Longtime golfer, Mitch Cassell made it a hat trick on Monday when he dropped a hole in one on the par three, 118 yard, 14th hole at the Morrisburg Golf Course. Playing with buddies Gary Breyer, John Vincent and Ray Baker, Cassell recorded his third ace using an eight iron. “I saw it going towards the hole (back centre of the green), but I turned to my golf bag. The guys saw it go in.” Cassell had his other aces on the fifth and second holes. “The old guy can still do the trick,” he said with a grin when asked if that meant he had won all of the day’s money.
The Morrisburg Junior B Lions are undefeated in their pre-season six game schedule, and coach Thom Racine says he likes what he has seen.
“We had an undefeated pre-season which is really encouraging,” says Racine. “And it was actually with split squads. We never had a full squad for any of the games which is really encouraging.”
Racine says with the good pre-season under the Lions’ belts, the team will begin working on getting the season off to a good start with their first practice on Morrisburg ice, last night (Tuesday, September 13).
The Lions are getting ready for their season opening game this Friday night at the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s show case event being played at the two-pad Kemptville Arena this weekend.
“We have 23 players to start the year,” says Racine who does not plan to go the way of last year, with short benches for every other game. He indicates that all of the players are aware that there will be players sitting out when numbers warrant it.
Returning to the Lions net for his second season is Mikael Dion and he is being joined by Ryan Cooper a 17-year-old from Cornwall.
The Lions this year also boast two local brother combinations. Joining his big brother Sam, is Ty Hodgson, a 16-year-old from Morrisburg who last year played for the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings organization.
“Ty is a good young defenceman, and I expect this will be the only season we will see him play in Morrisburg.”
Also with a family connection is Lance Hodgson from Williamsburg.
Returning for their second season are Drew (last year’s Coaches Award Winner) and Clarke Veenstra (last year’s regular season MVP) of the Ingleside area.
“We are happy with our local flavour, and we have a good mix of imports that we feel we need to stay competitive. They are all returning from last year.”
Racine says the objective is to have a competitive team that people want to come and see. “To be competitive in the league now, you pretty much have to go outside your area for players.”
With this year’s roster set, Racine and his coaching staff of Cody Casselman and Jarrett Racine will now work to “get them all on the same page. We have plans for a two hour practice once a month in order to get as many of them out as possible.”
Signed to overage cards for the season are veteran Lions Matt Ouimette, Alex Steingruber (a top goal scorer last year and winner of the most assists trophy) and Joshua Dunn (last year’s top offensive player award winner).
For the time being the Lions fourth overage card will remain open.
“There are 88, 21-year-old cards in the entire Junior League, and there are 134 eligible kids,” says Racine. “So there will be 21 year olds out there who will be looking for a place to play.”
The Lions open their 2011/12 season this Friday night in Kemptville at 6:30 p.m. against the Ottawa West Golden Knights. Their second game of Showcase Weekend is set for Saturday night at 8 p.m. against Stittsville.
Results of the two games count in this year’s regular season. The showcase is the only time during the regular season that North Conference teams will meet teams from the South Conference (Rideau/St.Lawrence).
The Lions home ice opener is set for next weekend (Sunday, September 25) when the Winchester Hawks come to town for a 2:30 p.m. match.
In their pre-season, the Lions got rolling with a 4-2 victory over Char-Lan on Saturday, September 3. Then on Sunday, they defeated Brockville 7-6. After two days off they were back on the ice to pick up a 5-4 win against Akwesasne on Tuesday, September 6 and a 7-5 win against Brockville on Wednesday, September 7.
On Saturday, September 10 they were held to a 6-6 tie by the Akwesasne Wolves and Monday night of this week they won against Char-Lan 4-2.
One of the biggest sporting events to come to Eastern Ontario and certainly the biggest golf event ever, the Great Waterway Classic is set to tee off at the Upper Canada Golf Course, August 19-25.
The Great Waterways Classic tournament at Upper Canada next week is a men’s professional golf tour tournament, the seventh tournament on the 2013 PGA Tour Canada schedule. The former Canadian Golf Tour, PGA Tour Canada was taken over by the U.S. PGA Tour last November and competitors are vying for one of five Web.com Tour cards.
Upper Canada is one of four host courses selected to host a Great Waterways Classic/PGA Tour Canada event. The four-course Classic began in 2012, at Smuggler’s Glen in Gananoque.
It provides an excellent opportunity for local golfers and golf enthusiasts to attend a professionally run tournament, featuring professional players who one day may be playing on the PGA tour.
Over the years, the Canadian Tour has helped to launched the careers of 2003 Master champion Mike Weir and 2005 U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell.
Last week the Great Waterways Classic and PGA Tour Canada officials announced six tournament exemptions, for the 156 player tournament at Upper Canada, three at the junior level and three sponsor exemptions.
Getting the nod for the sponsor exemptions were Kingston golfer Matt McQuillan, Ottawa golfer Andrew Jensen and MacKenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ontario.
The junior-aged players to receive exemptions were Ryan Mitchell of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Chris Wilson of Timmins, Ontario and Tyler Pope-Ferguson of Amherstburg.
At the junior level, five events were held and attracted 400 golfers, giving each the opportunity to qualify and earn a spot in next week’s Classic.
“Close to 400 junior participants was a fantastic turnout,” said Brad Parkins Chief Operations Officer at Canadian Junior Golf Association and the Tournament Director for the Great Waterway Classic.
