(LONDON, ON) – Georgian Bay Golf Club member Mike Jackson, of Collingwood, fired a blazing 64, minus 8, on Tuesday to open the Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur Championship with a four stroke lead at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club in London.
Jackson, the 2010 champion, made short work of the course in the first round of the 54-hole competition, carding nine birdies throughout the day. The only blemish on his scorecard came when he bogeyed the par-5 18th hole, but he undeniably put together a fantastic round of golf to top the field of the best amateur golfers in the province age 55 and older. Jackson is also a former Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur champion (2003) and a two-time runner up at the Ontario Senior (2011, 2009).
Local favourite Jim Morton of London also delivered a performance in the 60’s, carding a 68 (-4) to sit tied for second place alongside Pickering resident Christopher Kertsos. Morton, the 2011 champion, carded seven birdies against a trio of bogeys while Kertsos laid down six birdies and a pair of bogeys to sit four shots behind Jackson.
London’s Garry Spence, a member at St. Thomas Golf and Country Club, is alone in fourth place after carding five birdies on the day along with a double-bogey on the par-3 third hole for a 69 (-3). Mississauga’s Larry Cooper rounded out the top 5 with a two-under par 70 to sit in fifth place, six strokes off the pace heading into Wednesday’s second round.
An abundance of low scores across the board promise to make for an exciting competition as play continues on Wednesday and Thursday. At the conclusion of 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties who will advance to Thursday’s final round, where the 2013 champion will be crowned at the conclusion of play. Spectators are welcome at Sunningdale and admission is free.
The Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Championship is contested annually and features Ontario’s best male amateur golfers age 55 and older. 2013 marks the 78th playing of the event, and notable past champions include Ontario Golf Hall of Fame members Stu Hamilton and Nick Weslock, Herb Carnegie, and Ed Ervasti.