McClung, Kray chase leader for men’s golf title

gaoPeterborough – Windsor’s Michael Rutgers posted a one-under par 70 on Tuesday (June 18) to remain atop the leaderboard at the Investors Group Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship hosted by Peterborough Golf and Country Club.

Rutgers has a narrow single stroke lead over the field of Ontario’s best amateurs age 25 and older, setting the stage for an exciting finish. The reinstated amateur, who plays out of Erie Shores Golf and Country Club, posted three birdies and two bogeys before carding a double bogey on the par-3 16th. He was able to finish strong, adding two more birdies on 17 and 18 to close out his round with a total score of 138 (68-70), four-under par.

Close on Rutgers’ heels is Brooklin resident Tyler McDannold who turned out a solid performance Tuesday to remain in second place. The Brampton Golf Club member played a steady round with a single bogey on the 4th hole as the only blemish on his scorecard. Three birdies on the day brought McDannold in with a 69, putting him into close contention for the 2013 title with a total score of 139 (70-69), three-under par.

The low round on Tuesday came from Ottawa resident Robert Knights who delivered a three-under 68 to climb the leaderboard into third place. The GAO Public Player laid down six birdies and three bogeys to find himself within striking distance heading into the final round. Knights’ total score of 141 (73-68) also puts him at the top of the Ontario Mid-Master division (age 40 and over) leaderboard.

Three players are tied for fourth place with total scores of 143 (+1): Brent McClung of Burlington (71-72), Mike Kray of Oakville (70-73) and Kitchener’s Ron Pearson, who made the tournament’s first hole-in-one. After a slow start, Pearson caught fire after the turn carding three straight birdies on holes 13, 14, and 15 before dropping in an ace on the 193-yard 16th hole.

Two-time champion (2007, 2010) Dave Bunker of Woodbridge posted a 74 Tuesday to sit tied for seventh place at two-over par, six strokes behind leader Rutgers, who is also his son-in-law. Defending champion Drew Symons of Woodstock is tied for 26th at six-over, while Paul Stevens of Peterborough is the top local competitor sitting in a tie for 20th.

After 36 holes, the field has been reduced to the low 60 competitors and ties, with the cut falling at 154 (+12) and 64 players advancing to Wednesday’s third and final round.

The event serves as a qualifier for the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship and the winner of that tournament will earn an exemption into the 2014 RBC Canadian Open.

Scores for other Golden Horseshoe players included:

Stoney Creek’s Darren Shaw, 145, T13; Oakville’s Larry Cooper, 146, Burlington’s Matthew Ion Young, 146, T15; Georgetown’s Craig Watkins, 147, T20; Ancaster’s Paul Lang, 148, T26; Oakville’s Derek Dalziel, 153, T50; Burlington’s David Wodar, 154, Oakville’s Stephen Wright, 154, T57.

Not finishing were:

Milton’s Al Dairou , 155; Oakville’s Matthew Sim, 156; Hamilton’s Ryan Delisle, 156; Ancaster’s Tim Lee, 157; Georgetown’s Paul Morrow, 158; Binbrook’s Jay Gagnon, 159; St. Catharines’ Bernie Bodogh, 159; Burlington’s Phil Reddon, 160; Oakville’s Geoff Marshall, 160; Burlington’s Kevin Johnstone, 160; Niagara Falls’ Dougie Bunting, 160; Beamsville’s Bill Lipsett, 161; Stoney Creek’s Greg Adoranti, 164; St. Catharines’ Mark Armitage, 166; Hamilton’s Eman Ali, 166; Michael Hunt, Oakville’s 166; and Stoney Creek’s Adam Alex, 178.