It was a story of been there done that for the top two teams at the 15th annual ClubLink Michelob ULTRA Muskoka Pro-Am, but this year they added a twist.
After watching the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators square off in game four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the King Valley foursome, led by Director of Golf Operations, Roger Seguin went out the next morning at Rocky Crest GC and pulled off one of the biggest come from behind victories in tournament history.
King Valley’s team including members; Phil Lee, Richard Fava and Ryan Irvine, started the second and final round in fourth place at 17-under, trailing Joe Pacione’s Cherry Downs GC squad of; Marty Sullivan, Jordan Hutchinson and Bob Legassicke by four strokes, while two other teams settled in the middle at 19-under.
When all was said and done after a cool and cloudy round two at Rocky Crest, King Valley finished the tourney at 42-under, as did the team of Terry O’Brien Jr., Craig Wallwin, Troy Scott and Terry O’Brien, who started the day tied for second. The two teams headed to a playoff.
There’s some history between these two as the O’Brien team had finished second in 2014, 2015 and 2016, while King Valley defeated them in 2015 for their first championship title.
The playoff was short and sweet. Two players from each squad getting one swing from 100 yards out on No. 18 with closest to the pin winning 2017 bragging rights. Team O’Brien lost the tee toss and hit first. Both their shots hit and stayed on the green, putting some pressure on King Valley shooters Richard Fava and Seguin.
“Just before Richard hit his shot, he asked me, what he should aim for and I said the centre of the green, and he said no, I’m going to aim at the pin,” Sequin recounted after the fact. Fava stepped up, took one practice swing and stuck his ball within seven feet of the cup to clinch the victory – Sequin didn’t even need to shoot. They picked up new TaylorMade irons for first place, as well as another Michelob ULTRA beer fridge to go with those they won in 2015. Seguin’s name was also drawn in a raffle for 10 cases of beer, as was Jeff Knuth. Seguin split the winnings with the team, so everyone would be able to stock up their fridges – talk about a nice pro!
“I knew I had Roger hitting behind me, so I wasn’t really too worried,” Fava added. “It’s a great tournament and we love coming up here to kick off the summer golf season with our buddies.”
The O’Brien squad must have been disappointed, but they certainly weren’t bitter. “We played well, just not good enough,” Wallwin added. “We will win it one of these years and until then we will keep coming back and trying.”
After day one, all teams gathered at Rocky Crest Resort for an amazing meal under the big tent before calling it a night in one of the resort’s suites overlooking Lake Joseph. The top nine teams went into the Championship Division, while the remainder were slotted into the TaylorMade B Flight.
Luckily there wasn’t a playoff in the TaylorMade flight as a team of three members from Glencairn GC – Mike Kazarian, Russ Glowinski and Don Curzon, along with Reilly Erwin, the Director of Operations at The Club at Bond Head, a call-up for the tourney, won by a six-shot margin.
“I think Reilly has played in the event since it started, but for all three members, it was our first time being part of it and it was phenomenal,” Glowinski says. “We didn’t play that well the first round, that’s why we ended up in B Flight, but today we had a great time.”
The week before the event, there was a draw to win a spot in the tournament at Glencairn’s Men’s Night. 20 guys threw their names in a hat and three made the overnighter to Rocky Crest. “We knew each other from men’s night, but now we really know each other. It’s a great time. It’s a great event. We had more fun than any humans should be allowed. I would definitely come back again,” added Glowinski, a regular on ClubLink’s Palm Springs getaway for the last three years. They each picked up one of TaylorMade’s newest M2 drivers, along with great gifting from TaylorMade and Michelob ULTRA.
Perhaps the guy with the best story of the trip to Muskoka cottage country was Wyndance’s Ron Keilhauer, who won the Michelob ULTRA Muskoka Pro-Am Shoot Out. While the $750 ClubLink gift card isn’t a bad take away, RJ, out dueled two Hockey Hall of Fame members to earn the win. In his elimination round, Keilhauer edged out Dale Hawerchuk by a few inches in the final pairing to advance to the final, where RJ came up against a guy named Gerry and one other person.
They shook hands, took their shots and when the scores were counted RJ came out on top. Only later that evening, did Keilhauer learn that his opponent was former Boston Bruins goaltender, Gerry Cheevers. At first Cheevers said, he wouldn’t sign RJ’s hat, but then he gave in and signed the brim with the following note: “To RJ, lucky win you bastard!” And that was the name of the game for everyone who once again enjoyed two great days of golf at one of Canada’s finest layouts.