Champion of Champions postponed
Cherry Hill’s Alex Taylor was scheduled to defend her title in this Saturday’s 72nd Annual Walt McCollum Niagara District Champion of Champions golf tournament at Niagara National Golf and Country. The event has been postponed until Oct. 9.
Mother Nature has forced the postponement of this Saturday’s 72nd Annual Walt McCollum Niagara District Champion of Champions golf tournament at Niagara National Golf and Country, formerly the International Country Club.
“Due to the inclement weather throughout the last 18 hours along with the expected rain for the next 12 hours we are going to postpone the championship until Saturday, Oct. 9,” a Thursday press release from the tournament committee read. “The current course conditions will make it extremely difficult to prepare the golf course in such a manner that is expected for an event of this importance. We apologize for the inconvenience but appreciate your patience and understanding.”
Because of the postponement, a number of activities scheduled will not take place on Oct. 9 and there will be no post event festivities. The band has been cancelled, there will be limited food options and there will be no ceremony for the first year of the Niagara Golf Wall of Recognition inductees. On the new date, the awards for each division will be handed out as soon as scoring for the division is complete.
The postponement was another disappointment for the organizing committee made up of Niagara National general manager Tom Vanderlip, Beechwood head pro John White, Niagara-on-the-Lake head pro Billy Simkin, St. Catharines head pro Cameron Thin and Golf Ontario regional manager Carrie Julie. Last year, the committee was hoping to enhance the festivities around the tournament but the extra hoopla was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year it was the rain that put a damper on things.
“Our area in particular over the last week there has been more than six inches of rain that has fallen down. We were closed two days of the week last week even for walkers because it was so wet,” Vanderlip said. “And then there was this last drenching. Our biggest concern, even though it is a couple of days away, we might not have the ability to go out and cut the course for the tournament and that won’t allow us to prepare it the way we want to.”
Niagara National is so soggy the ponds are full and are draining back on to the golf course.
“For an event like this, we don’t want it to be a slopfest. We don’t want people teeing off and there is a splash on the fairway,” he said. “These players deserve better than that.”
Vanderlip agrees it is frustrating that circumstances have prevented the new committee from taking the tournament to another level.
“We thought last year was going to be a special event for us and then COVID set us back. At least we had the opportunity to recognize the champions last year and get something in,” he said. “This year, we will do it again it a couple of weeks but the whole region is soaking wet right now.”
Scheduled to compete in the junior boys division were: Rockway Vineyards’ Jakob Dugout; Bridgewater’s Adam Scarlett; St. Catharines’ Morgan Daly; Beechwood’s Owen Sartor; Sawmill’s Nathan Freure; Brock’s Anthony Sartor; Rolling Meadows’ Brady Perry; Long Beach’s Wyatt Seburn; Willodell’s Angelo Butera; Lookout Point’s Ben Hebert; Twenty Valley’s Caleb Shorthouse; and, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Sam Walker.
Making up the junior girls field are: Bridgewater’s Mikayla Lacey; Brock’s Hazel Templeman; and, Sawmill’s Casey Kenney.
Competitors in the championship men’s division are Long Beach’s Dino Maddalena; Niagara-on-the-Lake’s James Grigjanis-Meusel; Bridgewater’s Mike Athoe; Rolling Meadows’ Pat Purbs; Whiskey Run’s James Correia; Lookout Point’s Isaiah Ellis; St. Catharines’ Brandon McGregor; Freedom Oaks’ Casey Chymko; Sawmill’s Mike Woodhouse; Port Colborne’s Stephen Grano; Rockway Vineyards; Kham Vong; Twenty Valley’s Kyle Stephenson; Niagara Falls’ Ken Wake; Cardinal Lakes’ Adam Crumb; Niagara National’s Richard Gibson; Willodell’s Bill Zizian; Grand Niagara’s Donald Cooke; and, Beechwood’s Mike Maves.
Scheduled to take part in the championship women’s division are: Cardinal Lakes’ Emily Zwier; Beechwood’s Julia Min; Rockway Vineyards’ Kennedy Bodfield; Niagara Falls’ Carrie Pennimpede; Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Yolanda Henry; Freedom Oaks’ Pat Bradt; St. Catharines’ Lindsay Voogt; Sawmill’s Donna Larson; Twenty Valley’s Karen Vanplew; Rolling Meadows’ Wendy Ozog; Cherry Hill’s Alexandra Taylor; Whiskey Run’s Michelle Fraser; Bridgewater’s Ruth McBride; and, Port Colborne’s Stefi Markovich.
Qualifying for the senior men’s division were: Rockway Vineyards’ Derek Divok; Bridgewater’s Doug Bunting; Niagara Falls’ Harry Janzen; Niagara National’s Gary McDonald; Freedom Oaks’ Mark Flegule; Willodell’s Dave Tieche: Long Beach’s Tom Briggs; Lookout Point’s Mike Pogor; Twenty Valley’s Mike Persia; Sawmill’s Rick Kozarichuk; Cardinal Lakes’ Roger Perry; Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Jim Panetta; Rolling Meadows’ Fred LaSelva; St. Catharines’ Brian Brushettt; Whiskey Run’s Roger Arsenault; Beechwood’s Bill Urquhart; and, Port Coborne’s Bob Goss.
Qualifying for the senior women’s division were: Bridgewater’s Julie Zulik; Sawmill’s Susie Sexton; Rolling Meadows’ Carol Irvin; Lookout Point’s Sharon Montgomery-Greenwood; Cardinal Lakes’ Janet Tone; Rockway Vineyards’ Betty Divok; St. Catharines’ Sue MacKenzie; Niagara Falls’ Sue Labatte; Long Beach’s Bev Parker; Whiskey Run’s Kim Bryanton; Freedom Oaks’ Sarah-Anne Smurlick; Port Colborne’s Barb Brown; Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Lisa Allen; Twenty Valley’s Sherry Christie; and, Niagara National’s Theresa Holmes.