Blair Bursey put in his second straight under-par round to win going away in the men’s amateur division of the Royal LePage Newfoundland and Labrador golf championships Wednesday at Bally Haly Country Club in St. John’s.
It’s a third provincial men’s championship in four years for the 21-year-old Bursey, who recently finished a standout NCAA Division One career at Utah Valley University.
Bursey won the N.L. crown in 2015 and 2016, but didn’t compete in the provincial championships in 2017, having instead having committed to play in a number of invitational events throughout North America.
He looked every bit the champion this week at Bally Haly, even if he was three strokes off the lead after Monday’s opening round.
Bursey took over top spot with a five-under-par 65 on Tuesday — by far the best round of the week — and followed up with a 69 Wednesday to finish one-under par overall and 13 strokes ahead of Day 1 leader and eventual runner-up Andrew Bruce, the 2017 provincial junior champion from Corner Brook who plays out of Humber Valley Resort.
Bursey had at least one eagle in every round as he earned the right to return to the national men’s championship, being held this year in Duncan, B.C.
It’s a certainty Bursey will be considered a contender at the British Columbia event; two years ago in Ottawa, he led the Canadian men’s field for three days before settling for a fifth-place finish.
Bruce had a 76 Wednesday for a 222 total, leaving him four strokes ahead of two-time former provincial men’s champion Nikashantess Penashue of the Amaruk Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Matthew Woodland of Bally Haly, tied for third place.
Three-time provincial champ Michael Tibbo of Bally Haly was fifth at 229.
Penashue and Woodland topped the men’s mid-amateur division (for golfers 25 and over), with Tibbo in third.
Penashue defeated Woodland in two-hole tiebreaking playoff to determine the mid-amateur championship and third place in the men’s amateur.
Chuck Conley of Bally Haly was consistent during the week, giving him the senior men’s title. Conley was three strokes up on George Chaulk of Stephenville, the defending champ in the division. Don Boland of Bally Haly — who had claimed the super senior division earlier in the week — and Eddie Bearns tied for third.
Janet Mills of Bally Haly won all three women’s divisions — amateur, mid-amateur and senior — that were decided on Wednesday. Mills’s 254 total left her five strokes ahead of clubmate Allison Crawford, the runner-up in both the amateur and mid-amateur fields.
The senior division runner-up was Linda Webber of Bally Haly, who had claimed the super senior title Tuesday.
Third-place finishers among females were junior-aged Taylor Cormier of the Blomidon Club in Corner Brook (amateur), Kathleen Jean of Stephenville (mid-amateur) and Sherilyn Beaton of Clovelly (senior).
For full final results from the provincial championships, go online to https://golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga18/event/rcga18538/index.htm?