This is a rare occasion when a competitive golfer doesn’t mind seeing triple digits next to their name.
Gerry Macdonald, a regular on the fairways and greens at Inglewood, was crowned the champion Sunday at the 100th playing of the Calgary Golf Association’s City Amateur.
“This is pretty cool, especially since it’s the 100th one. They were kind of pumping it up,” Macdonald said after Sunday’s final round at Canyon Meadows. “I guess I had a little more urgency to win this one. I was playing pretty well coming in and wanted to keep that going, to make sure I gave myself a chance anyway.”
He didn’t give any of the other guys a chance, really, fashioning a four-day total of 8-under 280 en route to a six-stroke triumph.
The latest instalment of the City Amateur teed off at Turner Valley, and Macdonald — a commercial real-estate agent and resident of Chestermere — stormed to a commanding seven-shot lead before the action shifted to Canyon Meadows for the weekend.
He opened with one of the most unique scorecards you’ll ever see — a birdie-free 66 that included four eagles, a dozen pars and two bogeys.
He made his fair share of birdies and had no blemishes the next day, finishing two spins of Turner Valley in 11-under 133.
There weren’t many red numbers in a pair of rounds at Canyon Meadows, preparing to once again welcome the legends of the PGA Tour Champions circuit for the fifth annual Shaw Charity Classic. Macdonald fired a 3-over 75 in Saturday’s third lap and then closed with an even-par 72 to seal his first City Amateur title.
“This is my best win, for sure,” he said.
Patrick Murphy (Glencoe) finished second, while defending champion Jamie Welder (Country Hills) was third. They were the only other contenders under-par at the conclusion of the four-round showdown.
“I wish I could say (the lead) freed me up, but I was still pretty nervous,” Macdonald admitted. “I missed a short one on No. 1 today and then three-putted Nos. 2 and 3, and I think Jamie was within four at that time. So the cushion was closing pretty quickly on me. So I definitely wish I would have got off to a bit better start, but it was obviously enough.”
Australia’s Cameron Powell, who is currently working at Fernie Golf Club and signed up for the City Amateur as part of a road-trip with a pal, made an ace in Sunday’s final round, finding the flag on No. 14 with a perfect pitching wedge from 156 yards away. Powell finished sixth.
CHIP SHOTS: Kerrin Lee-Gartner, the gold medallist in downhill skiing at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, raced away from the field last week at the Calgary Ladies Golf Association’s Senior Amateur at Willow Park. The 50-year-old Gartner, a regular at Pinebrook, fired back-to-back rounds of 1-over 74 and finished 10 shots clear of the competition. Gaylene Donald (Silver Springs) captured the super-senior title … Stephanie Chelak (Inglewood) cruised to a six-shot victory at the Calgary Junior Ladies Amateur at Valley Ridge … Ethan Choi (Pincher Creek) just missed out on a shiny keepsake at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, finishing one stoke out of the medals in a tie for fourth in individual male action. Taylor Stone (Pinebrook) was sixth on the female leaderboard, while Alberta ranked fourth among the boys and fifth among the girls in the team competition … Matt Williams (Glencoe) was tops among Albertans with his eighth-place performance at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in Toronto. Brett Hogan, another of ‘The Worms’ at Glencoe, helped the provincial squad to a fourth-place showing in the Willingdon Cup … Scott Allred, the executive professional at Elbow Springs, saved his best for last at the Mr. Lube PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada in Burlington, Ont., closing with a 3-under 67 to climb into fourth … Craig MacArthur (Blackhawk) fired a course-record 66 in the final round of the PGA of Alberta Club Pro Championship at Derrick Golf & Winter Club in Edmonton, surging to a three-stroke victory.