Ross has Club Championship in his line of fire

Baddeck, N.S. – For each of the Canadian Club Champions Championship’s three-days of play there has been a new leader. But second place has remained unchanged and that’s where Hamilton Golf and Country Club representative Andrew Ross finds himself heading into today’s (Friday’s) final round.

Ross, of Dundas, trails the latest leaderboard boss, two-time runner up Rob Cowan of Kitchener, by a mere stroke. Ross had a 75 Thursday to go with his earlier rounds of 71 and 73.

The 41-year-old Cowan, from the Westmount Golf & Country Club, started Thursday (June 29) three strokes off the lead in fifth position. He carded a 71 to grab the lead at two-over par with a three-day tally of 72-75-71—218. But 10 players, including Ross, are within six strokes of Cowan.

Cowan, who is the son of Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Gary Cowan, is looking for his first Canadian Club Champions title after finishing second in 2000 and 2002. He lost in a playoff in 2000 on the same Bell Bay course.

“I’ve got some good memories of this tournament from the past and some heartbreak, but mostly a lot of good memories,” said Cowan. “I was a different golfer back then and I know I’ve learned some things.”

Ross, 24, struggled on the course, putting up four bogeys and one double bogey. Three birdies helped minimize the damage to save the day.

Last year’s runner-up Terry O’Brian of Tangle Creek Golf Club in Barrie (Ontario) and Leon Carter of Dundee Resort Golf & Country Club in River Bourgeois (Nova Scotia) are both two-strokes behind in third place at 220 while yesterday’s leader Phil Patterson of Prescott Golf Club in Prescott, Ont. is in fifth place at 221.

Jason Monteleone of Kelowna Golf & Country Club in Kelowna (British Columbia) fired an astonishing five under-par, 67 carding the low score of the day and has the best score recorded during this year’s championship.

A powerful wind from the southwest buffeted Bell Bay Golf Club with gusts picking up towards the end of the day and reaching up to 48 km/h. Several players noted the wind as a factor affecting their scores today.

With the completion of the third round, the field was cut to the low 70 scores and ties with 72 golfers advancing to Friday’s final.

The winner could earn the right to compete at this year’s Canadian Open set for September 4-10 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. The Canadian Club Champion earns an exemption into the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship where two exemptions into the Canadian Open are available to the amateur champion and runner-up. To qualify for entry into the Canadian Club Champions Championship, a player must have won either his club’s stroke or match play championship.

Scores for Hamilton and area golfers Thursday

1 Rob Cowan, Waterloo, (Westmount Golf & Country Club) 72 -75-71–218
2 Andrew Ross, Dundas, (Hamilton Golf & Country Club) 71-73-75–219
T17 Paul Morrow, Georgetown, (Devil`s Pulpit Golf Association) 74-76-77–227
24 Victor Ciesielski, Cambridge, (Galt Country Club) 80-71-78–229
37 Matthew Sim, Oakville, (Mississaugua Golf and Country Club) 77-84-75–236
T49 JD Fitzgerald, Cambridge, (Galt Country Club) 79-80-82–241
T58 Micheal Alderman, Georgetown, (Blue Springs Golf Club) 82-82-79–243

Missed the cut

T106 Howie Wark, Burlington, ON (Rattle Snake Point Golf Club) 93-81-87–261
116 Roger Perry, Welland, ON (Rolling Meadows Golf & Country Club) 96-83-90–269