Men's Club Championship 2008

The Mens' Club Championship was contested at Chippewa Golf and Country Club last weekend, with many past champions hoping to regain the glory of winning this event.  Guys like Rick Grolway, Rob Beitz, Sam Ryder, Jerry Thomson, Brian Acton and Keith Stein were preparing their attack on the course while other A-flight players like Dallas Brown, Frank Yakabuski, Derryl Urstadt, Bruce Towner, Frank Borland and Jamie Willets had visions of shooting two lights-out rounds to claim the championship title themselves.  
 
On the first day of play, however, the scores in the A-flight were higher than in past years, with only three scores in the 70s.  Jerry Thomson took the clubhouse lead with a score of three over par 75, followed by Rob Beitz and Frank Borland, both with scores of 79.  Dallas Brown, Derryl Urstadt and Brian Acton were still in the hunt with scores of 80.  Defending Club Champion, Sam Ryder was next at 81, while Rick Grolway was seven strokes off the pace, having shot 82.
 
In the B-flight, Ron Caudle surprised everyone in his flight as well as many in the A-flight when he came into the clubhouse with a score of 76, only one stroke off the lead held by Thomson.  Could a B-flight player actually take the overall championship title?  Bill Western, Dave Carter and Terry Bailey were tied for second place with scores of 84.  In the C-flight Barry Beatty took the lead on the first day shooting 37 on the front nine and 83 for the eighteen holes.  Bruce MacGregor and Sam Raven with tied for second place with scores of 88, while Dennis sisko and Mike Cleary were one stroke back with 90.
 
In the D-flight, Tom Bailey and Don Foell took the lead after the first day with scores of 93, followed closely by John Upper and Al Cruickshank, both one stroke behind with 94.  On the second day of play, Cruickshank shot 46 on the front nine and took a one-stroke lead over Foell, who shot a 48.  Bailey cared a 50 on the front nine, but was still in the hunt but needed a strong back nine.  But Cruickshank wasn't to be denied as he shot 47 on the back nine for a second day score of 93 and a two-day total of 187.  Al Cruicshank is the D-flight champion for 2008.  Terry Bailey won second low gross with a two-day total of 190.  Don Foell was the D-flight Low Net champion, with a two-day net score of 150, followed by George Wilson with a two-day net score of 154.
 
The battle in the C-flight carried on into the late holes on the back nine.  Beatty had held his lead after nine holes, but ran into trouble on the eleventh hole and carded a 10.  He was till in the hunt though, having taken a five stroke lead into the second day but he had more trouble on the sixteenth and allowed too much room for tow others who were chomping at his heels - Sam Raven and Bruce MacGregor.  After fifteen holes, MacGregor held a three-stroke lead over Raven, but Sam kept fighting, and gained a stroke on both sixteen and seventeen, and coming down eighteen, Raven was only one stroke behind.    

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But MacGregor held his ground and tied Raven on the last hole, winning the C-flight Club Champion title with a two-day total of 177.  Second low gross was won by Raven, with a two-day total of 178.  Dennis sisko won first low net with a two-day net score of 143, followed by Mike Cleary, with a two-day net total of 145.
 
In the B-flight, Ron Caudle had his eye on the overall Club Championship title, but had to concentrate on winning his own flight as well.  And he did that quite handily, shooting 82 on the second day of play for a two-day total of 158.  However, his net score was the best of any other player in the field, and so he was declared Low Net Champion of the tournament with a two-day net score of 130.  This left the B-flight Champion title open, and a playoff between Dale Woods and James Green was required to break the tie, both having two-day totals of 165.  After one hole, Woods was victorious in the playoff and was declared B-flight Club Champion, while Green won second low gross in the flight.  Terry Bailey, who shot two rounds of 84 was declared the B-flight Low Net Champion with a two-day net total of 138, while Bill Western took second low net with a two-day net score of 139.
 
In the A-flight, Jerry Thomson had some trouble on the front nine, shooting a 44 and opening the door for other challengers.  Rick Grolway shot a two-over par 37 on the front to gain some ground, while Sam Ryder caught up a bit with a 39.  And it would turn out to be a battle between Grolway and Ryder, bringing back memories of last year's Club Championship when the two were tied after two days of play and had to go to a sudden death playoff to determine the winner.  Ryder won that playoff and is the defending champion.  Grolway did not want to go to another playoff with the youngster, and Ryder wanted to avoid a playoff and just win the thing outright.  As the play continued on the back nine, Grolway gained a stroke on Ryder when he birdied the tenth hole, but Ryder got it right back with a birdie on twelve.  Ryder took a huge bite into Grolway's lead with an eagle on the fourteenth par five, compared to Rick's par and this put Ryder up by one stroke.  However, Ryder let Grolway back in with a bogie on sixteen, and coming down the last fairway, the two competitors were tied.  Ryder's second shot on the par three was next to the hole, guaranteeing him a par.  Grolway's drive had wound up in the rough to the left of the green - he had to get up and down to force a playoff.  But a playoff wasn't necessary as Grolway drained his chip for a birdie two and a one stroke margin over Sam.  Congratulations to Rick Grolway, who captured his sixth Club Championship with a two-day total of 154.
 
Sam Ryder was the A-flight Club Champion with a two-day total of 155, followed by Brian Acton, who shot 79 on the second day for a two-day total of 159.  Frank Borland was the Low Net winner in A-flight with a two-day net total of 139, followed by Jerry Thomson with a two-day net total of 142.
 
 Lorne Lazenby