McKinnon drives way to playoff win
The stakes were high and the tension with each putt palatable at Fairwinds Golf Club this week, as a field of 36 took to the fairways for the Wednesday Night Men’s League’s one-day playoff.
Okay, maybe not so much, but there were a lot of guys that brought their game-faces to the course.
“Absolutely they did,” confirmed club vice-captain Peter Dowling. “It was strictly tournament rules, there was no gimme putts. Myself and another chap were doing the scoring and there were all sorts of people hanging around watching the scores come in. It was quite intense.”
Conditions were wet and cool and the picturesque 5,600 yard, Par 71 course in a tricky mood.
The league itself has been around since the club opened 23 years ago, but this is the first year of the new format.
Dowling said the league started up back in April and is based on the professional FedEx Cup, which is a points system spread out over the six-month season. Joe Cunningham stepped up as the main sponsor, donating $2,500 in prize money and the namesake trophy.
About 80 men took part in league play, which is separate from the club championship, and the top 36 qualified for Wednesday’s 18-hole showdown.
Besides the biggest piece of the purse, the winner also has his name added to the Joe Cunningham Ford Trophy, a gorgeous sculpture made by league member John Ludgate.
“Good season ... excellent bunch of guys,” said Dowling, “and very, very competitive out there. From top to bottom there probably wasn’t much more than nine or 10 strokes (difference), so it was very completive.
“There were a few people that finished as top 10 high handicap golfers which was quite surprising but it just goes to show ...”
Wednesday’s winners were determined on the basis of the points earned during the season, plus the points on the final playoff.
In the end, Glen McKinnon, who started the day in the No. 18 position, captured the playoff title with a net 67 for 300 total points. John Avient (started fourth) finished second with a four-under 68 for 275. Glen Hample, who led the points standings heading into the playoff, settled for third with a round of 80 for 250 points.
The prize money and hardware will be handed out at next Wednesday’s AGM and awards presentation at Fairwinds.