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Long weekend, new champions

John McFadden/NNSL photo Devon Bouillon, right, and Janice Connors keep a close eye on their dog Titan on Tin Can Hill last Friday. They were aware a bear had been seen in the area in recent weeks but were not worried about their safety.

Whenever there are big tournaments at the Yellowknife Golf Club, there are certain players you expect to see at the top.

Andy Couvrette is one of them. The veteran Yellowknife golfer managed to outlast the field to win the men's title at the Yellowknife Golf Club August Long Weekend Tournament on Monday. His 54-hole total of 231 was two shots better than Brandon Walterhouse and Gord Delorme, both from Fort Smith.

“I may have left some shots out there on the course but I played well enough for the win,” said Couvrette.

Couvrette started the final round one shot back of Walterhouse and tied with Ewan McLean as they teed off. As Couvrette described it, he played a steady front nine and finished one-over-par and actually took a one-shot lead heading for the back nine.

With the lead, Couvrette said he played conservatively but not so much that he would make a silly mistake.

“I do watch the scoreboard and that determines how I press on,” he said. “I don't want to give away any shots or take too many risks with the lead but I'm also not the type of player who's going to take a club less for a shot. It's all about concentrating and executing and that's what I did.”

Cole Marshall, the club's assistant pro, said he honestly didn't expect Couvrette to be on top.

Andy Couvrette watches his putt roll toward the cup on the fifth hole during action in the Yellowknife Golf Club August Long Weekend Tournament on Monday. James McCarthy/NNSL photo

“I thought Jake Roche would be in it but the bad weather derailed him a bit,” he said. “Andy proved again that he steps up at big moments and he earned it.”

Shereen Naidu was the women's champion with a score of 296 for her 54 holes. Yellowknifer attempted to contact Naidu but she didn't respond by press time.

The bonus prize for Couvrette is a spot at the 2018 Canadian Men's Amateur Championship next August in B.C. It will be the first time he'll get to represent the NWT at the tournament. Delorme and Walterhouse will join him as the other two representatives.

Couvrette has won the long weekend tournament previously but that was before it was designated as a qualifier for the national championship and he's looking at the chance as a reward.

“The golf gods were shining down on me,” he said. “As time approaches, I may look at getting a coach to help me prepare and get ready for it. I'll be one of 270 players and I'm not going down there expecting to win it all by any stretch, but I do want to be competitive.”

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