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HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Roger Beale, Graham Gunn capture PGA of Ottawa Zone Championships

By Martin Cleary

If it’s August, it must be championship golf season.

And if you’ve been trying to track down Ottawa’s top golfers, they are or have been scattered everywhere for club, zone, Ontario, Canadian or international championships.

On Monday, the region’s top club professionals headed to the Greensmere Golf and Country Club for the 47th PGA of Ottawa Zone Championship.

Roger Beale of Rideau View, who placed seventh in 2022 and was eight strokes off the lead, made a dramatic rebound to win the zone title this year by one stroke. He shot rounds of 71-72 for a one-under par 143.

Camelot’s Lee Curry was chasing his seventh consecutive zone title and eighth overall, but placed second with a pair of even-par 72s for a 144 total. James Sperinck of the PGA of Canada was third at 74-73-147.

For the fourth straight year, Graham Gunn of White Sands Golf Course captured senior division top honors with impressive rounds of 74-69 for a winning total of one-over par 143.

Steven Hall of Pine View was second at 77-72-149 and Dany Lacombe of GreyHawk took third at 78-74-152.

Internationally, Kurtis Barkley of Cedar Glen continued his strong and consistent play on the G4D Tour for golfers with disabilities.

Playing on the Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, Barkley birdied his final two holes for a two-under-par 70, jumped three spots in the standings and finished second overall with a one-over total of 145. He shot three-over 75 in the first round.

Kipp Popert of Kent, England, the No. 1 player on the G4D Tour, was the lone golfer to go under par each day, shooting 69-66 for a nine-under 135. It was his second consecutive victory, having won the Betfred British Masters in June, after three straight second-place results.

Barkley, the only other player with a round under par, has posted four runner-up finishes as well as one third-place showing this season. His next G4D Tour competition is Sept. 11 at the BMW Championship.

The Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship opened on Monday at Algonquin Golf Course in St. Andrews, N.B., and Eagle Creek’s Ryan Sevigny had an impressive finish over the last six holes for an even-par 72.

Sevigny marked birdie on three of the final six holes to pull even for the day. In total, he had five birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey. He is tied for 17th.

Simon Fraser University sophomore Isabelle Ferguson of Ottawa was hampered by a pair of double bogeys on the front nine and five bogeys on the back nine on Monday, and finished with a seven-over-par 79 at the CPKC Women’s Open qualifying event at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver.

Ferguson didn’t qualify for one of the final four spots in the Canada’s premier women’s professional championship, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.

Camelot Golf and Country Club’s Isaiah Ibit had a good and not-so-good experience at last week’s Canadian Junior Boys’ Golf Championship in North Bay.

After the second day of competition in the 72-hole national championship, Ibit, Isaiah Ellis of Smithville and Matthew Javier of North York combined to earn Ontario the inter-provincial title and the Silver Cup. Ontario was five-under par, while runner-up British Columbia finished at two-under.

“It’s really nice … really great for Ontario to have the clean sweep this year for the junior national championship with the girls and the boys (team titles),” Ibit said in a Golf Canada press release.

Ibit, one of the province’s hottest golfers this season, opened with rounds of one-over-par 73 and three-under 69, but slipped and settled for a tie in 22nd following rounds of 75 and 80 for a nine-over 297 total.

Earlier this season, Ibit won the Ontario Junior Players’ Invitational, the Ontario Junior Boys’ Spring Classic and the NextGen Ontario Championship.

Ottawa Hunt’s Ben Sheridan, who won his first four matches at the Ontario Junior Boys’ Match Play Championship in Port Hope before losing 4 and 2 in the semifinals, also tied for 22nd at 71-77-74-75-297.

Quebec junior boys’ champion Max Corcoran of Loch March tied for 30th place at 71-77-77-73 for a 10-over 298. Ottawa Hunt’s Jayson Ross scored 70 and 71 for his middle two rounds, which left him tied for the third-best combined score for the second and third 18s. But his opening and closing rounds of 79 dropped him at 11-over 299 and a tie for 33rd.

