Monday, August 25, 2014


The Great Waterway Classic 2014

David Bradshaw tapped in his second putt on the seventy-second hole to win the 2014 Great Waterway Classic at the Loyalist Country Club last weekend. For those of you who attended the event, it was a great opportunity to enjoy fine golf. This is the third time that the “Classic” has been held in Bath, but the second time as part of PGA TOUR Canada.


The Professional Golfers’ Association took over the northern circuit two years ago, and it has proven to be a great success. I spoke with Dave Mills, a recent inductee into the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame, about the event. Dave worked as a starter for the week, and he knows the game of golf. He has been involved in the game for decades, and is the proud father of Jon and Jeff Mills. Both of his sons have had successful careers in the game. Jon just missed the cut in Bath when he lipped a putt on the 36th qualifying hole. Jeff will be the hosting pro when the TOUR swings north to Wildfire this week.


“It has been tremendous for the game,” Dave told me when we talked about the PGA coming to the Canadian circuit. Dave worked primarily in the development of the game in junior golf. He had an opportunity to keep his eye on players with potential. One player that caught his eye is Chris Hemmerich from Guelph, Ontario.


                                                                  Chris Hemmerich
“As a junior, his name would always be visible,” he told me. But the remarkable success that Hemmerich has recently achieved somewhat surprised him. “He certainly emerged from a non-traditional road to golfing success. He attended the University of Guelph, whereas most Canadians head to American Colleges on scholarships. He had to contend with Canadian winters, while most of the other pro golfers play in the south all winter. Nonetheless, Hemmerich played in contention all week. With scores of 68, 66, and 66, he led the tournament into the final day. He carded a 71 on the final day, finishing in a tie for fifth.


This is just his first week as a pro, having jumped into the money ranks after coming second in the United States Amateur Championship. He lost to Corey Connors in match play. Connors and Taylor Pendrith went to Kent State, a powerhouse in U. S. College Golf. Hemmerich defeated both of them previously at the World Amateur. He has gained exemption to some of the great PGA events next year, and will try to earn the right to play with the big boys.


It is a difficult ladder to climb, to play at the highest level of the game. More than 150 golfers began the Classic. That number was cut in half after the second round. At the end of the season, the top five golfers qualify for the Tour. Following another year, a lucky few may qualify to play on the PGA Tour. You get the point. After a successful college career, and then three or four more testy years, you might make the grade.

                                                                 Andrew Georgiou
I also had an opportunity to connect again with Andrew Georgiou, a South African golfer with Cypriot roots. Andrew began playing the back nine on his final round, trailing the leader by seven strokes. He began the tournament with two rounds of 68, but fell to a 73 on his third round. As he stepped up to the final hole, he said to himself, “I don’t like this hole,” and pulled an iron from the bag. His two playing partners gripped and ripped. He landed to the right of the green with his second shot, and played a stroke over par on the hole. He finished with a 68.


“I hate ending with a bogey,” he told me after the round. “But it is great playing again in Canada. The courses have been great, the conditions almost ideal. After the PGA TOUR Canada, I will return to South Africa to finish the Sunshine Tour. Our summers, your winters!” he quipped.


As far me, off on a little European vacation. If I can find the right event, and the right way to get it to you, you will hear from me; otherwise, I will see you when I see you.
I drifted across the rippling waters of the Bay of Quinte, on the short ferry ride from Adolphustown. Always a great trip.





James Hurst



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