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First Olds tourney held under COVID-19 protocols

Hildebrand Motors Men's Open held recently
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Andrew Balchin of Calgary won the annual Hildebrand Motors Men’s Open Golf Championship on the second playoff hole, beating Peter Innes of Red Deer after they both fired one-under rounds of 71 to tie for the lead. File photo

OLDS — The annual Hildebrand Motors Men’s Open Golf Championship was the first Olds Golf Club tournament of the season under COVID-19 protocols, and all went pretty well, according to pro/manager Wade Bearchell.

The tournament was held July 4.

Bearchell noted it was a tough tournament for the locals to win, because a lot of guys from out of town entered it as a warm-up for the 2020 Alberta Senior Men’s Championship, which the course will host Aug. 5-7.

Andrew Balchin of Calgary won the Men’s Open on the second playoff hole, beating Peter Innes of Red Deer after they both fired one-under rounds of 71 to tie for the lead.

Among local players, Tim Hollman came closest to winning. He finished four strokes off the pace with a score of 75.

“He had a good round,” Bearchell said.

Last year’s men’s open champ, Justin Butt of Airdrie, ended up with the second low gross in the championship flight.

Bearchell said the tournament was a success.

“Since it was our first tournament, we wanted to kind of see how things would go with the whole COVID-19 thing going on, so we cut it down to one day,” he said.

“It went really well; everybody social distanced.”

He said players seemed to adapt well to protocols such as not touching the flag stick and the fact there are no rakes in bunkers.

“Most golfers are used to that by now after a couple of months of playing under those rules, so (those are) the tournament rules going forward for the rest of this year, basically in the province with the provincial organization,” Bearchell said.

Luckily, the weather was good for most part; hot and sunny.

Until the storm hit at around 2:30 p.m.

“We managed to get the tournament in no problem. Then we had a bit of a storm and then the guys went out and played off and it was all good,” he said. Following are the results for flights in the tournament.

Championships flight: second low gross, Justin Butt; low gross, Andrew Balchin; low net, Kal Mitchell; second low net, Joe Cascon.

First Flight: second low gross, Michael From; low gross, Peter Innes; low net, Taylor Olsen; second low net, Buck Allen.

Second Flight: third low gross, Marcel Hochstein; second low gross, Allan Defoe; low gross, Keith Newton; low net, Spencer Dorowicz; second low net, Merv Dusyk.

Third Flight: third low gross, Les Swelin; second low gross, Chris Kapper; low gross, Mike Dezall; low net, Sean McKay; second low net, Eric Prokopow.

Fourth Flight: third low gross, Wayne Ouellette; second low gross, Rob Turville; low gross, Richard Tetrault; low net, Colin MacDonald; second low net, Chad Jamieson.

Fifth Flight: third low gross, Rob Spicer; second low gross, Ed Burnett; low gross, Mike Ross; low net, Gord Kirk; second low net, Jason SwitzerSixth Flight: second low gross, Blair Tremblay; low gross, Stu Pengelly; low net, Kelly Arsenault; second low net, Bruce Stephens.