By Pat Payton
Retrogression was needed to decide the 2019 winner at the 37th annual St. Marys Lincolns’ golf tournament Saturday at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
Two teams finished with 10-under-par scores of 62. The threesome of Dan Murrell, Stephen Chateauvert and Jeff Richardson got the nod based on retrogression. (A method of tie-breaking when two finishers complete their rounds with the same score. It apparently reverted all the way back to the first hole before the tie was broken). The runner-up team consisted of Scott Kemp, Ken Hutton, Brent Kittmer and Cody Oakes. Both teams had 10 birdies and no bogeys on the day.
Murrell, Chateauvert and Richardson received green jackets, the Lincs’ golf trophy and smaller keeper trophies. “We played pretty solid and we made some putts today — Chatzy and Fluff (Richardson),” Murrell said. “Those two really came to play today with their putters.
“The course was in great shape, considering all the wet weather we’ve had and the amount of water we’ve had on this course. And the greens rolled well.”
Kemp said everyone contributed on his team. “Everybody played well,” Kemp said. “We never had to scramble or do anything out of the ordinary. We didn’t miss the putts we should have made, and we made a couple we had no business making. It evened itself out that way.”
Finishing one shot back with a nine-under 63 were the foursome of Mark Bell, his father John, Darryl Stacey and Gary Reynen.
Two teams finished with seven-under 65s, including the foursome of Rick Fifield, Cameron Horne, Carter Schoonderwoerd and Joe Schoonderwoerd. The 2017 champs, Merlin Malinowski, Jim Craigmile, Bobby Hearn and Dale Levy, also posted a 65.
Individual prize winners
Individual prizes went to the following golfers.
Closest to the pin: Owen Penney on No. 2, Rick Fifield on No. 5, Dick White on No. 7, Cameron Horne on No. 16, and Brad Pink on No. 18.
Longest putt: Ryan Crisp, of Toronto, on No. 4, and Darryl Stacey on No. 12.
Dale Levy had the longest drive on No. 15, and Team Coulthard (Norm Coulthard) had the straightest drive on No. 9. Jeff Richardson had the longest drive (wrong-handed) on No. 3.
The putting contest, conducted by Donna Aldis, was won by the Kemp team.
There was one skin won. The foursome of Lincs’ Max Mulder, Mason Goldie and Justin McIntyre, and Komoka Kings’ goalie Nathan Young had an eagle 3 on No. 6.
Panthers’ scout guest speaker
Guest speaker was Jason Bukala, a former Lincolns’ goalie (1989-91) and later the team’s head coach and GM (2000-2003). The Londoner is now Director of Scouting for the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
After coaching in St. Marys, Bukala moved on to be Director of Player Personnel for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of four years. After that, he was North American regional scout for the NHL’s Nashville Predator for five years. He is currently in his ninth season with the Panthers, the last four as head of scouting. His first boss in Florida was former Lincs’ goalie Scott Luce, who is now Director of Amateur Scouting with the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights.
“A special community” is the way Bukala describes St. Marys. “We had four people on our NHL staff (Bukala, head coach Bob Boughner, Scott Luce and goalie consultant Steve Shields) who were on the Panthers’ staff and all graduated from the Lincolns’ program. You’ll be amazed how many people you meet who are familiar with this town. I’m proud to be a St. Marys Lincoln and I’ll always be a St. Marys Lincoln.”
Bukala says he “pinches himself” every day that he’s one of just 31 people in the world who get to run a scouting department for an NHL team.
He later answered questions from the audience.
Because they are on the road many nights and away from home, scouts need a lot of support from their families in order to be a good pro recruiter, Bukala says. The best player he’s drafted to the Panthers is Aleksander Barkov. He ranks the Russian forward as one of the top five players in the NHL right now.
Bukala says Florida is in a market that needs a winning team. “It’s like any other franchise, we need to win. Your biggest recruiting tool is winning hockey games.”
He has a simple scouting philosophy. “I don’t care if they’re from the Moon, I’m drafting the best hockey player.”
A new arena is in the plans for the Panthers, he noted. Bukala, meanwhile, is heading to his 14th NHL draft in Vancouver this weekend.
Lincs golf tourney notebook:
–About 75 golfers played in overcast conditions in the Texas Scramble format.
–Several players praised the condition of the course on Saturday. “They had the course in great shape, considering all the weather they’ve had to deal with,” Stew Grant said. “The greens putted well, very true.”
–Four tickets to a Pittsburgh Penguins’ game next season, courtesy of Penguins’ assistant coach Jacques Martin, were auctioned off by Terry Crisp. They went for $2,100 to Ken Hutton. It’s the third straight season that Martin has donated Penguins tickets, through Scott Graham, to the Lincolns.
–A round of golf for four people at Greenhills golf club in London went for $200 to Lincs’ president Brandon Boyd.
–The cooler draw winner was George Cifa, a Lincolns Alumni.