Mike Bell of Port McNeill chips onto the seventh green Sunday during the final round of the Seven Hills Golf and Country Club Men's Open tournament.

Prodigal sons victorious in rain

Seven Hills Golf and Country Club hosted its 30th annual Men's Open last Sunday.

SEVEN HILLS—A couple of out-of-towners took top honours in the 30th annual Men’s Open Golf Tournament at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club Sunday. But both of them had a little home-course mojo working for them.

Doug Petrie, whose father Al is president of the club and who grew up in Port McNeill before becoming head pro at the Comox Valley Golf Club, claimed the rain-shortened Open championship with a 27-hole score of 107, one under par.

“I was glad to come back and win this, having grown up playing here,” said Petrie, who claimed his first Open victory while playing here for the first time since 2009. “It was good seeing all the people here and playing with them again.”

And Shawn Zealand, who grew up in Port Hardy and worked at Seven Hills before moving to Victoria and getting work as an engineer, claimed the low-gross title by shooting 112 before play was called off when standing water left the course unplayable.

It was the first time the Open had been shortened to fewer than its scheduled 36 holes.

“I was playing pretty well in the rain,” said Zealand, who finished second a year ago in a playoff after tying for the lead through 36 holes. “It was kind of anti-climactic because I didn’t get to finish my round. I grew up golfing in the wind and rain.”

After some initial morning fog, the tourney’s opening round Saturday was played in bright sunshine and, by North Island standards, hot temperatures.

But just over an hour into Sunday’s final round a light drizzle began to fall, and it soon turned into a full-fledged downpour. The 69 players entered laboured on, but shortly past the midpoint of the scheduled 18-hole round the clubhouse horn blew to call them in. Some players were on their 13th hole and some on their 14th, so scores for the day were cut off at the front nine to give everybody a 27-hole weekend total.

“The course was just unplayable,” said Kevin Black, Seven Hills manager and club pro.

Dale Dorward of Port Hardy earned his first low-net title, scoring a 102.5 with the 27-hole split to edge Ralph Von Kamdan and Bill Bowles, who each scored 103.

Zealand returns each summer to play in a foursome that includes brother Brad Zealand and brother-in-law Mark Hutchinson of Port Hardy, along with Tim Renaud. Brad took the clubhouse lead Saturday with an 18-hole total of 75, with Rory Bondue of Port Alice second at 76 and Shawn tied with Ron Bolivar at 78.

The Zealand foursome was nattily attired in classic Plus-fours during the sunny Saturday session, though that did little for Shawn’s game.

“(Sunday) it was rain gear, and I did a lot better,” he said with a laugh. “I grew up playing in wind and rain.”

While Bondue carded a 38 and Brad Zealand and Bolivar struggled through nine-hole rounds of 40 and 42, respectively, Shawn shot a 35 that carried him to the top spot in the amateur low-gross while matching Masa Saito and Perry Scarlett, who tied for second among pros behind Petrie.

“I really just like coming back to play with these guys,” Zealand said. “And hat’s off to Doug — he shot well yesterday and shot well today.”

 

30th Annual Seven Hills Golf and Country Club Men’s Open Tournament

Sept. 8-9

27 holes (par 108)

 

Open champion: *Doug Petrie, 107

*Pro

 

Low Gross

1. Shawn Zealand    112

2. Darren Schmidt    113

3. Rory Bondue    114

4. Brad Zealand    115

5. Russell Murray    115

6. Andrew Laming    116

7. Tracy Branch    118

8. Cory McIntosh    118

9. Jeff Bood    120

10. Tim Renaud    124

11. Jim Buchanan    124

12. Jim Amos    125

13. Derek McDonald    125

14. Mark Hutchinson    125

15. Keenan Egeland    126

16. Wayne Peterson    130

17. Guy Mitchell    131

 

Low Net

1. Dale Dorward    102.5

2. Ralph Von Kamdan    103

3. Bill Bowles    103

4. Rick Marcotte    104

5. Mike Gossen    104

6. Mark Smith    105.5

7. Jim Rhodes    106

8. Al Thompson    107.5

9. Clay Jones    107.5

10. Don Bolivar    107.5

11. Ken Turner    108.5

12. Jim Buchanan    109

13. Steve Amos    109

14. Paul Oliver    109.5

15. Dan Daly    110

16. Rick Adams    110.5

17. Larry Lemoal    111

18. Dave McKinnon    111

19. Joey Henderson    111

20. Rob Paterson    111.5

 

Pro

1. Doug Petrie    72-35—107

2. Masa Saito    74-38—112

3. Perry Scarlett    77-35—112

4. Brian Benedictson    78-35—113

5. Kevin Black        74-40—114

 

Closest-to-the-pin

Saturday

Hole 2/11: Russell Murray; Hole 4/13: Brad Zealand (Return trip airfare courtesy Pacific Coastal Airlines); Hole 6/15: Brad Zealand

Sunday: Hole 2: Bill Wheeldon; Hole 4: Mark Hutchinson (Vancouver Canucks tickets courtesy Pacific Coastal Airlines); Hole 6: Shawn Zealand.

Long drive

Handicap 14-under: Brad Zealand

Handicap 15-over: Trygg Carlson

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