Golf

Hamilton’s Whitley wears Ontario amateur golf crown


PETERBOROUGH— Heading into the final round of the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Men’s Amateur Championship, at the Peterborough Golf & Country Club, Hamilton’s Elliott Whitley held a six-stroke lead.

Hamilton’s Elliott Whitley held a six-stroke lead to capture the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Men’s Amateur Championship.  (Photo: GAO)

Hamilton’s Elliott Whitley held a six-stroke lead to capture the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Men’s Amateur Championship. (Photo: GAO)

Whitley, who plays for the Lynn University Fighting Knights in Boca Raton, Florida, came out focused on seeing out the win and got off to a terrific star with a birdie on the first hole. He would finish the turn, two-under increasing his tournament total to 10-under. Meanwhile, others around him struggled. Both of his playing partners in the final group, Thornhill’s Ryan Tsang and Waterloo’s Luke Moser struggled early and dropped out of contention.

On the back nine, Whitley continued to dominate. He added another four birdies and finished the day five-under (66) to bring his tournament total to 13-under (72-67-66-66-271).

After the win, Whitley spoke about what winning the Ontario Amateur meant to him.

“It feels great! I have been playing in these events for a long time and to finally win one is a great feeling. Coming into the final round I just knew it wasn’t over and I needed to play well, keep pressing and making birdies because anything can happen out here.”

Whitley credited his victory to his strong wedge play. “My wedges were great! I hit many good, close, three and four-footers from 100-yards in, which really helped my game.”

Now he will turn his attention to the Canadian Men’s Amateur, Aug. 10-13, at Weston Golf & Country Club and Lambton Golf & Country Club in Toronto, something that he is quite excited about.

“I’ll be gearing up for the Canadian Amateur. I’d really like to win that and have a good finish there.”

Finishing second was Napanee’s Josh Whalen. The Napanee Golf & Country Club member shot a four-under (67) during the final round to claim the silver medal at six-under for the tournament (70-72-69-67-278).

Finishing in a three-way tie for third at one-under for the tournament were: Unionville’s Max Sear (69-69-75-70-283), Woodbridge’s Dave Bunker (71-74-70-68-283) and Shanty Bay’s Mitch Macleod (69-74-72-68-283).

After a playoff, Macleod joined Whitley and Whalen as representatives for Ontario in the inter-provincial team competition at the Canadian Men’s Amateur.

For the final leaderboard and all other tournament information, visit the tournament site at: http://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao15/event/gao1519/index.htm

The Investors Group Ontario Amateur Championship was first played in 1923 at Lakeview Golf and Country Club, and has a rich history of former champions. Past winners include 2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir (1990 & 1992), Gerry Kesselring ( ‘49, ‘51, ‘52, ‘53), professional players Jon Mills (2001), Corey Conners (2010), Albin Choi (2012), Chris Hemmerich (2014) and Gary Cowan, who holds the record for the most Ontario Amateur Championships with nine (’64, ’68, ’71, ’74, ’74, ’75, ’77, ’78, ’81 & ’84).

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