Lindsay (ON) - 13 years ago marked the first time that the Great Lakes Tour visited Oliver's Nest Golf Club near Lindsay (ON). It was September 11, 2003 and Tour Alumni Brad Fritsch, Zoltan Veress and Martin Price played in a group that featured a round of 28-33-61 by Veress. It was the course record then and today the scorecard still sits on the pro shop wall signifying a small piece of history that still resonates around the club.
On Tuesday June 7th, The Great Lakes Tour returned to Oliver's Nest for the first time in 10 years with a new look and a new group of young professionals. GolfNorth Series #3 was the tournament and is the third of seven events in the season long series. 38 players were competing in the 18 hole stroke play competition...
The area surrounding Oliver's Nest Golf Club was recently hit with drought conditions and in a matter of hours the weather changed from hot and dry to breezy and damp. The grounds crew at Oliver's Nest worked hard in the days leading up to event and did a wonderful job preparing the course for Ontario's top young professionals.
After nine holes three players were tied atop the leaderboard with 3 under par 33's. Michael Gonko of Sudbury (ON), Brendan Leonard of Cambridge (ON) and Alex Letros of Pickering (ON) all posted the early standard while Brendan Barrack of Toronto (ON) posted a 2 under par 34 to sit one back heading to the back nine. Leonard and Letros would eventually falter on the back nine leaving the door open for someone to take advantage.
Andrew Oke from nearby Fenelon Falls (ON) was the hometown favourite and after making an impressive eagle on the par 5 sixth hole, put himself in position to make a move on the back nine. However, a bogey on the tricky tenth hole stopped the momentum and after finishing with a birdie on the eighteenth hole Oke posted a 2 under par 69 for an outright third place finish.
Michael Gonko and Brendan Barrack were paired in the same group and Barrack knew that he had to catch Gonko in order to have a chance of winning the golf tournament. Barrack made birdie on the short twelfth hole to pull even with Gonko. On the thirteenth, Gonko retook the lead as he poured in a birdie to move to 4 under par and take a one shot lead with 5 holes to play.
Brendan Barrack then makes another birdie on the par 3 fourteenth to a tough back left pin location and pull back to even with Gonko at 4 under par for the tournament.
Michael Gonko would eventually see his day get haulted as he made an untimely double bogey seven on the par 5 fifteenth hole that would see Barrack take a two shot lead into the final three holes. Gonko would then make a late birdie on the seventeenth to pull within one shot heading to eighteen. But Barrack would birdie the final hole and finish at 5 under par 66 and defeat Gonko by 2 shots.
"I was real proud of myself today. I made double bogey on the fourth hole and bounced back with an eagle a couple holes later to keep me in the game." Said Barrack just after his win became official. "I just putted real well today and just never gave up in these conditions."
Barrack took home $1,300 for the victory and 500 points towards the Great Lakes Tour Order of Merit. Barrack now moves into second spot on the Order of Merit and with just one event to go before the leader is awarded the RBC Canadian Open Final Qualifying exemption, Barrack still has an opportunity to overtake Michael Gligic. On June 23rd the leader on the Order of Merit will gain an exemption into the four spot Monday Qualifier for the National Open.
Barrack also commented on the beautiful holes of the Graham Cooke designed layout. Stating "Holes six and seven were a pleasure to play and were so peaceful and quiet." Many players on Tour have commented on the strength of the GolfNorth courses and the wonderful hospitality from the staff and members thus far.
Many members of the Great Lakes Tour will be heading down the Trans-Canada Highway to compete in the first Circuit Canada Pro Tour event the 36 hole $50,000 Desjardins Invitational presented by Jaguar Laval at Hawkesbury Golf & Curling Club in Hawkesbury (ON). Tournament details and updates can be found by visiting www.ccptgolf.ca
The next event on the Great Lakes Tour will be the 36 hole Paris Championship at Paris Grand Golf Club in Paris (ON) June 21-22. The field is expected to be strong as players will also be competing for Order of Merit points to determine the Top 30 National Members to compete in the CCPT 36 hole $50,000 Desjardins Challenge at Wyndance Golf Club in Uxbridge (ON).
For Full Field Results from GolfNorth Series #3 Please visit HERE
For Current Great Lakes Tour Order of Merit Standings Please visit HERE
For more information on the Great Lakes Tour Please visit www.greatlakestour.com
President, Great Lakes Tour
Tournament Director, Great Lakes Tour