Last year’s runner up conquers Yukon Golf Championship

Jeffery Hunter could not have come much closer to victory last year, going to two playoff holes before losing the Yukon Golf Championship to Landon…

Jeffery Hunter could not have come much closer to victory last year, going to two playoff holes before losing the Yukon Golf Championship to Landon Kulych.

This year, things were different.

Taking the lead with three holes to play, Hunter finished on top of the leader-board by three strokes, winning his first men’s division championship Sunday at Mountainview Golf Course.

“I’ve got no one to blame but myself,” said last year’s champion, Kulych. “I hit a few errant shots — didn’t make too many mistakes, but the ones that I did were enough to take the tournament from me.”

Disappointed with a 78-shot, third-place spot after the first round, three shots behind leader Blaine Tessier and one shot behind eventual second-place finisher Jeff Wiggins, Hunter kept on track as the leaders encountered troubles.

After a problematical front-nine Sunday in the second and final round, Tessier went off the radar in the standings, leaving him spouting remarks about how he’d rather have gone to the beach on such a beautiful day.

“He just had a bad start,” said Wiggins, who is also the club pro, speaking of Tessier. “He kind of fell off after three holes.”

In the meantime, Hunter kept at Wiggins’ heels, eventually jumping a stroke ahead on the fourth-last hole with one of his six birdies. (In this case the sixth hole of the course, since the foursome started on the 10th tee.)

“He went into the trees and I tried to drive it to the 150s,” said Hunter, speaking of his and Wiggins’ drives on the 502-yard, par-five hole. “I kind of got caught in the rough in the trees and found the ball, hit it over the green and hit an amazing up-and-down.”

However, the entire hole was not so up-and-down for Hunter.

“I got a good break in finding my ball — I took a too aggressive line off the tee-box,” explained Hunter. “I just kind of scrapped around and sunk the putt from the fringe. (It was) like a 20-footer (putt).”

Last year’s champ finished third with 156, two strokes off of second place Wiggins.

“I’d love to have hole number one back — which is the tenth hole that we’ve played since we started on the back nine,” said Kulych. “I took a triple bogey, but we were neck-and-neck until then.

“And then he grabbed me by the throat and never let go,” he added … figuratively speaking, of course.

 About 60 players teed off in the championships. The largest division was the men’s with 21 competitors.

Scott Meredith, 13, took the junior boys’ title, golfing 171 between the two rounds. After hitting an 84 in his first round, putting him up by six strokes, Meredith expanded his lead to 14 with a pair of birdies and a couple pars Sunday.

“It was a nice birdie,” said Meredith, describing his birdie on the 14th. “I hit my ball on the edge of the woods, through the fairway. Then I hit my nine-iron 140 (yards) and stuck it around 10 feet (away) and I rolled in the putt.”

A veteran of the course, Meredith also won Mountainview’s junior boys’ tournament last year.

“This is my third year playing at this course and this is the best it’s ever been condition-wise,” said Meredith. “I’ve played a few courses down south (recently) and there wasn’t much difference.”

Results:

Men’s Division        Score    Net

1st Jeffrey Hunter    151    151

2nd Jeff Wiggins     154    154

3rd Landon Kulych    156    150

Men’s low net (with handicap)

1st Dave Ecker        177    149

Women’s Division    Score    Net

1st Ingrid Fawcus    192    156

Women’s low net

1st Birgitte Hunter    189    164

Senior Ladies        Score    Net

1st Ev Pasichnyk    195    151

Senior Ladies low net

1st Marcia Seely    200    144

Senior Men        Score    Net

1st Matt Lafferty    166    142

Senior Men low net   

1st John Taylor        190    144

Super Senior        Score    Net

1st Barry Bellchambers    174    146

Super Senior low net

1st Harry Kulych    181     143

Junior Boys         Score    Net

1st Scott Meredith    171    151

Junior Boys low net       

Ricky Schmok        188    160