Chuck Conley has won his share of provincial golf titles in recent times, but hadn’t captured the big one, the Newfoundland and Labrador men’s amateur title, in more than a dozen years.
That changed Sunday at the Blomidon Golf Club in Corner Brook, where Conley, who plays out of Bally Haly in St. John’s, held off young local Andrew Bruce for a two-stroke win in the amateur division of the 2019 Royal LePage men’s provincial championship.
Conley last won the division in 2006 when he was living in Labrador and a member of the Amaruk Golf Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Since then, he’s won two mid-amateur and two senior championships at the provincial level, was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Golf Hall of Fame (2014) and has been a member of numerous NL teams at Canadian championships, including 2016 when he was a part of the historic Newfoundland entry, along with Blair Bursey and Nathan Peters, that captured the province’s first-ever Willingdon Cup interprovincial crown.
But prior to this week, a second provincial amateur title had eluded him.
After Friday’s opening round of the three-round event, Conley and Bruce were tied for second behind Michael Tibbo of Paradise and Bally Haly, but Conley took the lead with a second-day one-over-par 71 and maintained it with a 74 Sunday for a seven-over-par 217 total,
Bruce, a 20-year-old Corner Brooker who plays out of the Humber Valley Resort and attends the University of Victoria in British Columbia, trailed by four strokes entering the final round, but made up three of them on the front nine. However, while the 2018 provincial junior champion was consistent over the final nine, with eight pars and a bogey, he couldn’t make up the gap completely. Conley had two bogeys over the back nine, but also birdied both par fives in that stretch, including the 18th, to clinch the win.
Conley, who also won the mid-amateur and senior crowns at Blomidon over the weekend, joins Bruce and C.J. Nolan of Bally Haly on the province’s 2019 Willingdon Cup team for the Canadian men’s amateur championship, Aug. 5-8 at the Glen Arbour Golf Course and The Links at Brunello in Hammond Plains, N.S.
Nolan actually was tied for third with Tibbo, both with 222 totals, requiring a tiebreaking playoff, which Nolan won. However, they were also both tied for third in the mid-amateur division behind Conley and Corner Brook’s Lloyd Woodman, who was second.
That meant the two had to play another tiebreaker for that division — the rules call for separate playoffs for ties in each division — and this time, it was Tibbo who prevailed, meaning he has a place on the provincial team for the national mid-amateur championship Aug. 20-23 in Toronto.
Danny Pilcz of Corner Brook and Howie Hansford of Clovelly in St. John’s were second and third behind Conley in the men’s senior division.
Wayne Ford of Blomidon took the super senior competition, held over the first two rounds, besting three-time defending champion Don Boland of Bally Haly by a single stroke. Andrew Hynes of Torbay and Clovelly was third, two strokes back of Boland.
For full results from the provincial championships, go online to golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga19/event/rcga19260/index.htm?