Brad Zealand of Port Hardy blasts from a sand trap on the ninth hole during the final round of the Men's Open tournament at Seven Hills Golf & Country Club Sunday.

Bondue claims Open in playoff

Men's Open Golf Championship at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club goes down to two-hole playoff.

SEVEN HILLS—A two-hole playoff, an all-time low score for an 18-hole round and long-awaited redemption for a lifelong club member highlighted the annual Men’s Open Golf Championship at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club, played in perfect, mid-summer conditions last weekend.

Rory Bondue of Port Alice came from three strokes behind in the two-day, 36-hole tourney to force a playoff with Mackenzie Osbourne of Comox, then dropped an easy tap-in for birdie to claim a one-stroke victory on the second hole of the playoff.

Both players finished with two-round totals of three-under-par 133, and both dropped birdie putts on hole No. 8, the first playoff hole. When the action moved to No. 9 for a second playoff hole, Bondue lofted his approach shot within 12 feet of the flag while Osbourne pushed his shot long and wide, off the green.

Bondue narrowly missed his putt for eagle, curling it around the cup to leave the easy birdie tap, and claimed the low gross title when Osbourne two-putted for par.

It was the first Open championship here for Bondue, a two-handicapper who also forced a playoff in 2010 before settling for second place. He admitted this one left a better taste.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I always like having a 10-footer for eagle.”

Osbourne, who carries a zero handicap, was playing for the first time at Seven Hills. He said he got off to a slow start on the weekend, but that course familiarity played no role in the playoff finish.

“I shanked my approach, and he put his right on the money,” Osbourne said with a nod toward Bondue. “It was a nice weekend.”

The overall championship went to Seven Hills manager and club pro Kevin Black, who shot 61-62-123 to outduel fellow pros Chris Seeley of Sun Peaks, B.C. (132) and Perrie Scarlett of Vancouver (139).

Black’s first-round 61 topped the 18-hole course record of 62, set by Jim Smith in July of 1995. But Smith’s 62 came on the original, par-70 course designed for two trips around the hilly, nine-hole course. But the first hole last weekend was played as a 150-yard, par-3 from a temporary tee box, due to repairs being made on fairway of the hole, which normally plays as a 354-yard-yard, par-4 hole.

Asked if his low-60s scores were representative of his usual totals on the course, he just shrugged. Saturday’s and Sunday’s rounds represented his first 18-hole rounds on his own course.

“I haven’t played it this year,” he said, apologetically. “I’ve played nine holes a couple of times, and played a few holes here and there.”

Black said he had no intention of contesting Smith’s spot on the record board, since his own low round came on a shortened course.

One of the local club members responsible for that fairway repair on the first fairway, Rick Milligan, captured the low-net title for the first time. A 19-handicapper, Milligan is one of the founding members of the club, but didn’t play in the Open in the first several years after it was started in 1983.

Upon accepting the low-net trophy, he thanked the other golfers for putting up with the temporary tee box on the first hole and said that, if everything goes according to plan, they can return to the full, par-70 course for next year’s Open.

“These were the best two rounds I’ve ever shot in my life,” said Milligan, who posted gross totals of 79-84 and finished with a net of 11-under 125 to edge Fletcher Crook by a stroke. “It was definitely worth the wait.”

 

GOLFING

 

 

 

Seven Hills Golf & Country Club

31st annual Men’s Open

 

 

 

Pro

Kevin Black 61-62—123

Chris Seeley 70-62—132

Perrie Scarlett 69-70—139

 

 

 

Low gross

1. Rory Bondue* 133

2. Mackenzie Osbourne 133

3. Jordan Fraser 134

4. Cory MacIntosh 138

5. Shawn Zealand 141

6. Andrew Laming 141

7. Brad Zealand 143

8. Darren Schmidt 154

9. Jeff Bood 156

10. Andrew Smith 158

11. Duane LaDouceur 159

12. Cecil Morton 160

13. Jim Buchanan 162

14. Mark Hutchinson 162

15. Wayne Peterson 163

16. Trevor Fear 164

17. Cole Morton 164

18. Doug McCorquodale 169

19. Russell Murray 171

20. Ken Turner 171

21. Rob Paterson 178

22. Mel Nicholson 181

23. Blake Keen 184

24. Chunny Kamboh 187

25. Neil Fraser 187

26. Neil Zealand 192

27. Rick Slaght 210

 

 

 

Low net

1. Rick Milligan 163-38—125

2. Fletcher Crook 174-48—126

3. Jim Amos 151-24—127

4. Ryan Sirges 157-26—131

5. Clay Jones 166-34—132

6. Harvey Prescott 180-48—132

7. Jim Rhodes 161-28—133

8. Doug Kines 180-46—134

9. Dave Stewart 161-26—135

10. Alan Turner 172-36—136

11. Roy Elderkin 171-34—137

12. Dale Dorward 163-24—139

13. Brian Vacqueary 163-24—139

14. Rick Marcotte 175-34—141

15. Kenn Oliver 184-42—142

16. Jerry Mitchell 168-26—142

17. Richard Rainaldi 172-30—142

18. Hank Bood 182-40—142

19. Al Thompson 187-44—143

21. Will France 176-32—144

22. Paul Oliver 184-40—144

23. Ray Phillips 193-48—145

24. Ken Archer 198-48—150

25. Ralph VonKampen 189-38—151

26. Eric Hunter 194-42—152

27. Dave McKinnon 205-48—157

28. Ron Storry 214-54—160