In what he describes as the most difficult golf course he has ever played, Steinbach’s Cole Peters returned home this week after competing in the Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf Championship at Hammond Plains, Nova Scotia, near Halifax.
Peters, 23, qualified for the prestigious tournament with a strong sixth place finish at the Manitoba Amateur, staged at his home course of Quarry Oaks two weeks ago.
It was an elite field at the Canadian Amateur, which included some of the top amateur players in the world. There were 266 players that teed it up in the opening round on Monday. Only 76 players made the cut at the completion of round two on Tuesday and Peters was not one of them.
There were two courses used at the tourney, the par 72 Links at Brunello, and par 70 Glen Arbor courses. Peters is no slouch on the golf course, but he struggled to an opening 90 at Brunello on Monday and then improved to a 77 at Glen Arbor on Tuesday.
Manitoba Amateur champion Colwyn Abgrall of Niverville fared better, but still missed the cut on rounds of 79-77.
Peters says he had never seen a course that challenging in talking about his opening round at Brunello, the undulations from tee to green made it extremely difficult, not to mention the undulations on the greens.
And the speed of the greens is also something he had never experienced. "The stimp was 13 or 14, at home at Quarry during the Amateur it was about 9.5." Stimpmeters are used to measure the speed of a putting green.
"Plus, he said with a chuckle, I think my caddie may have given me some of the wrong yardages." His caddie just happened to be his father Wilf Peters, also no stranger to the game of golf, or golf courses for that matter.
For his second round Peters almost missed his tee time because the shuttle was late. "But I don’t warm up much anyways so I am not sure how much it affected me, although I did play much better in the second round."
Peters, who will play for the U of M golf team this year, says the experience of playing in the Canadian Amateur was just tremendous and is something he would do again if he had the opportunity.
He says both of his playing partners in the two days made the cut, including one from Ontario, and another that plays for the Duke University golf team. To underscore how difficult the two courses at the Canadian Amateur were, only four of the 266 players were under par through the first two rounds.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Abgrall is heading to Pinehurst, North Carolina, to tee it up in the U.S. Men’s Amateur next week, which is the most prestigious amateur golf tournament in the world. He was one of only two players that advanced among 45 players at a 36-hole qualifying tournament last month in Fargo.