Medway golfer wins by six strokes qualifying for OFSAA while Oakridge
takes the team title for a second consecutive year
Thursday, October 3, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
UNION, ON. - Ben Landers wasted no time securing his spot, while Peter MacDougall needed a few extra holes.
Both golfers, along with the London Oakridge Oaks, are heading to the OFSAA, the high school provincial boys' golf championship after qualifying at the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) tournament.
Landers captured the individual title, winning by six strokes, with a round of three under par 69, over the 18-holes, at the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club.
"That might have been one of the best tournament rounds I've ever played," said Landers, who will compete in the open division at OFSAA. "I had to be really patient today. I think that was the key. Waiting, not pressuring and getting into rough situations. After I birdied 15, I was thinking ok, I just need to keep swinging coming in and not (rush) to the clubhouse. I never got ahead of myself. I tried to stay within the moment."
The grade 11 student may be Medway's first male golfer to win at WOSSAA.
"I got the ball up and down from everywhere, made a couple of nice putts and struck the ball really well," said Landers, who earlier this year won the Junior boys division on the Tyson Tour.
Meanwhile, McDougall needed a third playoff hole to break a tie with Central Huron's Devin Durand, after both shot rounds of 81, to be the WOSSAA reprentaive in the high school division.
"I've never been in a playoff before, so it was nerve wracking for sure," said the Grade 11 student at Saunders Secondary school. "I didn't think I was going to be in a playoff. I'm glad I get to go to OFSAA."
The day didn't start so well for MacDougall, but his putter kept him among the leaders.
"I had a bad start. I was three over after two holes, but came back and I ended up being one under over the next seven (holes). That was huge," MacDougall said. "My putting. I sunk four putts that were up around 20 feet that were pretty clutch to make."
MacDougall placed fifth overall. Stratford St. Mike's Patrick Holloway finished fourth, with a round of 78.
Oakridge edged Landers and his Medway teammates, by one stroke, capturing the team title for a second consecutive year. Kevin Frehner and Calvin Norris, finished second and third, respectively, each carding 75s and Owen Henry shot an 88.
Frehner and Norris were part of the Oakridge team that placed 10th at OFSAA last year.
"It's my last year, so it's nice to go back (OFSAA)," said Norris, adding the Oaks are aiming for the top five result at OFSAA. "We're hopefully going to do a lot better than last year. Maybe a medal."
Both Frehner and Norris weren't satisfied with their putting.
"I hope to putt better. I've really never had a good round of golf in terms of putting. It could all change. I got myself a new Scotty Cameron (putter). It's not working at the moment. As of right now, I'm going to put every ball on to the fairway and two putt and three putt, no four putts hopefully, said Frehner, who took WOSSAA silver on the tie-breaker, best back nine. "I didn't miss too much with my driver. I think I only missed two fairways. I was striking my irons quite nicely. I wasn't putting them too close to the hole, but I was giving myself 20-foot birdie putts."
Joining Landers on the Medway team were Brent Schidowka (85) and Noah Ahrens (86).
London Aquinas Flames' team of Ryan Vanderwerf (82), Spencer MacKenzie (84) and Thomas Burnett (85), placed third.
The East Elgin Eagles (Landon Underhill (87), Nick Cowx (87), John Orlebar (90), the TVRA Tri-County team champions, were sixth.
St. Joseph's Ram Aiden Shaw was the top individual player from Tri-County, placing seventh (82). Parkside Stampeder Luke Trowman shot an 85, while Central Elgin Titan Rob Shivers carded an 86.
OFSAA is at the Kingsville Golf Club, October 16-17th.
A year ago, Sheldon Price, of Clinton St Anne's, won the OFSAA high school division, after taking the WOSSAA crown at Union.