(WOOLWICH, ON) – Welland resident Stefani Markovich ran away with the Investors Group Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur title on Friday, winning the provincial championship by a full ten shots at Elmira Golf Club.
Markovich, a member at Lookout Point Country Club, opened the tournament with an even-par 70, a stroke off the women’s course record (69) held by fourteen-time Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Mary Ann Hayward. Markovich then followed up her strong performance with a 78 before closing out her final round with a solid 71 (+1) to turn in the second-lowest score of the competition and earn a decisive victory over the field.
"It’s a huge honour," said Markovich of her win after picking up the trophy. "I’ve been working very hard to control my nerves and that was my focus today. I’m very proud of myself for staying patient, and I’m very happy to have stayed in the moment and focused on each shot."
Markovich teed up her final day with a narrow two-stroke advantage, but it quickly became apparent she was going to earn the title by a wide margin as her steady play kept her out in front. Despite battling nerves throughout the competition, she was able to stay composed as she made her way back into the clubhouse.
"I was nervous the whole day, but I was thinking about just breathing and focusing on how to play each shot," she explained.
"You can easily have a three shot conversion in one hole if somebody birdies and somebody doubles then everyone is back in it. I had great playing partners and I knew what they could do, so I tried not to take anything for granted."
Markovich’s win marks her second provincial tournament victory, she also picked up the Ontario Women’s Champion of Champions trophy in 2011.
Earning runner-up honours this week was former Ontario Women’s Amateur champion (1986) and two-time Canadian Junior Girls’ champion (1980, 1985) Audrey Akins of LaSalle. The Windsor Sports Hall of Fame member put together three solid rounds of 77, 73 and 79 for a total score of 229 (+19), picking up the silver medal and adding to her long list of accomplishments in the sport.
Former Ontario Women’s Match Play champion (1998) Judith Kyrinis of Thornhill finished in third place with the bronze medal after delivering rounds of 77 and 76 before closing out the tournament with a 79 for a total score of 232 (+22).
Ancaster resident and Hamilton Golf and Country Club member Jennifer Lochhead finished the tournament in fourth place with a total score of 234 (+24) after carding rounds of 78, 77 and 79, followed by Etobicoke’s Marion Reid who finished 5th with a total score of 237 (79-81-77). Lynn Morrison of Oshawa finished in a tie for sixth place alongside Coatsworth, Ontario’s Margot Gillespie at 238 (+28).
The Investors Group Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur championship is contested annually and is open to female golfers age 25 and over. First contested in 1989, the championship trophy is named after Canadian and Ontario Golf Hall of Fame member Mary Ann Hayward, who has captured the title fourteen times.
The Golf Association of Ontario would like to thank the members, staff and volunteers from Elmira Golf Club for hosting the championship during the Club’s 50th anniversary celebrations, and title sponsor Investors Group for their outstanding support of amateur golf in Ontario.