Story by Pat Payton | St. Marys Independent Newspaper
A golfer who plans to turn professional next year won the annual St. Marys Men’s Invitational, on Saturday, July 31st at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
Jake Erwin fired an even-par 72 to top the field of 100 golfers. The 26-year-old Port Dover resident manages the pro shop at Greens at Renton, a 27-hole course near Simcoe. Erwin, who carries a plus 2.3 handicap, recently competed as an amateur in a pro event in Parry Sound.
On Saturday, Erwin collected five birdies -- including four on the par 5 holes -- as well as five bogeys. He started on the back nine in the shotgun start and his splits were 35-37.
“When I had a bogey, I followed it with a birdie or vice-versa,” Erwin said with a laugh. “It helped me stay right around even par.
“My driving on the par 5s really helped today. It gave me a shot at reaching the greens in two. It gave me a two-putt for birdie and that makes the game a lot easier.”
Erwin said he’s now played St. Marys five times, and it was the third time he’s played in the Men’s Invitation, so he was familiar with the course. He finished third overall, with a 74, in the 2019 tournament.
On Saturday, Adam Simpson was winner of the ‘A’ Flight (plus 2 to 5 handicaps) with a one-over 73. He had splits of 37-36. Second place went to Chad Cowan with a 74 (36-38).
Six golfers finished with 76s in ‘A’ Flight, including St. Marys members Ken Hutton (36-40) and Kyle Heinbuch (36-40). Due to retrogression, Hutton placed third overall and Heinbuch fifth.
In ‘B’ Flight (6 to 8 handicaps), Graham Fuller was the winner with a 76 (38-38). Second place went to Philip Cole with a 77, while local golfer Jeff Griffiths had an 80.
Mark Speed was the ‘C’ Flight (9 to 11 handicaps) winner with a 76 (34-42). Ron Dann was second with an 80.
The ‘D’ Flight (12 to 15 handicaps) winner was Kirk Ziola with an 80 (40-40). Four shots back were George Wilson and Mark Miller.
In ‘E’ Flight (16 and up handicaps), Ian Allingham was the winner with a 91 (47-44). Doug Staines was second with a 92.
St. Marys member Scott Kemp, who shot a 79, said the course played tough, but was in great shape.
“They had the pins in some tough locations and the (blue) tee-blocks were put back,” Kemp told the newspaper. “The greens were rolling really well, and the course was in beautiful shape . . . in perfect condition.”
Kemp played in a group that included Ken Hutton, Kyle Heinbuch and Mike McDonald. “Kenny and Kyle both played very, very well today,” he noted.
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