Whitehorse’s Mountain View Golf Course feels like Chris Toth’s home away from home. He certainly plays it like it is.
The club pro from Stony Plain Golf Course just west of Edmonton won his third straight title at the Skookum Asphalt Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Mountain View on Saturday.
It was Toth’s fifth consecutive time playing the pro-am.
“Hey, three out of five ain’t bad,” joked Toth. “As long as I get invited, I’ll be back for sure. This feels like home away from home. Every opportunity to come up here, I’ll be here.”
“I’ve never three-peated in an event – I’ve repeated but never three-peated,” he added. “I’m walking on cloud nine. It’s fantastic.”
Toth, 41, secured a two-stroke victory with a two-under-par 70 in the morning and a one-under 71 in the afternoon for a combined 141.
He carded five birdies in his first round, four in his second, and didn’t hit a bunker all day. Toth won his third title with four less strokes than last year.
“The weather was better; last year there was a lot more wind,” said Toth. “This year the golf course is fantastic. It’s so lush out there and there is some rough now so if you do hit it off line, it’s not rolling into the tree. It’s stopping in the rough, so it plays a little easier.”
Edmonton pro Sam Young of Riverside Golf Course placed second with a 72 and 71 for a combined 143. It was the 27-year-old’s best finish in four times playing the pro-am.
“I love it. I look forward to coming here every year, it’s on my list of things to do,” said Young. “Coming up here is a real treat.”
“My game plan was to hit some controlled shots. I didn’t bring a driver this year so I wasn’t tempted to hit that. I was just trying to keep it in play and not thinking too much ahead … I just kept telling myself to think about birdies and eventually I strung a few together and ended up doing pretty good.”
A total of 17 pros, including Mountain View’s Jeff Wiggins and Graham Frey, took part in the sixth annual pro-am.
Wiggins finished in a three-way tie for third with a combined two-round score of 149. He was tied for first with Toth after the morning’s round.
Tied for third with Wiggins was Alberta PGA tour player Kent Fukushima, who placed second in 2013 and third last year, and Kelowna, B.C.‘s Russ Latimer. (Frey tied for seventh with a combined 151.)
“I think overall the event was a success, as it seems to be every year,” said Wiggins. “There’s no question that there’s a strong community support for the (Yukon) Hospital Foundation … It’s always a good cause.
“Mountain View was an exceptional host again. The Mountain View team was A-plus – they did an outstanding job. The golf course was in fabulous condition, as it always is this time of year.”
Though Latimer came up short on the pro side of things, he helped a team reach first on the amateur side.
Latimer and his afternoon team of ams – playing three-player best-ball – combined their rounds for a 133, with the pro hitting a 72 and the team a 61.
On board was Whitehorse’s Landon Kulych, uncle Ron Kulych and family friend Maurice Winter of Kamloops.
“Honestly, it was one of the funnest rounds of golf I’ve ever played,” said Landon, who won his second Yukon men’s golf title earlier this month.
“Russ played really well,” he added. “We started on the fifth hole, which is a par 3, and he knocked in a really long birdie … and the next hole is a par 5 and he got up and down from about 220 yards for eagle. So he was three-under after two holes and with that kind of start, you’re going to have a pretty good day.”
Proceeds from the tournament will go to the Yukon Hospital Foundation for the purchase of maternal/fetal monitors used to assess a baby’s condition during labour.
Since the first Skookum pro-am in 2010 more than $330,000 has been raised for the foundation, helping purchase an MRI scanner and operating room equipment for Whitehorse General Hospital. The money raised in Saturday’s pro-am was not tallied by press time.
“I love this place,” added Toth. “Talking with Jeff (Wiggins) on our practice round … I keep telling him, I get all these opportunities to go to Phoenix and Palm Springs – last year went to Maui … But out of all these opportunities, this is my favourite.”
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