© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
David Stewart lines up his final putt on the 18th green on Monday as the former junior champ and defending Men's Amateur champion carded a brilliant three-under-par 68 on the final day to capture the May Day Masters tournament played at Cooke Municipal Golf Course. Stewart will be back at Cooke in two months when he will try and win his third provincial men's championship, equalling the total his father Ron has claimed over his storied career.
It’s very early in the season, but David Stewart appears to be one of the favourites when the Saskatchewan Amateur men’s golf championship returns to Cooke Municipal Golf Course in July.
Already carrying the tag as defending champion when the province’s best men’s golfers get together in two months, Stewart made another statement on the weekend when he captured the May Day Masters with a closing round of three-under-par 68 on Monday at Cooke Municipal.
“I made quite a few long putts on the back nine; it could have been anyone’s game,” said Stewart, a former junior champion when he played out of Cooke and a two-time winner of the Amateur following his triumph last year in Melfort.
Stewart, who now resides in Saskatoon, entered the final round of the 54-hole, medal-play tournament trailing Prince Albert’s Cam Bergen by five shots. Birdies on holes nine and 10, an eagle on the par-5 11th and birdies again on No. 13 and 14 sealed the deal as he bettered perennial contenders Bergen and Colin Coben from Delisle by four shots.
“It’s great to get the early confidence,” admitted Stewart. “It’s pretty early and everyone was out trying to get a gauge on the course.”
Bergen struggled with his putter on the final round to card a 77 and finish with a 220 total over the three days. Coben, a winner of almost every tournament in Central Saskatchewan in recent years, had a 73 on Monday to equal Bergen’s 220 score. Stewart’s final round gave him a 216 total for the tournament, three-over-par for the 54 holes.
With just 69 golfers entered in the event, organizers had to alter flights somewhat so that every group had a race for the prizes on the final day and with Bergen, Coben and Stewart far ahead of the rest of the field they were the lone golfers in the Championship Flight.
A large group was therefore in the First Flight with just four shots separating the 10 competitors and defending champion Brett Henry emerged the victor of that group after he fired a two-over-par 73 on Monday. Henry’s 225 total was one better than Shaun Streleau from Martensville and three ahead of Ashley Ziegeman from Prince Albert and last year’s co-runner-up Dakota Cameron from Duck Lake.
Two-time Northern Amateur champion Brad Phelps from Saskatoon broke free from the logjam in the Second Flight with his final round of 74 giving him a four-stroke margin in that group.
Following is a list of all flight winners from the first “major” tournament of the season.
Championship Flight – David Stewart; first flight – Brett Henry; second flight – Brad Phelps; third flight – Jeff Krafchuk; fourth flight – Gord Brown; fifth flight – Tom Ross; sixth flight – Max Coben; seventh flight – Tom Wormworth; eighth flight – Chase Miller; ninth flight – Floyd Baldwin.