Golfers in the Mount Brenton Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament would have rather been worrying only about their drives than driving rain.
But that’s the way it goes sometimes in golf and, after many days of mostly dry weather during the last two months, wet conditions greeted the 140 players in the tournament. A downpour on Saturday was followed by driving rain that didn’t let up too much throughout the final round Sunday.
Consistency was the name of the game for Mount Brenton’s own Dallas Jones of Ladysmith to emerge on top of the low gross standings for the second year in a row. Jones shot 69 Saturday and 68 Sunday for a five-under par 137, two better than the 139 from runner-up Andrew Funk of Gorge Vale. Phil Kondrak was at 140 after rounds of 71 and 69 while Nanaimo’s Zach Anderson, the recent winner of the Cowichan Open, came fourth at 141 with a 69 and a 72 and Aaron Keller of Cowichan placed fifth by shooting 72 and 71 for a 143 total.
Each of the golfers in the next group of five to round out the top 10 were only a shot apart as the standings were extremely tight at the top.
Dan Dupuis and Tai Reynolds were actually one-two after the first round, with Jones in third. Dupuis fired a 67 Saturday but blew up to an 86 Sunday while Reynolds faltered Sunday to an 80 after a 68 in the opening round.
That paved the way for Jones to be the leader of the pack, but others took a shot at it and gave him a run. “I figured it would be pretty close coming down the stretch,” said Jones.
The weather was definitely a factor, he added, with frequent use of towels to ensure a decent grip on the clubs. There was also a one-hour rain delay Saturday that kept players on the course a lot longer and turned it into an endurance match.
“It was coming down pretty good,” Jones indicated. “We were having great weather, all the way up to the weekend.”
The hard luck award of the tournament went to Mark Valliere of Nanaimo. He was a solid sixth overall in low gross, but nearly recorded a hole-in-one that would have yielded a cash reward of $5,000.
Valliere’s shot went into the hole but his chance to collect the cash disappeared when the ball bounced right back out.
On the low net side, Li ZingQuang was the overall winner at 134 with identical rounds of 80 and a 13 handicap. Chad Willingham took second with a 74 and 75 and a seven handicap leading to a 135 and Bob Price was third after a pair of 79s with an 11 handicap for a 136 net.
Jamie Hayton was the low net Mount Brenton club member at 139 for the two days on a countback over Ed Mulrooney.
The field of Island players in the event was bolstered by the usual strong support of more than 20 from Myrtle Point in Powell River.
“We’re happy about their commitment to our event year after year,” noted Mount Brenton pro Jan Best.
Bob Jansch Jr. played in the tournament which was frequented by his dad for so many years before he passed away earlier this year. There was a closest-to-the-pin contest on No. 16 both days in memory of Bob Jansch Sr., who was a founding member at Mount Brenton and helped build the course.
The tournament win for Jones was a huge boost before he embarks on a new venture.
“I had a couple of hiccups,” he noted. “But it’s my home course, I feel comfortable out there, a lot of confidence.”
Jones is heading to Spain to play some professional golf on the Gecko Tour in January and perhaps another tour while he’s overseas.
“I’ve been golfing quite a bit,” said Jones, who’s been working with former Cowichan resident Gord Melissa of Pheasant Glen on fine-tuning his game.
Best started a GoFundMe for people to donate money for Jones’ trip. Mount Brenton is also hosting an Ironman tournament on Oct. 13 to raise funds.
It’ll be a hard course set-up and two best ball net format for teams of four.