HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
In the course of a golf season, Eagle Creek’s Ryan Sevigny expects to shoot about 10 rounds in the 60s. As the 2021 competitive campaign begins to fade, he hadn’t dipped into the 60s as of last Wednesday.
But Thursday, Aug. 26, was a new day and it would be filled with excitement. After opening with back-to-back three-over-par 76s at the Canadian men’s mid-amateur championship at the Fort McMurray Golf Club, he hit the jackpot.
Playing with irons off the tee to stay out of the dense brush lining the fairways, Sevigny recorded five birdies against two bogeys and 11 pars for a three-under 69 and fifth place in the standings. He fashioned the low round of the day.
“My season has been OK, but not up to par. I haven’t met my expectations,” Sevigny said. “I’m not scoring, not piecing it all together.”
Sevigny finished with a final-round 74, which was highlighted by three birdies, to finish in a tie for sixth place at 295. But his third top-10 result in the past five national mid-amateur championships did earn him an exemption for 2022.
“I didn’t think I would be in the second-to-last group (on the final day) with a chance to win. I was very proud of myself. I have one more competitive tournament and, if I finish strong, that will help ease the pain,” he added.
Sevigny, who placed second in 2016 at his first Canadian mid-amateur for players 25 and over not pursuing a pro career, will end his season at the previously-postponed Spring Open in Beaconsfield, Que.
He played with eventual winner Charles Fitzsimmons of London, ON., in the final round. After six holes, Sevigny was plus-two and Fitzsimmons was minus-three. On the 18th green, Sevigny congratulated Fitzsimmons (70-72-78-67-287) for his win.
For the final 36 holes on the Fort McMurray course, which was devastated by fire in 2016 and a flood in 2020, Sevigny was the second best golfer in the championship, shooting a one-under 69-74-143.
“I look at that as an accomplishment. Overall, I’m very satisfied,” Sevigny said. “That (low round) put me within striking distance (of first place). It was big for my confidence. I’ve struggled with my game.”
Meanwhile, Royal Ottawa’s Brendan Kuffner won the men’s title at the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Cup Championship on his home course, shooting a four-over-par 75 before beating Brockville’s Craig Brennan on the second playoff hole.
Diane Dolan of Hylands was the women’s OVGA Cup winner with a three-over 76, while Teri De Luis of Brockville was second at 80. John Taylor of eQuinelle was the senior men’s champion (75) and Greg Clarke of Ottawa Hunt was second (76).
At the OVGA match-play championships, Ottawa Hunt’s Dwight Reinhart defeated Brockville’s Craig Brennan 1 up in the men’s final. Teri De Luis of Brockville beat Ruixue Huang of Hautes Plaines 5 and 3 in the women’s final.
Madawaska’s Perry Freda, who was second in the OVGA city and district medal-play championship, defeated Tom Hossfeld of Hylands 3 and 2 for the senior men’s OVGA match-play title.
Ty Rouse of Eagle Creek won the OVGA boys’ junior match-play championship, while the other winners were Carter O’Brien, Prescott, bantam; Isaiah Ibit, GreyHawk, juvenile; and Jimmy Galbraith, Mont Tremblant, peewee.
The OVGA girls’ match-play winners were: Isabella Ferguson, Ottawa Hunt, junior; Avery Nordman, Canadian, bantam; and Gracelyn Xiao, Rivermead, peewee.
Lee Curry of Camelot won his fifth PGA of Ottawa Zone championship with rounds of 72 and 64 for a six-under-par 136. Andy Rajhathy of ClubEG was second at 71-69-140, while Michel Dagenais of Kingsway Park took third, 72-69-141.
Graham Gunn of White Sands Golf was the senior men’s champion, after recording rounds of 76-65 for a five-over 141. Marc Foucault of Kingsway Park was second, 72-70-142, while Dany Lacombe of GreyHawk, 74-72-146, and Steven Hill of Pineview, 71-75-146, shared third.
At the Canadian boys’ junior golf championship, James Newton of Royal Ottawa was ninth at 71-71-73-76 for a three-over 291. Ellis Kinnaird of Mississippi tied for 23rd at 72-73-81-74-300. Isaiah Ibit of GreyHawk shared 38th (10th juvenile) at 75-77-79-73-304.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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