Victor, Starman pairing proves a winner!
Young and old tournament at Paddle River decided by one stroke
Fourteen-year-old Dylen Starman doesn’t play much golf through the year. For any rivals that is probably just as well.
Last Wednesday he teamed up with Victor Peloquin to win the annual young and old tournament at the Paddle River Golf and Country Club.
It was another marker in his progress as a player which has already seen him qualify for the McLennan Ross Sun Junior Tour Championship on Monday, Aug. 27 at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort, north of Red Deer.
Dylen got there after shooting 84 at a McLennan tournament in Leduc on July 17.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in Wolf Creek,” he said, clutching an envelope with his young and old tournament prize – Paddle River club membership for next year.
“Today I think we played pretty well, particularly on the back nine where we went round in par. We weren’t so good at the start.”
Victor, who won a golf bag, was full of praise for his young playing partner. Originally he had intended playing with a relative, so Dylen was a late and more than able replacement.
“I think we helped each other’s game,” said Victor.
The 2012 edition of the young and old tournament must have looked in peril after last Monday’s thunderstorm which left the sixth hole under water. Organizers faced a race against time to prepare the course.
“We had three pumps going for a day and a half,” said pro shop attendant Mariet Kosterbok.
“The ninth hole was also wet, as well as the seventh and third,” she added. “Fortunately, we managed to get everything ready for the tournament.”
When it got going beneath sunny skies at 9 a.m., the course looked immaculate. Thirty-eight players were split randomly into 19 teams. Each team had a golfer aged 55 or over and 16 or under.
By a fluke, the youngest player, eight-year-old Cody Kosterbok, was paired up with the oldest one, 81-year-old Sam Cartwright.
Over 18 holes the competitors played Scotch two ball: both team members drove, switched for the second shot, then took alternate shots until the ball was in the cup. Putts were holed out (no gimmies), and teams kept each other’s scores.
Any pairing with the names Victor and Starman sounds promising before a club has been swung.
Despite never having played together, the pair found they could compensate for each other’s lapses, urging each other on to a one-stroke victory over defending champions Jerry Urlacher and Nathan Schmidt.
Over the first nine holes they scored 40, but on the second nine they discovered their groove with an impressively consistent 35 for a score of 75.
It was a good workout for Dylen as he prepares for Wolf Creek and the winding down of his season.
Four or five months a year is not a long period for his golfing talent to grow. Come the colder weather he will be putting on his hockey goalkeeping gear for the Barr-West Pirates.
Dylen, who has been golfing since five or six and tries to play every day during the summer, is unsure which of his sporting passions comes first. Hockey or golf?
“It’s about even, I would say,” he said.
He hopes, however, to pursue golf through his college days and beyond.
For Urlacher and Schmidt, there was ample compensation for losing their young and olds title: they each received a club as a runner-up prize. Coming in third were Frank Gray and Brian Fountain who were presented with wedges after shooting 78.
At the fifth hole there was an extra incentive. St. Albert-based Investors Group put up a $5,000 prize to anyone scoring a hole-in-one. A few came close, but not close enough.
There were also some fun extras to the tournament, including a “shoot the marshmallow through the hole” challenge. Not as easy as it appeared.
And so ended another young and old tournament held every year in honour of Wally Tharp.
Tharp, who lived just off the Paddle River Golf Course, had envisaged an event featuring teams of young and seniors enjoying a day of golf. Unfortunately he died before it materialized. The players who went out on the course last week ensured Tharp’s dream remains alive and well.
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