No Regrets For Nanaimo’s Sandy Harper After Close Call At Canadian Mid-Master Championship

Sandy Harper

By BRAD ZIEMER, British Columbia Golf

VICTORIA, British Columbia — It wasn’t like Sandy Harper didn’t have his chances. So when Todd Fanning holed his bunker shot for eagle on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, Harper wasn’t feeling like he was robbed of the Canadian Mid-Master Championship for players 40 and over.

Hey, at age 61 — soon to be 62 — Harper was happy just to have had the opportunity to compete for the championship. “If somebody told me I was going to be in a playoff for the Canadian Mid-Master I’d be more than happy,” said the longtime Nanaimo resident. “It doesn’t hurt to lose to an eagle.”

Harper acknowledged he will be thinking of a few putts that could have won the tournament for him on the closing holes at Victoria Golf Club. “Well, on 13 I missed about a 12-footer, on 14 I missed about an eight-footer, on 16 I missed about a three-footer, 17 I bogeyed, and then I missed that (10-foot) putt on 18,” Harper said. “I had my chances, but it didn’t happen.”

Harper and Fanning, playing together in the second to last group, finished the 72-hole Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship at four-over par and tied for seventh place. Both players struggled, shooting five-over 75s.

Harper, a member of the B.C. Golf Hall of Fame, has won almost everything at the amateur level in B.C. His titles include the B.C. Junior, the B.C. Amateur, the B.C. Master 40 and the B.C. Senior. He came to Victoria feeling pretty good about his game. “I was starting to hit the ball a little further than I was because I changed my stance a bit,” he said. “I was certainly going to be happy with a top-20 in the tournament and I was hoping for a top 10 or something in the Mid-Master because this course, with its length, gave me some more opportunity.”

Fanning was delighted to defend his Mid-Master title in a year that he said has been a tough one. “I haven’t had a particularly good summer, I haven’t been playing that well so the expectations coming in weren’t high,” said the Winnipeg native. “I was honest with my wife -- I said if I defend the Mid-Masters I will be pretty happy and if I do find lightning in a bottle and get into contention (in the Mid-Am) that would be great.

“I held myself in there for three days. This is a golf course that keeps you off-balance... and I felt like one leg was shorter than the other. But to be the best amateur golfer in Canada 40 and over two straight years is something I will always remember and I will look forward to defending.”

Longtime Victoria Golf Club member Craig Doell closed with a three-under 67 and finished third in the Mid-Master category, just one shot behind Fanning and Harper.

Click here for complete final scoring.