaque as ‘A’ Flight winner.
John Lind began the day just two shots behind Booth, but walked off the course after completing just 12 holes Sunday and disqualified himself.
‘B’ Flight winner was Bill Sinclair, who posted scores of 82 and 79 this past weekend. Finishing second was Steve Hinz, who had rounds of 85 and 84.
‘C’ Flight winner was Jason Firby after consistent rounds of 84-84. Two shots back was Geoff Kittmer (83-87).
‘D’ Flight winner and overall low net winner was Tyler Quinn, who carded rounds of 89 and 82. Second place went to Graham Glousher (86-98).
Rich Parsons claimed the Senior men’s title for the eighth consecutive time, but he got a very stiff challenge from Merlin Malinowski this year.
The two players both shot one-over 73s on Saturday, and were still tied after 17 holes Sunday. It came down to the 18th and final hole (No. 9), and Parsons retained his title with a par, while Malinowski bogeyed the par 4 hole. Parsons finished with a 76 Sunday, one shot ahead of Malinowski.
Parsons tipped his hat to Malinowski’s fine effort.
“Jimmy Craigmile said something like ‘it’s fun when it’s close,’ but I’d rather have a four-shot lead going into the last hole,” Parsons said with a laugh. “But it was exciting. Merlin played so well over the two days.
“I didn’t putt very well on the fast greens. They were nasty fast, and tough pins. Today (Sunday), they were all tough and they were all fast. I get my name on the plaque one more time, but it will eventually stop . . . just not this year,” he added.
Malinowski was ‘A’ Flight winner in the Seniors field, with Craigmile (77-77) finishing second.
Brian Hughes, who played in the final Senior foursome Sunday, won ‘B’ Flight honours. Hughes posted rounds of 76 and 82. Eric Henkemans (83-78) was second.
Derek Vander Linden fired solid rounds of 80 and 77 to finish atop the ‘C’ Flight list. He was also low net winner among the Senior men. Second place went to Jonathan Rittenhouse (82-85).
‘D’ Flight winner was long-hitting Pete Vossen, who had rounds of 87 and 95. Runner-up was Bruce Kraemer (97-96).
In the ‘Super Seniors’ division (for golfers 70 and up), Paul Fitzgeorge (83-80) claimed a two-shot victory over Bill Taylor (85-80). Garry Ransom (87-86) was low net winner in Super Seniors.
Janis Kapp claimed the 2021 Ladies Club title after shooting rounds of 90 and 108 this past weekend. Finishing second was Jan Jenkins (97-109).
Londoner Melanie Fisher (103-100) was ‘B’ Flight winner and low net winner among the ladies.
A total of seven women competed this year. Defending ladies champ Loretta Czernis was unable to compete this year due to injury.