Prince Albert’s Cory Selander finished the 101st Men’s Northern Golf Championship the way he started: in the number one spot.
Selander shot a 65 on Saturday for the lowest score in qualifying, then won four straight matches, including the last one against fellow Prince Albert golfer Ashley Ziegeman on Monday, to take home his second Men’s Northern title.
“It’s just exciting,” Selander said afterwards. “I got to play four great players this weekend, and had a great round on Saturday through the rain—one of the best rounds of my life. To close it out today is just awesome.”
“I also want to thank Ziggy for this afternoon. It was a good match, and it’s always good to play against him.”
Bad weather caused problems for golfers through the first two days of the tournament. Qualifiers were delayed on Saturday by more than an hour due to heavy rain, but players played through the wet conditions on Saturday.
Tournament co-organizer Martin Ring credited Cooke Municipal Golf Course superintendent Pierre Vezeau and the turf crew with keeping the course playable.
“The turf management crew have done a phenomenal job,” Ring said prior to the trophy presentation. “We just came off—three weeks ago now—with the Sask. Amateur being here which was pristine conditions, and they basically just carried forward into our Northern Championship. I don’t think you’re going to find a better golf course across the province right now.”
Selander said it was challenging to play through the rain on Sunday, but most golfers were up for it.
“Like a lot of guys here will say, you’ve got to accept that you’re going to get wet and just deal with it,” he said. “That’s all you can do. You can’t be trying to stay dry.”
Selander came out flying on Sunday, opening with a birdie on hole one, and taking the first three holes to run up a 3-0 lead in match play. Ziegeman replied with a par to take Hole 4 and cut Selander’s lead to two, but that was as close as he got as Selander took Holes 6, 8, and 9 to jump out to a five-hole lead.
Ziegeman got one back with a birdie on Hole 11, but Selander took Hole 13 to restore the five-hold lead. The two shook hands after hole 14, giving Selander his second title.
“I wouldn’t say I was nervous,” Selander said when asked about his approach to the final match of the day. “Nervous-excited, maybe. Obviously, you always want to get off to a good start, especially in match play, because it really puts the pressure on the other person early. I was fortunate to make that putt on (Hole) 1 and then I just went from there.”
Wyatt Newman finished as the Championship flight consolation winner on Monday, while Mike Garson was consolation runner-up.
Mike Smith took home top spot in the first flight, winning the Ed Eschyshyn Memorial Trophy. Other flight winners included Corey Sawchuck (second flight), Dean Gerard (third flight), Jared Tupper (fourth flight), John Foster (fifth flight), and Mitch Heidt (sixth flight).
Next up for Selander is a trip to Ontario where’s he’s one of four Prince Albert golfers planning to compete at the Mid-Amateur National Championships from Aug. 23-26.
The next major tournament at Cooke Municipal Golf Course is the Senior Men’s Northern, scheduled for Aug. 17-18.