LINKLETTER – It was mission accomplished for Cody MacKay at the Island Coastal P.E.I. Amateur golf championships on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Warren Grove resident overcame a two-stroke deficit after the first 18 holes to win his first P.E.I. Men’s Amateur Division (under-40) by two strokes and shoot the overall low score.
“I’m pretty happy,” said MacKay. “That was the goal at the start of the year, and I’m pretty happy to accomplish that and also qualify for the Atlantic championships.
“I’m pretty pleased right now.”
The top three golfers in each men’s and women’s division, along with two super senior golfers – a man and woman over the age of 70 – qualified for the Atlantic golf championships at Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck, N.S., from Aug. 15 to 17.
Other division winners were:
Tim Yorke, Mid-Amateur Division; Ron Garrett, Senior Men’s Division; Peter Clark, Super Senior Men’s Division; Sherry White, Women’s Amateur and Senior Women’s Divisions, and Joyce MacLellan, Super Senior Women’s Division.
Weather affects schedule
The championships were originally scheduled for 36 holes – 18 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. However, Saturday’s weather forecast resulted in Round 1 being called off on Friday night, and the P.E.I. Golf Association determined it would be a one-day 27-hole event at the Summerside Golf Club.
“I was pretty tired after for sure,” said MacKay referring to the 27-hole format. “I was happy not to go anymore when I finished.
“We didn’t have that much of a wait, so it was nice to get right back at it because I was playing pretty good on the first 18.”
MacKay went into the final nine holes two strokes behind playing partner Brodie Ward. Ward had splits of 36 and 34 for a 2-under-par 70 total while MacKay shot 37 over the front nine and 35 over the back nine for an even-par 72.
Things did not start off promising on the final nine holes for MacKay as he double-bogeyed No. 1 for a six.
“I didn’t let it affect me,” said MacKay. “I came back with a few birdies, and knew it was tough out there.
“I just wanted to stay patient.”
MacKay finished with a 36 to finish with a 108 total, and Ward shot a 40 over the final nine holes for a 110 score.
“I hit the ball pretty solid and I putted good,” assessed MacKay. “I made the putts I should make, and kept it in play. I didn’t lose any balls, and just stayed patient.”
Wind main factor
Without doubt, the wind was a big factor on a sunny day.
“It was pretty windy but the course was in really good shape,” said MacKay. “The greens were really good.”
Summerside Golf Club staff and 30 club members were out on the course Sunday at 5 a.m. cleaning tree branches that had blown onto the course during Saturday’s wind and getting the course ready the 8 a.m. tee offs.
Did the extra nine holes and windy conditions force MacKay to change his approach?
“My approach is to shoot the lowest score I can shoot,” he answered. “It is a little tougher with the wind, but it didn’t change my approach at all.”
Off to Atlantics
P.E.I. golfers who qualified for Atlantic championships:
Men’s Amateur Division
Cody MacKay 37-35-36—108
Brodie Ward 36-34-40—110
Scott Morton 39-38-36—113
Men’s Mid-Amateur Division
Tim Yorke 38-37-36—111
Dave Shellington 38-39-35—112
Darren Martell 39-37-40—116
Senior Men’s Division
Ron Garrett 36-43-37—116
Grant Somers 40-39-40—119
Wayne Crosby 41-42-38—121
Super Senior Men’s Division
Billy Murphy 45-44-42—131
Note: To qualify for the Super Senior Division at the Atlantic championships golfers must be 70-years-old. Although Peter Clark (37-44-44—125) won the Super Senior Division, he does not meet the age qualifications for the Atlantic championships.
Women’s Amateur Division
Melissa Castle 44-46-45—135
Bailey Carr 43-48-137
Mary Andrews 57-43-57-157
Women’s Mid-Amateur Division
Corinna Forster 46-51-48—145
Note: Forster was the only golfer entered in this division.
Senior Women’s Division
Sherry White 43-46-43—132
Paula Buote 49-44-43—136
Debby Beck 47-45-46—138
Super Senior Women
Joyce MacLellan 47-49-48—144