Playoffs are what make golf exciting. The thrill of a sudden-death win, the agony of a sudden-death defeat, real Wide World of Sports stuff.
On Monday, though, there was a share of the spoils and no one is really complaining.
The Yellowknife Golf Club hosted its annual 4-Person Cash Scramble on Labour Day and two teams ended up splitting the top two prizes. The outfit of Damien Healy, Brad Waugh, Jamie Koe and Carson Roche tied with Ron Lafond, John Nahanni, Brett McDonald and Dan Rintoul at seven-under-par after 18 holes of play, which triggered a sudden-death playoff.
The playoff started back at the 18th tee, which both teams birdied. The 14th tee was up next, which both teams parred. Back to the 18th they went, where both teams again birdied it before going back to the 14th tee, where both teams again parred it.
After that, Matthew Gray, the club’s general manager and head pro, said the money was split.
“(Four playoff holes) was a rule I put in for this year,” he said. “There was a playoff last year and it went to seven holes and players were saying it was taking too long.”
Healy kept a streak of sorts going as this was the third year in a row that he’s been part of a winning team, even if he had to share it this time around.
He said he’s still a winner as far as he’s concerned.
“We didn’t finish second,” he said.
Playoff golf is where the pressure comes but Healy said Koe rose to the occasion and hit some big shots when it mattered.
“He made a couple of great shots and had a clutch putt on the second playoff hole to keep us in it,” he said.
On the second go-round at the 14th hole, Gray changed the flag placement, moving it to the back of the green as opposed to the front.
Had it stayed in its original position, said Healy, his team would have won it outright.
“Jamie hit a tee shot that would have been about a foot away from the old hole,” he said. “That would’ve been a birdie for us and the title if it was still there because the other guys ended up with par.”
The conditions on match day were similar to what one would see at the British Open: windy and cold.
Healy said there was just one thing missing.
“If it rained, it would have been like playing in the Open,” he said. “Lots of toques and long sleeves and not the most fair-weather of conditions.”
A total of 11 teams entered the tournament and at an entry fee of $300, a total of $3,300 was up for grabs. The winners share of 50 per cent and the runners-up share of 30 per cent were combined for the two teams, meaning each team split $1,320 between them. The team of Robert Redshaw, Todd Stewart, Kyle Hallett and Pat McArdle ended up in third and won the remaining 20 per cent of the pot.