London, ON – Oakville’s Larry Cooper found himself in fifth place after Tuesday’s opening round of the Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur Golf Championship.
Cooper topped all Golden Horseshoe area players with a two-under round of 70 on the Sunningdale Golf and Country Club course in London. One stroke back and in a tie for sixth place was Port Colborne’s Tony Ravenda, playing out of the Port Colborne G&CC.
Georgian Bay Club member Mike Jackson of Collingwood fired a blazing eight under 64 to take a four-stroke lead. Jackson, the 2010 champion, made short work of the course in the first round of the 54-hole competition, carding nine birdies throughout the day. The only blemish on his scorecard came when he bogeyed the par-5 18th hole, but he undeniably put together a fantastic round of golf to top the field of the best amateur golfers in the province age 55 and older. Jackson is also a former Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur champion (2003) and a two-time runner up at the Ontario Senior (2011, 2009).
Local favourite Jim Morton of London also delivered a performance in the 60s, carding a 68 (-4) to sit tied for second place alongside Pickering resident Christopher Kertsos. Morton, the 2011 champion, carded seven birdies against a trio of bogeys while Kertsos laid down six birdies and a pair of bogeys to sit four shots behind Jackson.
London’s Garry Spence, a member at St. Thomas Golf and Country Club, is alone in fourth place after carding five birdies on the day along with a double-bogey on the par-3 third hole for a 69 (-3).
An abundance of low scores across the board promise to make for an exciting competition as play continues through to Thursday. Spectators are welcome at Sunningdale and admission is free.
The Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Championship is contested annually and features Ontario’s best male amateur golfers age 55 and older. This year marks the 78th playing of the event, and notable past champions include Ontario Golf Hall of Fame members Stu Hamilton and Nick Weslock, Herb Carnegie, and Ed Ervasti.
Opening scores for other Golden Horseshoe area players included:
T13 – Jim Brown, Burlington, GAO Public Player 73 +1.
T23- Ron Wilson, Hamilton, King’s Forest GC; Dominic Marchesano, Hamilton, Wildfire GC; T23 Robert Goss, Welland, Peninsula Lakes GC; Reg Finlayson, Georgetown, Club at North Halton, 74 +2.
T40 – Lars Melander, Oakville, Hidden Lake GC, 75 +3.
T57 – Frank Mortensen, Welland, Lookout Point CC; Les Westlake, St. Catharines, St. Catharines G&CC; Larry Weir, Oakville, Mississaugua; Paul Alexander, Oakville, Credit Valley G&CC, 76 +4.
T70 – Desmond Brady, Vineland, Lookout Point CC; Bill Simmons, Burlington, Flamborough Hills GC; Michael Pogor, Burlington, Hidden Lake GC; Mike Soucie, Burlington, Twenty Valley G&CC, 77 +5.
T81- Walter Dalziel, Oakville, Oakville Golf Club; Dan Gagliardi, Ancaster, Chippewa Creek G&CC; Alasdair Cayley, Burlington, Toronto Golf Club; Tim Lee, Ancaster, GAO Public Player, 78 +6.
T92 – Philip Henley, Burlington, Club at North Halton; Dan Nywening, Niagara Falls, Beechwood Golf Club; Jim Murdoch, Niagara Falls, Rolling Meadows G&CC; Chris Ingram, Burlington, Wyldewood G&CC, 79 +7.
T105 – Fred Fairs, Oakville, Trafalgar G&CC; Christopher Reiter, Oakville, GAO Public Player, 80 +8.
T120 – Greg Adoranti, Stoney Creek, Glen Abbey Golf Club, 81 +9.
T133 – Ron McKelvie, Stoney Creek, Glendale Golf&CC; Doug Piett, Fonthill, Lookout Point CC, 83 +11.