(LONDON, ON) – London resident Garry Spence has a narrow one-stroke lead over the field of Ontario’s best male amateur golfers age 55 and older at the Investors Group Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur Championship hosted by Sunningdale Golf and Country Club in London.
Spence, a member at St. Thomas Golf and Country Club, put together two solid rounds of 69 and 70 to sit with a five-under tally of 139 and a one shot advantage heading into Thursday’s third and final round. Starting on the 10th hole on Wednesday, Spence played a clean front nine with a single birdie on the 17th hole then bogeyed number 3 after the turn. He recovered nicely with an eagle on the par-5 7th hole to finish at two-under on the day.
Close behind Spence is 2010 champion and Collingwood resident Mike Jackson, who opened with a stellar 64 (-8) on Tuesday. His four stroke lead over the field was short lived after he carded a 76 on Wednesday, marking five bogeys and a single birdie, but he is certainly still in the hunt for a second Ontario Senior title. The Georgian Bay Club member sits in second place with a total score of 140 (64-76), four-under par.
Third place belongs to Pickering resident Chris Kertsos who is two shots back at three-under. The York Downs Golf and Country Club member shot rounds of 68 and 73 for a total score of 141, close on the the heels of Spence and Jackson.
2011 champion Jim Morton of London is the second local player in the top five, carding a 74 on Wednesday to sit in fourth place. The GAO Public Player has a two-day total score of 142 (68-74), two-under par. Mississauga resident Larry Cooper sits in fifth place at 143 ( 70-73), one-under.
Amherstburg’s Paul Nielsen is tied for sixth place at 146 (+3), while four other local golfers failed to make the cut.
Three-time champion (2002, 2005, 2008) Brian Jeffrey of Collingwood is tied for 10th place at +4, while three local competitors and London residents Dave Bergeron, Peter Aharan, and Wyatt Stinson are tied for 17th at +5.
Following play on Wednesday, the field has been cut to the low 60 players and ties, with the cut falling at 154 (+10) and 62 players advancing to Thursday’s third and final round.
Tee times for the final 18 holes get under way at 7:30 am on Thursday with the lead group of Spence, Jackson and Kertsos set to tee off at 10:50 am. Live scoring will be available at gao.ca and spectators are welcome at Sunningdale. The trophy presentation will take place at approximately 3:30 pm.