Vernon River — Greg MacAulay put together two strong rounds to win the P.E.I. Amateur Golf Championship Sunday at the Avondale Golf Club.
The 20-year-old Stratford resident carded a two-round score of five-under-par 139 to win by three strokes over Tim Yorke. It was his first win in one of the four events used to select the province amateur and mid-amateur teams after being in contention after the first day.
“It’s really satisfying,” MacAulay said.
“I had put myself in good positions after the first round of the first two events, but kind of had bad Sundays.
“So to come out here and have a strong Sunday today in the biggest tournament of the year is very good.”
MacAulay, who shot a two-under Saturday and a three-under Sunday, said a turning point came Sunday on the eighth hole.
“It was the first green I missed all day,” he explained. “I had a really funny lie in the bunker. I was kind half in, half out. I ended up hitting a great shot to a foot to save par.”
The shot got him back on track as he birdied the next three holes and looked in control all day.
“I played as well as I could play, Greg just played better,” Yorke said. “It was good to see Greg play that well under the gun.”
Yorke started Sunday three strokes back of MacAulay and had made up one heading to the final hole. But his tee shot went into the woods leading to a double bogey and MacAulay never looked back.
Yorke, who won the mid-amateur component of the event, said the future looks bright for Island golf with a number of strong young players turning in good
“He’s one of several who could be the amateur champion,” Yorke said of MacAulay. “It shows our programs are working.”
MacAulay, who plays golf at Lindenwood University in Missouri, gave credit to Avondale head pro Dave Bowlan after the victory. The two have been working together the past few years on different aspects of the game and recently have been worked together on a weekly basis.
Bowlan is a three-time champion of the event, having won in 1983, 1985 and 1986.
By winning the amateur MacAulay earned 180 points towards making the amateur team going to Ottawa from Aug. 7 to 10. He had 85 entering this past weekend, but points from the P.E.I. amateur are worth twice as much. He has 165 points and sits in second place.
Yorke, who was leading with 180 going in this weekend, gained 120 points for his second-place finish and now sits on top with 300.
The last of the five tournaments will be played this coming weekend in Summerside.
Complete results in Monday's Guardian, Page B1.