Martell wins Avondale Open in playoff with O’Brien

Published on June 11, 2017

Curtis Martell hits an approach shot on the first hole of Sunday’s second round of the Avondale Open.

©Jason Malloy/The Guardian

VERNON RIVER, P.E.I. – Curtis Martell had to work overtime for his first victory on the Prince Edward Island amateur golf tour.

The 21-year-old Belfast native defeated Martin O’Brien on the first playoff hole Sunday to win the Avondale Open.

“It’s exciting,” Martell said Sunday night. “It’s nice to get a win under my belt and get more comfortable in the tournaments.”

Golfers gain points at each of six stops to determine the player of the year.

Martell shot 74 each day at Avondale for a two-round total of 4-over 148 at the Vernon River course. He was two groups ahead of the leaders during Sunday’s final round. After finishing No. 18, Martell watched from the clubhouse as the final six players completed their round. He was sitting on the deck when someone mentioned he might have to play a playoff hole depending on the final hole’s outcome.

It is exactly what happened, leaving Martell chasing his first tour victory in his second year playing Prince Edward Island’s best amateurs.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” he said of the playoff, which took place on No. 1 with the field watching from the clubhouse.

“(It’s) one of my favourite holes on the course, so I felt comfortable in the tee box.”

His first shot, as was the case most of the weekend, was a good one, leading to a birdie on the par-4, 341-yard hole and the tournament victory.

“The driver put me in an excellent position to hit a wedge in,” said Martell, who golfs at Belfast Highland Greens.

He had strong starts on both days, with some birdies in the first three holes, which provided him a chance to get into a good rhythm on sunny, but windy, days.

“I just kind of kept the same approach (on Sunday), focused on putting the ball in play and then hitting greens and letting the putter do the work,” he said.

Martell said there are some great amateurs on P.E.I., who he has learned a lot from during the past year on the tour.

Fiona Thompson accepts the Avondale Open trophy from Avondale Golf Course general manager Connor Lea after winning the women’s division on Sunday.

Fiona Thompson shot 77 each round for a 10-over 154 to win the women’s championship. Chris MacLauchlan was second at 159.
Matthew Bowlan was 14-over 158 to claim the men’s second division by two strokes over Grant Somers.
The next tour stop is the Mill River Open Saturday and Sunday.
Martell said winning at Avondale doesn’t add any pressure for him and actually does the opposite.
“It’s almost more of a calming feeling, knowing that I have won and that I can win,” he said. “It’s more of a confidence boost.”

Player Round 1 Round 2 Total
Championship Division      
Curtis Martell
74 74 148
Martin O'Brien 70 78 148
Anthony Warren 73 76 149
Tim Yorke 74 76 150
Adam Gallant 72 78 150
Paul Gormley 75 77 152
Scott Morton 78 75 153
Curtis Hall 72 81 153
Jeremy Brown 73 81 154
Darren Martell 82 74 156
Jeremy Stevenson 82 75 157
Stephen Anderson 71 86 157
Steven Gamester 79 79 158
Marty Koughan 85 76 161
Tommy Schurman 81 82 163
Jeff Hughes 80 83 163
Ricky Knockwood 85 80 165
Brodie McGregor 82 83 165
Tyler Murphy 82 84 166
Cameron King 88 79 167
Mark McKenna 86 83 169
Fiona Thompson 77 77 154
Chris MacLauchlan 81 78 159
Sue Allen 83 81 164
Sherry White 82 84 166
Melissa Castle 92 91 183
Brenda McIlwaine 96 101 197
Second Division      
Matthew Bowlan 73 85 158
Grant Somers 81 79 160
Leigh Adams 83 81 164
Leonard Doyle 85 83 168
George Stewart 89 81 170
Doug Gallant 86 84 170
Paul Currie 84 86 170
Norm Platt 89 86 175
Charlie O'Brien 82 93 175
Bobby Savidant 86 90 176
Kennie MacWilliams 90 90 180
John Creamer 90 93 183
Rick Arsenault 90 WD