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This article was published 12/8/2017 (1629 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One inch. One lousy, stinkin’ inch. That’s all that stood between Manitoba and a bronze medal Friday in the men’s team golf event at the Canada Summer Games.
In the end, Ryan McMillan’s putt stayed just out of the cup. And two holes later, New Brunswick clinched the medal by draining their own birdie and taking an exciting three-team tiebreak. Manitoba ended up fourth, while Alberta finished fifth.
"I definitely knew we needed a birdie. Just because of who was all playing, I figured you’d have to be under par on a hole," McMillan said following the four-day event at the Southwood Golf and Country Club.
McMillan, 17, began Friday in a tie for third in the individual portion of the tournament. The Winnipegger who golfs out of Elmhurst ended up in eighth out of the 33 male golfers after shooting a final-round 4-over-par 76, which put him at 3 over for the tournament. Teammates Zach Wytinck of Glenboro and Spencer Norrie of Morden finished 17th and 18th, respectively.
Combined, their four-day score of 582 put them in a three-way tie with New Brunswick and Alberta. That triggered a lengthy playoff involving all nine members of the teams. They went off in three separate groups involving one player from each province, and then had to wait for the cumulative score at the end of each hole. The lowest two from each team counted, while the other was dropped.
McMillan just missed winning it for his team on the first playoff hole, in which all three teams ended up tied and kept playing. McMillan had another longer birdie try on the second play-off hole, which went wide. Alberta would be eliminated after the second play-off hole, leaving Manitoba and New Brunswick to settle things.
Manitoba went even-par on the third play-off hole, but New Brunswick did them one better by going 1 under thanks to the medal-winning birdie putt.
Seventeen-year-old Norrie shot a team-best 2-under 70 in his final round Friday, but was unable to find another birdie in his arsenal during the playoff holes.
"I was really confident going into the playoff, but I guess I only had 18 in me today," he said with a laugh.
Wytinck, 18, said the entire experience, including the pressure-filled playoff, with dozens of fans and players from other provinces looking on, made for a memorable experience.
"I’ve never had that big of a crowd following. We all enjoyed it. Obviously we would have liked to win. but that’s the way it goes. We had our chances," he said.
Quebec took the gold medal in the team competition and the individual event as 16-year-old Christopher Vandette cruised to a 7 under total. Teammate Louis-Alexandre-Colgan won the silver in a playoff over British Columbia’s Tristan Mandur, who took bronze. Both teens finished at 3 under for the tournament. B.C. also won the silver in the team event.
On the women’s side, Winnipeg’s Camryn Roadley, 18, finished 11th out of 31 golfers after a final round 76. Right behind her in 12th was Erickson’s Bobbi Uhl, 17, who shot 75 Friday.
Winnipegger Rebecca Kuik, 18, ended up 14th after a 77 Friday.
As a team, the Manitoba women were solidly in fourth place but finished well behind Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario, which held down the top three spots. Individually, Quebec’s Celeste Dao, 16, fired a final-round 3-under 69 to win the gold medal with a 5 under total.
B.C.’s Alisha Lau held the lead after three rounds, but ended up settling for silver after shooting 76 Friday. Ontario’s Ellie Szeryk captured the bronze.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.