WESTLOCK – Following a dramatic four-hole playoff, Chase Provencal is the Westlock Golf Club’s 2021 Men’s Open champion.
Provencal, who crafted rounds of 71 and 77 at the two-day, 36-hole event held Aug. 7-8, saved his best for last in the playoff round against defending champ Ryan Coish, who also carded a 148 — the two had been paired throughout the final day of action.
In the sudden-death playoff, Provencal and Coish went stroke-for-stroke on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes before Provencal birdied the 13th to claim the championship trophy.
It’s the second Men’s Open title for Provencal and one he’ll savour as Coish, who won last year’s event in a playoff, is also a two-time champion, with 10 second-place finishes to his credit. Meanwhile Forest Lewko, playing in the ‘C’ Flight, claimed the tournament low net honours with a score of 144.
“Got lucky I guess,” said Provencal with a chuckle, who narrowly missed a three-foot birdie on the last hole of regulation play to force the playoff.
“Ryan (Coish) is a very good golfer and a lot of fun to play with. I don’t get out as much as I used to, but I always play in the Men’s Open,” said Provencal, who tipped his cap to his cousin and golf pro Ryan Provencal for some much-needed, last-minute lessons in advance of the Open.
Although Westlock head pro Shawn Fagan would have liked a few more registrants as only 45 hit the links, the course and the weather were next to perfect.
“It ran smoothly, there was some good golf. The weather cooperated and the food was amazing. People were just happy to be able to play again and see some other guys from other courses they haven’t seen in a while due to COVID,” said Fagan.
In the championship flight, Chad Caron finished two strokes back of Provencal and Coish with a 150. Meanwhile, Ryan Hoglander took the low net honours with a 146 and was followed by Chris McKenzie with a 148.
In the ‘A’ Flight, Stephen Simmons ruled with a 162, while Ryan Jeffries carded a 165. Low net was claimed by Robert Burnstick with a 145, followed by Chris Lamouche at 148.
In the ‘B’, Allan Sirant claimed the low gross with a 176, with Rob Steppke in second at 178. Malcolm Arnold posted a 151 to win low net, followed by Ken Elder with a 155.
Rounding out the event in the ‘C’, Chia Tang, on a count back, put up a 179 to take the low gross, with Byron Miles finishing second at 194. Bill Paul claimed low net honours with a 147, with Tim Howard a stroke back to finish second.
The next few weeks will be busy with tournaments as the Westlock Golf Club Championship is slated for Aug. 21-22 — the two-day event is for club members only and there’s no cost to enter.
The following weekend will see the Par 3 Challenge, which goes Saturday, Aug. 28, while the Ladies Open is slated for the following day, Aug. 29, in a new four-person scramble format.
“The Par 3 Challenge is where we turn the course into 18 holes of Par 3s and every hole has at least a $10,000 prize on it for the first hole-in-one,” said Fagan.
“It could be a car on a hole, it could be $10,000, it could be $25,000, it depends on what they insure it for. We’re limiting it to 32 teams, so we’re looking at 128 players that have 18 shots at a hole-in-one. We use it as a fundraiser for the course to pay for some capital improvements.”