Golf Canada’s national championships are in full swing around the country and the NWT will be stepping into the spotlight next month.
The only chore was to figure out who would wear the colours and that was answered this past weekend at the Yellowknife Golf Club.
The Golf NT qualifiers for the Canadian Men’s Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Championships wrapped up at the Yellowknife Golf Club on Sunday and three golfers nailed down their spots at those tournaments. Ron Lafond will get the chance to play at both the men’s amateur and mid-amateur nationals as he won the qualifier for both of those by carding a 36-hole total of 147, three-over par.
As much as he was happy with his play, Lafond said he left a lot of putts out on the course, especially during his second round.
“I four-putted the sixth and had a three-putt on the 13 th,” he said. “I started out hot and put pressure on the young guys and they just didn’t respond the way I thought they would.”
Carson Roche was the 18-hole leader after Saturday’s play with one-over par round of 73, followed by Lafond at 75. Lafond missed a short putt for birdie on the opening hole in round two but came back with three straight birdies on the next three holes to begin his charge.
“I never looked back after that,” said Lafond. “Even with the triple-bogey on six, I knew I could get those shots back. I’ve been in that position before and my own nerves are my own worst enemy sometimes but I never got myself into trouble.”
The conditions on Saturday were much better than they were on Sunday, so much so that Lafond said he should have had a better score than he did.
“I really should have had a 68,” he said. “My putting escaped me and that what caused me to not have a better score. For some reason, I always play better in terrible weather and I don’t know why.”
Brad Waugh will be joining him at the men’s amateur nationals in Hammonds Plains, N.S., in August as he finished second while the senior men’s spot went to Andy Couvrette as he carded a 154 total over 36 holes to win a place at the senior men’s nationals in Scarborough, Ont., in September.
Lafond also earned the only spot up for grabs in the mid-amateur qualifier; the mid-amateur championship is open to players who are 25 years of age and older and that championship takes place in late August in Toronto.
Lafond plans on playing in both tournaments if he’s able to and he’s planning on putting in a good showing for the NWT.
“The NWT hasn’t done well in past years but I want to show we belong there,” he said. “I want to show people that we can play good golf and that we can contend. I’m proud to be able to represent the NWT and I’m going with the hope of making the cut at both tournaments.”