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Locals within strokes of winning men's open tournament in Olds

Medicine Hat golfer Ryan Werre won the Hildebrand Motors Men’s Open tournament but the real story was the play of local golfers Keith Newton and Spencer Dorowicz
MVT Olds Men's Open Paolucci -2
Lorenzo Paolucci tees off on No. 10 during the Hildebrand Motors Open July 9 at the Olds Golf Club.

OLDS — A Medicine Hat golfer won the Hildebrand Motors Men’s Open tournament, held July 9-10 at the Olds Golf Club, but the real story was the play of a couple of local golfers. 

Ryan Werre who plays at the Desert Blume course in Medicine Hat, topped the leaderboard with a two-round total of 141 (70-71), three under par. 

However, just two strokes behind and tied for second place were Olds residents Spencer Dorowicz and Keith Newton who both fired two-round totals of 143. 

Dorowicz shot 75 in the first round and a blistering 68 in the second round, the low round for the tournament. 

Newton, age 65, shot 72 and 71. 

“Keith Newton at 65 years old played incredible against a field of young men,” Olds Golf Club pro Wade Bearchell wrote in an email. 

A total of 91 people played in the tournament from as far away as Medicine Hat. 

“Participation was down slightly as we adjusted the date by a week,” Bearchell wrote.  

During an interview, Newton laughed when it was pointed out how close he came to winning the event at his age. 

“Yeah, I didn’t think I had a chance to win until I birdied the 14th hole and then I had to count to see where I stood," he said. 

“And when I realized I was only a couple of strokes behind, I go, ‘hey, I’ve got a chance.’”  

However, Werre just didn’t let up.  

"He’s such a good player and day in and day out, he’s way better than me, and I realize that. But you know, on any certain day, I guess, something can happen, and it almost did,” Newton said. 

“But it was super-fun to be in the hunt again once more at my age.” 

It was also exciting to go stroke for stroke with Dorowicz. 

“It was really quite satisfying. Even though neither one of us won, I don’t think either one of us was disappointed in how it turned out,” Newton said. 

He was really impressed with the shape of the course, given all the rain that had occurred previous to the tournament. 

“I think (Olds Golf Club superintendent) Jason (Clouston) and his grounds crew have done an amazing job over the last month here to keep the course as playable as they have,” Newton said. 

“I live right across the road from the golf course. The previous Tuesday, the hole right across from me, Number 3, was at least 25 per cent under water. 

“And by the time we played on Saturday, it was pretty good and by Sunday, the fairways were starting to get some run-out, so the course didn’t play nearly as long as it had.” 

Newton said the course ended up in as good a shape as any he’s played in Central Alberta. 

Newton says he plans to continue playing golf as long as he can. 

He says every golfer his age that he plays with has some kind of medical issue. In his case it’s his lower back. But he’s learned to deal with it, sometimes resorting to driving a cart if he has to, rather than walking. 

His physiotherapist and chiropractor have really helped him cope with various treatments and exercises. 

All that seems to be paying off.  

He won the Airdrie Seniors’ golf tournament and is now setting his sights on the Forest Heights Men’s Open, which takes place July 23 near Sundre. 

Newton said he couldn’t do it all and be as successful if it wasn’t for the support of his wife Heather. 

“She’s so awesome. She supports me and yeah, she’s my biggest fan and my biggest booster and I owe a lot to her, just for the support that I get, so it’s great,” he said. 

Dorowicz said his incredible round on Sunday was due to the amazing shape of the course and just being ‘on’ that day. 

“My putting was on,” he wrote in a text. “When the greens are that good and you see a couple go in, it really can help with your confidence and that was the key factor for me in scoring so well on Sunday.   

“I hit some really good approach shots and managed to stay out of trouble off the tee. 

“It was just one of those days where not a lot went wrong and got some good breaks. I was happy to finish the tournament with a solid round and it gave myself a chance to contend for the win.” 

Dorowicz was not surprised to see Newton do so well in the tournament. 

 “He loves the game and works on his game tirelessly, which is why he has been so consistent for so long," he said.  

“His age has not affected his ability to go low and I'm sure he'll continue to win tournaments and shoot low scores for years to come.  

“It's pretty inspiring to see the success he continues to have and he is definitely someone I look up to out on the course.” 

Dorowicz plans to enter some scrambles and, like Newton, some men’s tournaments in the coming weeks. 

“I really love the competition and I always try to play as many tournaments as I can,” he wrote. 

“Perhaps when my hockey career is over I'll focus even more on my golf game and compete in Alberta golf and other tournaments whenever possible.”