Yukon champs battle for club title

Blaine Tessier, Landon Kulych and Phil Mullin, three players with multiple Yukon Golf Championship wins under their belts, were each looking to regain the men’s title at the Mountain View Golf Club Championships over the weekend.

Blaine Tessier, Landon Kulych and Phil Mullin, three players with multiple Yukon Golf Championship wins under their belts, were each looking to regain the men’s title at the Mountain View Golf Club Championships over the weekend.

With Tessier hitting a remarkable 68 in Saturday’s opening round, Kulych and Mullin had a lot of ground to make up on Sunday – too much, as it turned out.

Even with a 79 on Sunday, Tessier held on to capture the men’s title with a combined score of 147, 10 strokes up from Kulych in second and 11 strokes up from Mullin in third.

“It was just one of those rounds where every time I was the right distance away from the pin and wasn’t slicing, hooking or fading,” said Tessier of Saturday. “All I saw was pin and was hitting it close yesterday.”

Tessier hit a 32 on the back nine on Saturday, with an eagle on Hole 10 followed by four birdies. His 68 was just three strokes from tying the course record set by pro Trevor Metcalf in the inaugural Skookum Asphalt Charity Pro-Am in 2010.

“That tied my best round here,” said Tessier. “I haven’t shot lower than a 68 anywhere. It’s nice to do it in a tournament.”

Kulych began Sunday in fourth, hitting an 81 on Saturday while Mullin produced a 75 and fifth-place’s Sheldon King a 77. Kulych squeaked in front of Mullin on Sunday, sinking a birdie on 18 as Mullin parred it.

Mullin scored a 69 in his opening round at the Yukon championships last month en route to winning his fifth men’s title.

“After golfing with Phil at the Yukon championships, watching how he played the course, making sure he was always in play, is how I played yesterday,” said Tessier. “Phil didn’t have it this weekend, which is good because it would have been really nerve-racking down the end.”

Matt Lafferty won his fifth straight senior men’s title on Sunday in a come-from-behind performance.

Starting the day in third place, three strokes behind leaders Ken Taylor and Brian Sweeney, Lafferty took the lead in Sunday’s front nine. He pocketed a pair of birdies as Taylor fell behind with five bogeys and a double and Sweeney had a disastrous Hole 6 with a quintuple bogey.

“I had a really good front nine – shot 39 on the front and a 41 on the back with a couple doubles,” said Lafferty. “That was some pretty good golf today.

“(Taylor and Sweeney) stayed right in there,” he added.

“They had a few bad holes. They had a bad hole and that’s where I capitalized on it and got ahead.”

Lafferty finished with a combined score of 167; Taylor placed second with a 173; Sweeney snagged third with a 175.

Laffery won his second straight senior men’s title in the Yukon Golf Championships last month.

James McGrath also defended his title, taking his second straight junior division win on Sunday.

“It’s good to win it twice in a row,” said McGrath. “I could have better rounds, but I’ll take it… I should be shooting around 82.”

McGrath, 16, shot a 90 followed by an 85. He teed off on Sunday with a one-stroke lead over second place’s Parker Olson.

Helping seal the deal for McGrath were two birdies in the final back nine, including an eagle putt that slipped out on Hole 10.

“The course looks great, we had great weather these last two days, and it was a pleasure to play out here,” said McGrath.

Mark McGrath and Riley Smoler both tied with 200 after two rounds, but Mark took third through a count back.

Junior Ricky Schmok, who won his second Yukon junior title last month, did not compete.

Like last month’s Yukon championships, no women competed for a club title over the weekend.

“It’s a fun tournament and I wish all the members would come out for this,” said Lafferty. “On Friday night we have skills competitions… It’s just a really good tournament.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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