Derek MacDonald hits the ball up the fairway during the Seven Hills Golf Club's Men's Open tournament.

Derek MacDonald hits the ball up the fairway during the Seven Hills Golf Club's Men's Open tournament.

Men’s Open: a Seven Hills success

The Seven Hill's Golf Club held their annual men's open golf tournament Sept. 10 and 11.

After seven years of coming up short, Port McNeill’s Derek MacDonald finally claimed the low gross score at the Men’s Open.

“It feels pretty good,” said MacDonald with a smile after all the scorecards were tallied. “I love this tournament. It’s been a goal of mine to win it. I’ve gotten better every year and kept improving.”

The men’s open tournament had over 40 golfers sign up to play this year, with some of the best golfers on the North Island competing for the right to have their name’s engraved on the two men’s open plaques (Low Net and Low Gross).

The open wasn’t just for experienced competitors though, 15 year old Jacob Pohl and his older brother Jamie Pohl both signed up to play, and it was their first golf tournament ever.

“I was a little nervous,” said Jacob, adding that he signed up because he thought it’d be fun and he wanted to “get a bit of experience, try it out and figure out the whole tournament deal.”

Jamie agreed, stating he was nervous too, but that overall he thought the tournament was “going to be fun, and the weather is supposed to be nice, so I thought it would be a good time.”

While the weather would indeed start to cooperate later during the weekend, on saturday morning the sun was struggling to come out from beneath the clouds as the tournament kicked off just before noon.

Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood was the first to tee off for his group, officially starting the open. Mayor Bood smashed the ball straight up the fairway and then granted this reporter a brief interview on the significance of the tournament for the North Island.

“The club, like all of the recreational facilities on the North Island, really needs people to come out for the events they hold. It’s really important for the community,” said Bood, adding that the golf course “struggles along on a really small budget, and the people at the course do a whole bunch of volunteer work to make it run, so it’s really great to see a turnout like this to help liven up the place.”

The sun continued to creep out from behind the clouds, shining down on the course later in the afternoon as all the golfers finally retired to the clubhouse after 18 competitive holes.

MacDonald ended up parring the front and back nine for a low gross score of 70. On his heels was the returning champion Shaun Zealand who had shot a 72.

“I did pretty well today, I came out in a good position” said MacDonald, adding that he birdied the ninth hole twice during the 18 holes of stroke play and he was “pretty happy about that.”

The sun was out in full force on Sunday morning as the golfers came back to play 18 more holes. MacDonald kept his composure, played it cool and continued to build on his previous days lead, ultimately finishing the second round of the tournament off with a 68, two under par.

Zealand again shot a 72.

“I didn’t want to sleep on the lead so I just relaxed,” said MacDonald, adding that his favourite moment of the tournament was “a putt today on hole one that was unbelievable. It was about 35 feet long, went uphill and then broke 90 degrees.”

MacDonald stated that Zealand was his biggest competition this weekend. “He’s won it three or four times now,” before adding that he’s definitely “going to celebrate when I get home.”

Zealand was feeling under the weather all weekend, but was in good spirits after the very close loss, mentioning that he “could’ve played better, could’ve played worse.”

“We come up every year from Victoria to support the club, it’s a big deal” Zealand said, adding that even though he was sick there were no excuses needed.

“Derek hands down won it fair and square. I beat him last year, and he kicked the crap out of me this year.”

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Most Read