After finishing second — just a shot back — to highly respected mainlanders Bradd Clapp and Adam Cornelson in the 2015 Vancouver Island Open, Kevin Carrigan and Craig Doell were delighted to get it done in 2016.
The duo paired up to record a 4-under 66 at Royal Colwood Golf Club on a blustery Sunday afternoon and combined with their opening 64 on Saturday, defeated Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada pro Riley Wheeldon and up-and-coming junior Keaton Gudz by two strokes for the victory.
Playing in the same foursome for the second straight day, Carrigan and Doell outlasted the challengers, who began the day tied in the two-man, best-ball tournament.
Gordy Scutt and Scott Kral (66-67 for a 133 total) finished third and Eric Wang and Matthew Broughton (66-69 -134) were fourth.
“I’m super happy with it. Craig and I played well both days. We ham-and-egged it pretty good so whenever one of us played poorly the other was there to take care of it,” said Carrigan, who got into some trouble on No. 17 as his drive clipped the trees and dropped.
From 270 yards out he cranked a 3-wood to within six feet.
“He absolutely flushed it. I have never seen a better 3-wood, ever,” said Doell.
Both missed their birdie chances on the hole, but Gudz and Wheeldon both took a bogey and the tournament was decided virtually right there on a tough day.
“Craig [of the Victoria Golf Club] is pretty prone to playing in the wind. He’s a nice person to hang your hat on and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Carrigan added of the veteran top amateur.
“It was a really tough day, swirling winds, firm greens,” said Doell. “I think we hung in pretty well. We all had our chances to make more birdies, but it’s nice to get the win. We played together last year and lost by a shot, shooting 7-under each day, so it was nice to get the win.”
The two hook up again in two weeks time representing B.C. at the PNG Cup matches against Washington, Idaho and Oregon on May 4-6 at Richmond Country Club. Carrigan will also play the Arbutus Ridge Open this weekend as he’s given up his hopes of playing on the national amateur team because of costs and time.
On Sunday, Gudz and Wheeldon had a chance to close in on the eventual winners with a missed short birdie putt on No. 16, then came the dreaded 17th.
“It was tough out there with the wind,” said Gudz, who tees it up today and Wednesday in the Victoria Police high school tournament at Olympic View. “We had a lot of chances to push them, but we just couldn’t pull it off. I had a couple of feet on 16 and missed the putt and on 17 we had a team bogey, which was kind of the end of it for us.”
It was a great experience for the soon to be 17-year-old.
“Playing with Riley, he’s such a great player. I learned a lot. He’s a really good mentor. There was a lot to learn, he’s a great guy and I’m glad I called him up to play,” said Gudz.
Meanwhile, Sandy Harper and Ian Harper (140 total) claimed the seniors’ division ahead of Don Frenette and Allan Thomson (142) and Gary Law and Ken Rowan (146). Bob Hoeppner and Ron Nixon won the net amateur at 138.
CHIP SHOTS: Former Golf Canada employee Morgan Bell, who is now the media relations co-ordinator with Hockey Canada, was the first woman to ever tee it up in the Island Open, teaming up with Dylan Bell (no relation). The two shot 76-71 as she played it from the tips. “Awesome weekend playing the island open with all the boys … 6700 yards was a challenge in the wind but super fun,” she later tweeted. … Carrigan and Doell shared the top prize of $1,100.