According to PGA Tour Canada’s Scott Pritchard there were 70 applications for sponsor exemptions. To make the selections, Pritchard explained they were looking for players who would attract fans, players who would appeal to the sponsors and players who would attract the attention of the media.
“We are very excited to be coming to Upper Canada,” he said. “This is the start of a four week stretch for the players. It is an exciting time for the tour, and will be an exciting time for golf in Canada.”
Tournament officials expressed their pleasure in awarding the sponsor exemptions to two players from Eastern Ontario and gave a warm welcome as well to Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ontario.
McQuillan and Jensen were both present at last week’s press conference and both had great things to say about the Upper Canada Golf course.
“I am thrilled to be here,” said McQuillan whose best PGA Tour event finish was at the 2011 John Deere Classic in Illinois when he tied for third. “I am very happy to be able to compete so close to home.”
McQuillan, who played the Upper Canada Course for the first time earlier this summer with his dad, rated the local links at “PGA Tour quality.”
Andrew Jensen of Ottawa, too, expressed his delight at playing so close to home. “This is pretty awesome,” he said. “I played a lot of junior golf here. It is nice to play so close to home and to be able to channel some of my junior golf days out here.”
Jensen joined the Canadian Tour in 2008. He did not play in 2011 or 2012 due to injury/health but regained his status for 2013.
Mackenzie Hughes, 22, is a graduate of Kent State University. He was the Canadian Amateur champion in 2011 and 2012 and qualified for the recent 2013 U.S. Open, but did not make the cut.
Golfers from around the world will be teeing up at Upper Canada next week, which will be a very exciting time for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, which operates the course, and Course Superintendent Randy Leclair. Leclair was delighted with McQuillan’s comment that Upper Canada was “tour quality.”
“It’s been a bit of a challenge, but everything is looking good,” said Leclair. “The weather was an issue, but August has been good.”
In preparation for the Waterway Classic, Leclair and his crew have completed considerable renovations on the pro tees. One new tee to service both the second and 17th holes was added and work on the course’s par five 14th, allows the narrow hole bounded to the north by a creek and to the south by bush to be played at over 650 yards. The course now features two cuts of rough, an intermediate cut at 1.25 inches and the regular rough at 3-4 inches.
“We have renovated all of the bunkers and done a lot of tree work, particularly on those that come into play off the pro tees,” said Leclair. “Overall, PGA Tour Canada officials, have been very happy with the greens.”
“I am looking forward to getting the course as good as we can, and hopefully the players will enjoy it,” he concluded.
In addition to having the opportunity to attend the tournament, golfers who frequent the Upper Canada Golf course from throughout Ontario, the Ottawa Valley, Quebec and the northern U.S. have been and will continue to enjoy the changes and renovations at the popular course.
For all golf enthusiasts, players and fans of the game, single day passes for the Great Waterway Classic, Thursday through Sunday, are $10. Week Passes are $25. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877-508-1069 or by e-mailing email@example.com. Tickets will also be available on site each day at the front entrance.
PGA Tour professional and Ottawa area native Brad Fritsch is the Honourary Chairman of the Great Waterway Classic and The Cornwall Hospital Foundation is the Official Charity.
The 2013 PGA Tour Canada was in Calgary, Alberta, August 6-9 for the ATB Financial Classic. Following the Great Waterway Classic at Upper Canada next week, the Tour heads to the Wildfire Invitational at Peterborough. It goes to Sydney, Nova Scotia September 2-8 and wraps up September 9-15 at the TOUR championship of Canada in London, Ontario.
The money leaders to date are Vancouver Island’s Riley Wheeldon, Wil Collins of South Dakota and Hilton Head’s Joe Panzeri of Idaho who won the recent ATB Financial.
This is an exciting time for area golfers and golf fans to take in some top-notch golf action at the beautiful Upper Canada Golf Course located just east of Morrisburg.
The Morrisburg team’s gross score of 896 was enough to put them in third place at this year’s Ladies Valley League tournament held at Morrisburg Golf Club, Sunday, August 19.
Prescott, the 2011 defending champions, came in, in second place with a gross of 877, while first place finishers, Summerheights, took home the honours with 873.
Cedar Glen ended up with a gross of 914, while Iroquois finished with 915.
The first tee off of the day was at 9 a.m. the last at 12:30 p.m., with final players on the course turning in their score cards by 5:30, just in time for awards and a banquet. Morrisburg player Stephenie Cochrane described it as a “good day”: a cloud burst in early afternoon only slowed the action briefly.
The Ladies Valley League has been in existence for over 40 years. Players this year ranged in age from 16 to Morrisburg’s Lillian Noon, 92, who said she’d been taking part now for about 20 years “and I still love it. Actually, I’m aiming for a hole in one before I’m 100.”
Individual results were announced at the banquet organized by the host Morrisburg club.
Senior gross was Dale Duncan of Prescott with 89, while senior net was Pat Tetrault of Summerheights with 75.
Spare gross was Summerheights’ Susan Fort with 92, while spare net was taken by Cheryl Boyd of Prescott with 68.
D gross was Sharon Landry of Prescott (104) with D net taken by Audrey Arcand (68).
C gross was Ann Cook of Cedar Glen, with 97, and net was Nancy Mierau of Prescott with 67.
Ann Leduc of Summerheights took the B gross with 88 and Carolyn Weegar of Morrisburg took the B net with 68.
The A gross winner was Robyn Campbell of Summerheights with Pat Reaney of Cedar Glen taking the A net with a score of 63.