As the golf season in Yellowknife begins to wind down, there comes that time of year where the best players at the Yellowknife Golf Club need to be determined.

And there’s parking spots to be had for those who rise to the top.

The 2022 edition of the Yellowknife Golf Club Championships saw several of the club’s members try their hand at winning one of the titles up for grabs this year. It was a 36-hole, stroke-play event with every golfer playing by tee time i.e. starting from the first hole and playing through to 18. The scores from round one on Saturday determined who would play with who for round two on Sunday — those with the lowest scores in each division would tee off last each time.

This year’s women’s division champion is Meredith Wilson as she was able to hold off Paulette Doucet by just one shot. Wilson went into day two with a five-shot lead, an advantage that was all but wiped out thanks to some misadventures at the seventh hole.

“I put three into the hazard (water) at the seventh,” said Wilson. “I lost three shots there, took a 10, and now I’m down to just a two-shot lead.”

Wilson was able to right the ship, though, and keep Doucet at bay right up to the 18th, where there was still a chance for Doucet to prevail. All Wilson had to do was match whatever Doucet scored on the final hole and she would win by one. That almost didn’t happen as Doucet very nearly chipped in for par. Doucet would bogey, however, which is exactly what Wilson did as she two-putted for the win.

Was it a feeling of happiness or relief when it was done?

“Relief,” she said with a laugh and without hesitation. “Paulette had a chance to win it with that chip and if she made that, all the pressure is on me to make my par putt. I played well and did just enough to win.”

The conditions on day two were much more palatable for golfing, meaning there was no gusty wind for the players to contend with, as was the case the day before.

Wilson said it played out a bit differently than was forecast.

“The wind was supposed to pick up in the afternoon from the south,” she said. “Compared to the first day, the second day was perfect. It was aggravating on Saturday — you drive the ball and you hit that wind wall, so you have a shot from, say, 150 yards instead of 100. You could club up, depending on how the wind was, but you went shorter on Sunday.”

In the senior women’s division, Colleen Pura was the class of the field as she led from start to finish, never appearing to be in any sort of danger at all.

Andy Couvrette went into round two with a three-shot lead in the senior men’s division and stayed out in front to claim the title, while Ron Lafond managed to overcome a two-shot deficit after round one to win the men’s crown. The junior title went to Dylan Cummings, who triumphed over Hayden Murray.

As for those parking spots, the winners of the adult divisions will get one each right in front of the pro shop for the 2023 season, the bonus prize for emerging victorious.

Wilson said some people may think it’s a joke, but those parking spots are a big deal.

“I’ve walked the course — about three kilometres or so — and it’s nice to be able to look and say, ‘There’s my car’ after I’m done,” she said.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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