September 7 and 8 saw Toronto Island host the 6th Toronto Island Maple Leaf. This edition of the TIML paid tribute to the 40th Anniversary of The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd's seminal opus from 1973 that hinted at manís madness and Saturday's weather had more than one golfer shaking their heads about the lunacy of golfing in the extreme wet conditions.
Many first round scores were inflated by the rainy start, including the MA1 players who had the daunting task of challenging par 61 on the 8248 foot layout. Local Andrew Beattie was the closest at 65 while the MA2 players had the slightly easier task of handling the par 59 from the short tees. Eventual MA2 winner Yuri Zukovs was the closest at 63 on the 6639 foot layout in very difficult conditions.
The Pro Masters field featured a top four that managed to stay within a few strokes of each other during the opening round but third and fourth place finishers, Jason Jalonen and Rob Martinek fell back after the second round and front-runners Simon Newman and Michael Sullivan took advantage of the improving conditions by going under par to put some distance between them and the rest of the MPM division.
In the Open division, the effect of the rain was less evident as touring pros Avery Jenkins and Brad Schick shot 59s, followed by rising Canadian pro Martin Hendel from St. Thomas, Ontario who carded a par 61.Local young guns Greg Grootenboer and Scott Jameson were next with 66 and 67 while Paul Ulibarri, more used to the desert conditions of Arizona struggled to a 69.
All players played round two off the shorter Amateur tee pads and all the top four Open players shredded the course firing scores from 48-50 to take a commanding lead and allowing Ulibarri to get back into the mix.
Sunday brought sunny skies and smiling faces back to the Island. Yuri Zukovs held his substantial lead in the MA2 division throughout the final found and finished with a 13 stroke margin of victory.
Bramm Happner held a one stroke lead over Chris Ozolins going into the final round of the MA1 but couldn't hold it as Oz shot a hot final round 64 to take the MA1 title and the Lightening DB5 basket that went with it.
The Pro Masters became a two horse race with several lead changes but never more than a two stroke difference. In the end, Island Pro Simon Newman needed all he had to hold off fellow Islander and Disc Golf Hall of Famer Michael Sullivan by a final margin of two strokes.
Going into the final round of the Mens Open division, Brad Schick held a 4 stroke lead over Avery Jenkins and Martin Hendel followed by Paul Ulibarri nine strokes back of Avery and Martin. Paul let out all the stops, firing a 2 under 59 on the final round featuring some amazing shots on the tough Toronto Island layout. He nearly caught Hendel who slipped to a 66 but held on the third place.
Avery Jenkins and Brad Schick both shot impressive 6 under par 55s on the final 18 to ensure their first and second place finishes. Avery was knocking on the door all afternoon but Brad answered the door by making impressive putts from everywhere.
Brad's victory repeated the result from 2011 when he held off Avery and Kim Scott-Wood to win the 4th Toronto Island Maple Leaf. In fact, since winning the Toronto Island Open in 2000 in his first year as a pro, Avery has finished second at the Maple Leaf the past three consecutive years. We hope he continues to return to challenge for the Maple Leaf title next year.
2013 winner Brad Schick repeated his 2011 victory with his strong, smart play and course management that is so important on Toronto Island. Deadly accurate putting certainly helps as well. Brad is a consummate professional and a worthy winner of the 2013 Toronto Island Maple Leaf. See you all next September for TIML number 7.