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Golf Canada – Champion earns exemption into 2018 RBC Canadian Open

REGINA, Sask. –  Amateur golfers over the age of 25 will gather for the 31st playing of the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Wascana Country Club from Aug. 22-25. 

The field of 156 amateur golfers will navigate the course that is stretched out along the winding shoreline of the Wascana Creek. Established in 1911, the Wascana Country Club offers a peaceful wetland setting and identifies as one of the premier golf courses in Saskatchewan. 

“We are truly honoured to host this prestigious tournament here at Wascana,” said Greg Dukart, CEO of Wascana Country Club. “We look forward to challenging this strong field with our ‘wetlands’ golf course, in addition to showcasing what the city of Regina has to offer.”

Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que., captured the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title seven times between 1987 and 2002. He is among a group of five other players who have captured this championship on multiple occasions, including 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont.  

“The Mid-Amateur is a great opportunity for Canadian amateurs to find success and experience on a national stage and we are excited to bring this talented field to Wascana,” said Tournament Director Mary Beth McKenna. “The course is beautiful and in great condition to draw out some exciting competition.”

In 2016, Rank finished at 19 under par to claim a six-stroke victory at Golf Château-Bromont for his third consecutive victory at the event. He became the third person to win the tournament three years in a row along with Dave Bunker (2008-2010) and Graham Cooke (2000-2002). Rank will look to become the first ever champion to win four consecutive titles.

The first round will take place on Aug. 25 and the field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties for the final two rounds.

The championship was first contested in 1987 and includes an inter-provincial component over the first 36 holes. In addition, the championship includes a Mid-Master competition for players over the age of 40 that runs concurrently with the tournament.

Team Ontario will attempt to defend its title in the inter-provincial team competition, and a new winner will try to win the 40-and-over Mid-Master division. Rob Couture, who won the division last year, will not be competing. 

In addition to the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title, the 2017 champion will receive an exemption into the 2018 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. 

Additional information about the tournament, including the full field and tee-times is available here.

NOTABLES​

Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont.
In 2016 he earned his third straight championship win at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur and is the highest ranked Canadian golfer in the field at No. 66. He recently earned medallist honours at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Granite Golf Club. 

Dave Bunker of Brampton, Ont.
The 52-year-old won this event three years in a row between 2008-2010. He also won the Investors Group Men’s Mid-Amateur three times, most recently in 2014.  Bunker finished third at the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship earlier this season. 

Ryan Sevigny of Ottawa, Ont.
The 29-year-old finished runner-up at this same event last season. In 2016 he finished third at the Alexander of Tunis Championship. 

Kevin Carrigan of Victoria, B.C.
Carrigan won the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship two times in a row in 2012 and 2013. Earlier this year he finished third at the B.C. Amateur Championship. The 31-year-old finished T7 at the same event last year.

Kevin Fawcett of Toronto, Ont.
The 33-year-old finished T2 in the individual competition of the Canadian University/College Championship this season. He also finished T42 at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship earlier in August. 

Charles Fitzsimmons of London, Ont.
Fitzsimmons finished in T10 at the Canadian University/College Championship and fifth at the OUA Golf Championship this season. Last year, the 30-year-old finished in 11th at this same event and T5 at the Ontario Men’s Amateur.

FAST FACTS

Championship was first contested in 1987 and was originally known as the RCGA Pre-Seniors Championship before it was renamed to its current name in 1989.

The inter-provincial team championship for the R. Bruce Forbes Trophy was first conducted in 1992 and is played concurrently over the first two rounds of stroke play.

Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que. and Stu Hamilton of Brampton, Ont., captured 11 of the first 20 championships played.

Graham Cooke was the inaugural champion in 1987.

Graham Cooke has the most event wins with seven.

The defending champion is Garrett Rank, who has won the event for the past three years.

Three players have won the event three times in a row: Garrett Rank, Dave Bunker and Graham Cooke – no one has won it four times straight.

In 2006, the format was changed from match to stroke play, with a Mid-Master category introduced for golfers over the age of 40.

Defending Mid-Master Champion is Rob Couture of Dallas, Texas. 

Team Ontario captured the inter-provincial R. Bruce Forbes Trophy in 2016. 

ABOUT THE COURSE

Wascana Country Club

Established in 1911.

When first constructed, the Wascana featured a 9-hole golf course and a clubhouse on 117 acres of land south of the Wascana Creek.

1929 fire destroyed the original clubhouse.

Many famous people have played the course including comedians Bob Hope and George Kirby, hockey stars Jean Belliveau and Gordie Howe, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Kent and Louis Meyers, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 race.

Will play host to the 2018 CP Women’s Open to mark the first LPGA event to be conducted in Saskatchewan. 

Has welcomed more than 30 notable championships since its founding, including the PGA of Canada Championship in 1992; the Saskatchewan Men’s Amateur Golf Championship six times, most recently in 2005; and the Saskatchewan Women’s Amateur Championship 10 times between 1915 and 1990.

More information can be found here

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GOLF CANADA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Golf Canada annually conducts more than 20 championships nation-wide which play host to more than 3,000 domestic and international athletes from all corners of the world. In partnership with our host clubs, thousands of volunteers, provincial golf associations and our proud sponsors, Golf Canada is dedicated to supporting player development through world-class competition since our inception in 1895. Officiated by certified Canadian Rules of Golf officials, Golf Canada’s amateur competitions are fully compliant with golf’s international governing bodies and include marquee events such as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships as well as the Canadian Junior Girls and Junior Boys Championships. Golf Canada’s amateur championships are proudly supported by RBC, Canadian Pacific, Sport Canada, Acura, Titleist and FootJoy. For more information and scheduling visit www.golfcanada.ca/competitions.

GOLF CANADA – LOVE THE GAME. GROW THE GAME.
Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada representing 305,000 golfers and 1,400 member clubs across the country. A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada’s mission is to grow participation, excellence and passion in the sport while upholding the integrity and traditions of the game. By investing in the growth of the sport and introducing more participants of all ages to the game, our goal is to be relevant to and respected by all Canadian golf enthusiasts from coast to coast. For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit www.golfcanada.ca.

For more information:

Tyler Costigan
Manager, Corporate Communications & Social Media
Golf Canada
(t) 1-800-263-0009 x 315
(c) 416-300-4860
(e) tcostigan@golfcanada.ca

Andrew Bottomley
Assistant, Media & Public Relations
Golf Canada
(t) 1-800-263-0009 x 316
(c) 647-208-3170
(e) abottomley@golfcanada.ca