Royal Ottawa’s Chase Jerome carded rounds of 72-77-81-76 and his 18-over 306 placed him 59th overall and deadlocked him for 24th among juveniles.


The Canadian women’s sevens rugby team has qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, but the men’s side will have to keep on trying.

By scoring 288 points and allowing only five points to win five consecutive games, Canada stormed to the women’s gold medal at the Rugby Americas North Sevens Paris 2024 Qualification Event in Langford, B.C.

University of Ottawa’s Maddy Grant of Cornwall, ON., scored two tries as Canada notched its fourth and final shutout with a 53-0 decision over Mexico in the gold-medal game. Canada downed St. Lucia 41-7 in the semifinals.

In pool play, Grant added several more tries as Canada ran away from St. Lucia 59-0, Jamaica 53-0 and Mexico 82-0.

The undefeated Canadian men’s team reached its gold-medal game and also needed a win to advance to next summer’s Olympics, but lost 24-14 to unbeaten United States.

Canada has one more chance to qualify for Paris 2024 at the Final Olympic Repechage Tournament. A site and date has yet to be determined.

Bytown Blues’ Elias Hancock of Ottawa scored the opening Canadian try to tie the final at 5-5.

In preliminary game action, Canada won its pool and had a bye through the quarterfinals with wins over Barbados, 38-0, and Jamaica, 21-12, on Saturday.

“It’s all about building for the next one,” Elias Hancock told Rugby Canada about the lessons learned from Saturday’s games. “I think our connection [felt good today].

“We might have gotten a little caught up in the crowd yesterday, but now I think that on Day 2 we’re really dialed in, we know what to expect and we’re ready to put on a show.

“To actually have this in our hometown at the facility that we train at where our friends and family are all at, it’s just a blessing, and we really are so lucky to be able to do this in front of our friends and family.”


The Canadian Elite Basketball League season isn’t over yet for two members of the Ottawa Blackjacks.

Maxime Boursiquot and Jackson Rowe have been named to the Eastern Conference team for the league’s East-West Clash on Saturday in Quebec City. Former Carleton University Raven Alain Louis of the Montreal Alliance also will play for the East squad.

Rowe was named to the league’s All-Canadian team along with teammate Kadre Gray, who also was selected to the All-CEBL second team with the Blackjacks’ Deng Adel.

Gray, who was prominent among assist leaders and hit the Target Score game-winning basket in seven of the Blackjacks’ 12 wins, was named the Canadian Player of the Year.


Ottawa’s Danika Osborne, who plays for the National Ringette League’s Gatineau Fusion, has been named one of two assistant captains for the Canadian junior ringette team, which will play in the world championships in Calgary in October.

Osborne started her ringette career with Gloucester-Cumberland and skated for Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games. A defender, she was named the Player of the Year at the 2022 Ontario ringette championships.


· Ottawa’s Tyler Branchaud of the Manotick Brewers was named the top hitter (.542 batting average) at the Softball Canada men’s U20 fast pitch championship and played a key role in helping host Napanee Express go 8-1 and win the national title, defeating DC Tavistock Athletics 2-0 in the final.

· Ottawa’s Sam Firth coached the Snake Island Muskies to the 3 Nations Senior Lacrosse League title, when they turned back Akwesasne Bucks 4-3 in the best-of-seven final. Former top Nepean Knights defender Nate Woods was on the floor. The Muskies have advanced to the Presidents Cup senior B national championship, which starts Sunday in Oakville.

· Rebecca Heller of Dunrobin, ON., placed 87th in the women’s windsurfing class at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands.

· The P.D. Ross Regatta will be held for the first time since 2018 on Sept. 9 on the Rideau Canal between boats from Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The trophy will be presented to the university program with the best men’s and women’s accumulated time.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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 High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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