Baddeck, Nova Scotia – The leaderboard at this year’s Canadian Club Champion Championship looked like a game of musical chairs – each day someone new was leading the pack.
Andrew Ross (file)
Not Andrew Ross of Dundas. After the tournament’s opening round on Tuesday, the Hamilton Golf and Country Club champion was in second place. After the second round, Ross was the runner-up. After the third day, the 21-year-old was second. And on the fourth and final day, guess where Ross was?
Ross finished the 72-hole championship tied with two others for second place, two strokes back of winner Geoff McMillan of Glencoe Golf & Country Club in Calgary. McMillan finished with a 294 total from rounds of 76-75-72-71 and was six over par. Ross, Rob Cowan of Kitchener’s Westmount Golf and Country Club, and Peter Campbell of the host Bell Bay Golf Club, had 296 scores.
McMillan started the day tied for seventh but started quickly to eat away at Cowan’s third-round lead.
With the win, McMillan earns an exemption to the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Mississaugua Golf & Country Club, August 11-18. And if the 27-year-old Calgarian is a finalist in match-play at the Amateur he gets an exemption into the Canadian Open, set for the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, September 4-10.
The Champions championship proved to be a real dogfight. McMillan, O’Brien and Cowan all held the lead at various points on Friday, duplicating a trend from the opening drive. Michel Landry of Tracadie (New Brunswick) representing Club de Golf Pokemouche in Caraquet (New Brunswick) opened the tournament with a 70 while Phil Patterson of Prescott Golf Club in Prescott (Ontario) took the lead during the second-day and Cowan held the lead after the third round.
McMillan’s birdies on holes 1, 3 and 4 put him in a position to challenge Cowan and the rest of the field which battled on again, off again rain showers.
“I knew on the 18th tee that something was going on with the lead,” said McMillan, who started in the third-last group. “I figured if I could just par the final hole that it’d be good enough for a playoff. I missed a 20-foot birdie putt and tapped in a par. It was all I needed.”
McMillan is a two-time club champion and competed at this tournament in 2003.
Cowan is now the only person to be a three-time runner up without capturing the championship. He was second in 2000, 2002 and now 2006. O’Brien is a two-time runner up, finishing second last year.
Last year’s winner, Victor Ciesielski of Cambridge, and playing out of the Galt Country Club, had rounds of 80-71-78-77 for 306 to finish in a five-way tie at 22nd.