Fleming Wins On Biggest Stage Of His Career; Two Aces Equal A Pretty Good Round
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2021-08-09
By GORD MONTGOMERY, Inside Golf
If you follow the PGA of Alberta tour’s results, you’re used to seeing Riley Fleming’s name somewhere near the top, if not right at the top, on a regular basis. Now though, the Calgary (Lynx Ridge GC) golfer who is one of the nicest guys in the business, has put himself at the top of Canadian golf. Fleming turned in four magnificent rounds at the PGA Championship of Canada, held in Quebec and presented by TaylorMade and adidas, carding scores of 66-63-68-66 (-25) in what was deemed to be one of the greatest performances ever in the event. Fleming finished three shots clear of B.C.’s Kevin Stinson whose scorecard wasn’t too shabby either fin finishing at -22. Another Albertan, Wes Heffernan, who also appears atop the provincial leaderboards on a regular basis, who is also from Calgary (Dynamic Motion Golf Performance Centre), finished in a tie for sixth place. For the win, Fleming pocketed a cool $10,000.
Many of us still long for that ultimate shot in golf — the illustrious hole-in-one — where the only thing you need to put on your scorecard is a vertical line. Then of course, there are guys like Kent Adams who take that card marking duty one step further. Adams, a former CPGA professional, went above and beyond in his search for an ace, when he carded a pair of 1s on his report card during a recent round at the Blackhawk Golf Club, just outside of Edmonton. And while the round started a bit rough for the multi-time senior club champ, it certainly ended on a high note. Or two high notes to be exact. Adams started his great run on the homeward nine by eagling the hole prior to his first ace. Two holes later he drained a birdie putt and then on the next par-3 deposited that tee shot to cap off an amazing nine hole run.
For Adam Pederson, the head pro at Edmonton’s Cattail Nine GC, it was time to get the monkey off his back. So, he did just that by winning his first-ever PGA of Alberta tour event, played at the Innisfail GC. Peterson had racked up a number of runner-up finishes during his playing career but this was his first title in 20 years, so needless to say, he was pumped. “This is the most surreal feeling and I’m so blessed to get to play this game as a professional,” he texted to this author after his victory. His winning score of minus-3 was two better than runner-up Wes Martin and three better than Ryan Nordin, Levi McDormott and Dustin Risdon who tied for third.
The drive north from Calgary to Sherwood Park wasn’t too long for the pairing of pro Braden Chown and junior Matthew Keane from the Bearspaw G&CC in Calgary, as they captured the annual Nike Pro-Junior title at the wonderful Northern Bear GC. Playing the event in a team net Stableford format, the winners collected 48 points, a single point ahead of the runners-up, Mac Keats and Easton Hopkins. In all, 50 teams took part in the one day competition.
Sticking with PGA of Alberta winners, Todd Halpen from Golfuture YYC captured the 2021 Ping Canada Club Professional Championship after a two-hole playoff against fellow Calgarian Darryl James ((National Golf Academy at Shaganappi. The event, played at the Hamptons GC saw pros from all across the province striving for the win.
In the amateur ranks, it’s been a busy summer and the highlight so far has to be the win by Max Sekulik, who hails from Rycroft but now plays out of Calgary’s premier facility, The Glencoe Golf & Country Club, at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. The winner started the final round of the 72-hole event three strokes off the lead, but stayed calm, and focused, to end up winning by two at -17 over A.J. Ewart of Vancouver and by three over Henry Lee (Coquitlam, B.C.) and fellow club member Brendan McDougall.
Senan Foley led from start to finish in the Senior Men’s Amateur, held at Sturgeon Valley GC. The Calgary golfer survived a double bogey on the final hole of the 54-hole event to win by one over James Varnen of Edmonton and B.C’s Mike Mannion.
If anyone ever thought that Alberta’s premier golf courses were in the mountains, perhaps it’s time to rethink that. After all, the province landed three national championships this summer and none, repeat none, of them were in a mountain venue. Things kicked off with the Canadian Junior Girls Championship at the Leduc Golf Club, followed by the Women’s Amateur at the Edmonton Petroleum G&CC. Those are to be followed by the year’s final Alberta event way up north in Fort McMurray, when the Country Club there hosts the national Mid-Am championship in late August. Which just goes to show you that Alberta has plenty of great tracks outside of the Rocky Mountain area.