Montemurro tops Niagara PGA field at Champions event
It was a good week for Oak Gables Class A professional Jakob Montemurro.
On Thursday, the 32-year-old former resident of Niagara made the semifinals at the Ontario PGA Matchplay Championship and finished third. On Saturday, Montemurro topped the field at the Niagara PGA Championship that was staged as part of the 73rd Annual Walt McCollum Niagara District Champions of Champions golf tournament at the St Catharines Golf and Country Club.
He was presented with the Webby Cup for his victory. The cup was named in honour of Ian Webb, who passed away in 2019. The PGA of Canada member spent part of his career at Bridgewater.
“He was near and dear to many people in Niagara and I feel very fortunate and privileged to be able to compete and win against a lot of good pros who play on Niagara,” said Montemurro, who played in the Champion of Champions event as a junior. “I have become acquainted with all the fellows who play the events now and it’s great camaraderie.”
He shot a three under par 69 Saturday as did Mark Strugar but the tournament was played under the Stableford system. Montemurro won thanks to five birdies and two bogeys.
The top eight golfers from the Niagara PGA competed in the event and the field included Montemurro, Ron Kenesky, Adam Steinshifter, Caleb Ellis, Dylan Patus, Strugar, Ben Scapilatti and Ryan Oosterhout.
Montemurro, a Hamilton native, came into the event as the points leader on tour. He played in four events, winning at Twenty Valley and Grand Niagara and placing second in two other tournaments.
“Billy (Simkin), Donny (Churchill) and Phil (Durant) are doing a great job of running the tour and I am really grateful for them putting this together,” he said. “I am thankful that the course was willing to have us and incorporate us into the tournament. The course here was fantastic and Cam (Thin) and all his staff did a great job.”
Montemurro enjoys playing competitive golf and caddying.
“I’ve continued to compete over the last number of years and last year I was fortunate enough to play in some Mackenzie (Canadian) Tour events and I had some reasonable success. I had a top 40,” he said. “In the winter, I was lucky enough to caddy in some Champions Tour school events for my friend Dennis Hendershott. He got through the first stage and made it to finals. We also got to do a couple qualifiers and we met and were exposed to some guys who had played on the PGA Tour.”
Montemurro has not given up on his hopes of playing pro golf at the highest levels.
“I continue to compete and this year I have done some teaching,” he said. “It takes a lot of money to chase the dream but I chase it as I can afford to and I enjoy it. I am planning to go to Florida this winter to continue to compete.”