Burlington ON - It was a warm, sunny and dry start to the Great Lakes Tour season on Thursday. Past history would suggest that conditions would not be favourable to start the season. However, Hidden Lake Golf Club Old Course in Burlington (ON) was in fine shape with above average temperatures greeting the largest field in GLT Shootout history.
The Great Lakes Tour Shootout has been played as the first event of the season for nearly ten years and features a prize payout unlike any other on the schedule. Players compete for the chance to win their 2017 tournament entry fees. In 2016, David Markle of Shelburne (ON) battled adverse weather to win a full season of tournaments. Michael Dart was runner up and received his GolfNorth Series Entry Fees for the year....
However, this year Michael Dart of Toronto (ON) was out to improve on what he accomplished last year. Early in his round, Dart got it to 4 under par through 6 holes before making bogey on the par four 7th hole. He would then par the 8th and 9th holes to make the turn at 3 under par.
Mitch Sutton of London (ON) got off to a similar start going 4 under through the first 6 holes and after pars on the final 3 holes, he made the turn with an outward score of 31. After birdies on the 10th and 12th holes, it looked as though Sutton was a runaway winner. However, he played the final stretch at one over par to post a final score of 66.
Sang Hwa Lee of Toronto (ON), Colin MacGregor of Freelton (ON) and Brett Cairns of Courtland (ON) all made the turn at 3 under par while Stephane Dubois of Brantford (ON) and Adam Knight of Milton (ON) were within striking distance after posting 2 under par through 9 holes.
On the back 9, Dart kept the pedal down and like Mitch Sutton birdied the 10th and 12th holes and moved to 5 under par quickly on his back nine and left him just one off the mark set by Sutton. The deciding hole came at the 17th, where Dart made a solid birdie that ultimately captured the victory.
"I hit a perfect drive and had a wedge in. I wedged it to 12 feet and rolled the putt in for birdie." Said Dart of the closing birdie. "I did everything well all day. I was a little shaky with my long irons but was solid tee to green. I've put a lot of work into my game over the winter and things felt good today."
The GLT Shootout has a unique format where four different prizes are available. This resulted in a 3 person playoff to determine who finishes 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Stephane Dubois, Mitch Sutton and Brett Cairns all finished one behind Dart and they headed to a playoff. Brett Cairns made a solid birdie on the 4th extra hole to take 2nd place while Mitch Sutton made a great sand save par on the 5th playoff hole to finish 3rd. Dubois would settle for a 4th place finish.
The GLT Shootout is an official event of the GLT Order of Merit presented by Roll ReadyTM. In addition to his win, Michael Dart took home 300pts and is the early leader in the point race. The leader of the GLT Order of Merit as of June 21, 2017 will receive an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open Monday Qualifier on July 24th at Heron Point Golf Links. The top 4 finishers on the Order of Merit at season's end will receive a cash bonus courtesy of Roll ReadyTM.
The next event on the Great Lakes Tour schedule is GolfNorth Series #1 at Grey Silo Golf Club in North Waterloo (ON) Thursday May 4th.
To view full field results you may visit HERE
To view Order of Mert presented by Roll ReadyTM you may visit HERE