It took a little bit of play beyond regulation but Mitch Sutton was happy with the result. The London, Ontario native won the Great Lakes Tour London Championship on May 20 just down the road from where he grew up.
The par 70 Martin Hawtree designed course lived up to its reputation and proved to be a stern test for the quality field. With the links- style design playing firm and fast, every skill in the arsenal of the players was in demand.
Round one saw Robbie Greenwell of Georgetown (ON) and Stepane Dubois of Brantford (ON) take the lead with scores of 69 (-1). Among those chasing was Sutton, who turned in a 71 on the day.
Play for the championship title was tight as the start of the final round got underway. With scoring at a premium there were some eighteen players within four shots of the lead.
Two under par seemed to be the target score for the tournament, but the lengthy par four finishing hole would take its toll. No players could master it and take the winning advantage, resulting in a four-man playoff between Mitch Sutton, Ed Maunder, Wes Gates, and Robbie Greenwell.
The 37th hole of the tournament saw Greenwell, Gates, and Sutton tussle with the fescue on the left side of the 1st hole at Tarandowah with just Mauder finding the fairway. It was inconsequential as all four players found the putting surface of the par four in regulation.
Sutton tickled his fifteen-foot birdie putt into the hole and when the others could only make par, he was left as the champion.
For his effort Sutton received $3,000 and earned 600 points towards the Order of Merit. That is critical as it moves Sutton into 2nd place in the standings behind Michael Gligic who won the Barrie Classic just over a week ago.
The leader of the Order of Merit as of June 23, 2016 will receive an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open Final Qualifying July 18th at Heron Point Golf Links in Alberton, ON.
The next event on the Great Lakes Tour schedule is Thursday June 2nd at Batteaux Creek Golf Club in Collingwood ON for the second of seven GolfNorth Series events.