(From left) Men’s low gross winner Jim Sutton from Cranbrook

(From left) Men’s low gross winner Jim Sutton from Cranbrook

Baker and Sutton win Creston golf tournament

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Seventy-eight players from many parts of Western Canada enjoyed two days of excellent golfing in the 2011 Creston Golf Club Senior Open tournament. The men’s division was especially strong and featured several former champions; the top 10 low handicaps average was less than six.

The men played in four flights according to age. Winner of the 70-plus flight was Derek Bennett from Cranbrook Golf Club. Wes Deitz took the 65-69 flight, Jim Sutton the 60-64 flight and, finally, the “youngster” flight, 50-59, was won by Dennis Brown of the Creston Golf Club. The ladies’ champion was Cherie Baker from the Creston Golf Club, winner of the “ageless” single flight.

“The bigger the challenge, the greater the triumph” fits senior men’s champion Sutton’s achievement well as men’s champion. Twenty pounds lighter after four years of chemotherapy, Sutton fought off fatigue and a strong field to win the trophy. Taking a three-shot lead into the final round, he found himself tied with defending champion John Holland after nine holes but hung on to win by three strokes from local Dennis Brown and former champion Bob Langin from Cranbrook Golf Club.

Sutton, a long time supporter of local tournaments who finished his cancer treatment only six months ago, commented on the improvements to the course and that the greens were the best in the area. He had only 27 putts in his opening 71.

The ladies’ low gross championship featured perennial rivals Cherie Baker and Joyce Johnson. After the first round, Johnson led Baker and Virginia Harder by three shots. After nine holes the gap was narrowed to one, after 16 holes Baker led by two, and after 17 holes Baker and Johnson were tied.  The drama on the 18th hole ended in Baker’s favour as she finished the round with a steady 78 to Johnson’s 84.

The low net championship was won by two popular local players.  Ross Blair, our retired smiling butcher, is now an even happier golfer as he fulfilled his considerable potential with two consistent 84s to take the low net championship. Leslie Harbison, our flower lady, finished strongly with a net 70 to win the ladies’ trophy.

Although entry numbers were reduced this year, visitors commented on the friendly atmosphere, excellent course condition and club house hospitality.

Kudos to Don Price and his organizing committee, course superintendent Devan Davidson and his staff, Randy Panton and his staff in the pro shop and Dennis Munro and his staff in the clubhouse for a successful 2011 seniors’ open.

Ladies Flight

First gross, Cherie Baker

First net, Leslie Harbison

Second gross, Joyce Johnson

Second net, Yvonne Larsen

Third net, Kitty Lemay

Fourth net, Linda Price

 

70-plus Flight

First gross, Derek Bennett

First net, Bill Mayer

Second gross, Don Price

Second net, Bill Dyck

Third net, Gord Johnson

Fourth net, Barry Proud

 

65-69 Flight

First gross, Wes Deitz

First net, Tom Proud

Second gross, Leif Petersen

Second net, Garth Oko

Third net, Steve Dault

Fourth net, Don Nogier

 

60-64 Flight

First gross, Jim Sutton

First net, Don Harbison

Second gross, Bob Langin

Second net, Dave Handy

Third net, Vern Ronmark

 

50-59 Flight

First gross, Dennis Brown

First net, Ross Blair

Second gross, Danny Spring

Second net, Brian Ronmark

Third net, Cecil Chernoff

Fourth net, Don Low