The first of three rounds starts this morning at the Stanhope Golf Course.
“I’ve always considered myself a decent putter, but this year it’s really set me apart I find,” Gallant said Thursday. “Inside 10 feet, I step up to it and feel like I’m going to make it and, most of the times, it goes in the hole.”
The 24-year-old Summerside native, who has been a member of the P.E.I. Ocean View Resort and Golf Club in his hometown since 2004, has always been able to hit the ball far off the tee, but he has learned shorter drives can be more effective.
“Now I’m starting to find more fairways, which makes it easier to hit it close to the hole and make those birdies,” he said. “You have to put yourself in position to hit that second shot and give yourself looks at birdies.”
Gallant has played in the Island’s player of the year series since graduating from the Order of Merit junior circuit. Initially, he said, it was a bit intimidating playing with the province’s best, but it has helped him improve his game and he enjoys measuring himself against those golfers every couple of weeks.
“You need to be on in all facets of your game,” said Gallant, who’s best finish on the series was a second in Summerside a couple of years ago.
Gallant said he had a down year last season, struggling to put consistent rounds together, and noted it was hard to pinpoint the reason.
“This year, I’m continuing to put the work in, and it’s paying off.”
Gallant is sitting third in the player of the year series after two events. He finished tied for fourth at Avondale and tied for seventh at Mill River. He is rounding into form and looking for three strong rounds this week.
“Coming into this weekend, my game is feeling pretty good,” he said. “I found something again and it feels pretty good right now.”
The amateur is worth twice the points in the player of the year series, is used to determine the Island squad for the Atlantic Golf Championship in New Brunswick and will factor into the selection of the Island squad competing in Newfoundland for the Atlantic Cup, formerly known as the Mel Murray Maritime Cup.
“It’s a very, very important and prestigious golf tournament,” Gallant said of the amateur. “I try to peak my game right before the amateur. That's the most important time of the year, for me.”
With so much on the line, being mentally strong is critical.
“If you hit a bad shot, you just have to shake it off and go hit the next one.”
Cooke Insurance Amateur Golf Championship
What – The Island’s top golf event of the season. It is managed by the Prince Edward Island Golf Association.
Where – Stanhope Golf Course. It is a par-72 event for the men and 74 for the women.
When – The three-round championship begins today and runs through Sunday.
What's on the line – Provincial titles will be awarded in the amateur and senior divisions for both men and women while there are also men’s divisions in mid amateur and super senior. The association will use this week’s results to determine the 20 players for the Atlantic Golf Championship at the Covered Bridge Golf and Country Club in Hartland, N.B., in August. The amateur also awards double the points in the player of the year series. Organizers of the Island squad competing in the Atlantic Cup men’s tournament also use this week as a tool to select its 12 players.
Online – Live scoring will be available throughout the weekend on the association’s website, www.peiga.ca.
Quote – “The competition is always great at the amateur when you get the best of the best guys out and they’re all ready to play,” said Summerside’s Adam Gallant.
Recent winners of the P.E.I. amateur men's title:
2016 Tim Yorke
2015 Jason Campbell
2014 Cody MacKay
2013 Martin O'Brien
2012 Greg MacAulay
2011 Chris Welton
2010 Anthony Warren
2009 Anthony Warren
2008 Anthony Warren
2007 Matt Matheson
2006 Robbie Younker
2005 Mike Fortier
2004 Jeff MacEachern
2003 Tim Yorke
2002 Craig Taylor
2001 Anthony Warren
2000 Jeff MacEachern