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Busy Bursey enjoys a much-needed break

Gander’s Blair Bursey won the men’s amateur championship at the Hamilton Golf  & Country Club last month, and last week, finished fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship, one of the top amateur golfing events in the United States.
Gander’s Blair Bursey won the men’s amateur championship at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club last month, and last week, finished fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship, one of the top amateur golfing events in the United States.

Blair Bursey won’t win the Newfoundland and Labrador men’s amateur golf championship later this month. But that doesn’t mean the 20 year-old from Gander won’t have a successful summer on the links.

The reason Bursey won’t defend the title he has won the past two years is simple. He won’t be at the Wilds at Salmonier Line for the 2017 provincial championship July 16-19 because of a scheduling conflict. He had planned to compete, but when winter damage meant Bally Haly in St. John’s, which was supposed to be the site of the competition, was slow rounding into what the provincial golf association called “championship conditions,” it was moved to The Wilds. That also led to a change in dates and created a dilemma for Bursey, who was scheduled to compete in the Porter Cup, a prestigious amateur event beginning July 19 in Lewiston, N.Y.

“With the dates being pushed back, it conflicted with another event I had previously scheduled,” Bursey said. “With my primary goal to make the Canadian National Team, it became apparent after talking it over with those around me that I should play the Porter Cup in New York on those dates.”

Bursey, who is entering his final year at Utah Valley University, where he competes on a golf scholarship, already has had a busy schedule in amateur events across the continent this spring and summer.

In early June in Ontario, he won the Hamilton Golf & Country Club Men’s Invitational and last weekend, finished fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship in Washington state.

It’s considered one of the toughest amateur events in the United States.

“I’ve had a pretty strong schedule this summer and haven’t really lived up to my expectations. To finally have a week where I felt like I had some good golf shine through was definitely encouraging,” said Bursey who played in four consecutive events in June.

“I was definitely fortunate to be invited. I’ve played with some players who are ranked top 50 in the world. It’s good to be included with those types of guys, just to be around them and then to beat most of them.”

He is back in Gander this week enjoying a well-deserved break.

“I always enjoy coming back. I don’t get back that often, so I really cherish my time at home,” said Bursey, who helped make Newfoundland and Labrador golf history last year when he led the provincial team to its first-ever Willingdon Cup in interprovincial competition as part of the 2016 national men’s amateur championship.

Because Bursey isn’t competing at the Wilds next week, he won’t be able to earn a place on the provincial team for this year’s Willingdon Cup, but is still eligible to enter the 2017 Canadian men’s championship next month in Mississauga, Ont., He has an exemption into the event by virtue of his fifth-place finish at the national championships last year.

 

sports@thetelegram.com

 

With files from the Gander Beacon

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