Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (August 18, 2006) -- Another chapter in the storied history of Canadian golf’s most prestigious amateur championship was written Friday as Richard Scott of Kingsville, Ont. beat our Calgary’s Todd Halpen 2&1 to win the 102nd playing of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, conducted by the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA).
Scott looked to have the match well in hand after 18 holes as he headed into the turn 4-UP and primed for his second consecutive title. Halpen would stay the course and battle tough through the afternoon-18 to get the match to 1-down heading into the 32nd hole of the match. With neither competitor willing the give in, the pair would take the match to the 17th tee looking for their own respective place in Canadian golf’s history books.
In the end, Scott showed why he is the dominant match play competitor in Canada today as he nearly drove the 321-yard par 4, 17th. Halpen would play safe off the tee while Scott, unfazed by a bunker-lie 90 feet out, would stick a wedge to within four feet to tap in for the birdie putt and secure his name in Canadian golf’s storied lore.
“Things were rolling pretty good out there on the first 18,” said Scott, winner of three of the past four Canadian Amateurs. “Todd brought it tight on the back 18 and I knew I needed to keep to my game plan and not give any more holes away. The first (win) was obviously the most special but any time you can win a Canadian Amateur and beat out all these other great players, you know you’ve done something special.”
For Halpen, finishing second-best was little consolation after charging himself back into the match.
“I threw away a bunch of putts out there,” said Halpen, competing in his first Canadian Amateur. “My putter was on fire all week but today when I needed it, they just didn’t fall.”
By virtue of advancing to the Canadian Amateur final, both Scott and Halpen have earned exemptions along the RCGA’s Pathway to Champions into the 2006 Canadian Open, September 4-10 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
With the victory, Scott, the defending champion coming into this year’s event, could be knocking on the door to the Canadian Hall of Fame as becomes only the sixth player in the 102-year history of the championship to win three or more titles. The 23-year old National Amateur Team member joins a group that includes George S. Lyons (eight wins), Sandy Sommerville (six wins), Nick Weslock (four wins), Doug Roxburgh (four wins) and Brent Franklin (three wins).
Scott also becomes only the 11th player to successfully defend Canada’s national men’s amateur title joining George S. Lyons (1905-07), Sandy Somerville (1930-31), Albert Campbell (1933-34), Frank Stranahan (1947-48), Moe Norman (1955-56), Nick Weslock (1963-64), Jim Nelford (1975-76), Rod Sprittle (1977-78), Brent Franklin (1985-87) and Han Lee (1999-2000).
Scott had a helping hand over the past two days with University of Georgia teammate and current second-ranked collegiate Chris Kirk as his caddy. Kirk bowed out Wednesday in his second round match to Ryan Yip, the long-hitting Calgary native who Scott beat out in Thursday’s semi-final action.
Set to compete in his fourth ever Canadian Open, Scott will be on somewhat familiar ground when he challenges the PGA Tour’s best this September as he played in the 2003 Canadian Open at the historic Hamilton layout following his Amateur victory that year.
Halpen, who practices out of the RCGA Training Centre at Four Seasons in Calgary, can take consolation in a separate victory this week having helped Alberta defend its Willingdon Cup Inter-provincial team title.
Despite the loss, 2006 has been a career-season for Halpen as earlier this year he helped guide the University of Victoria to its third Canadian University/College Championship in the past four years.
The 2007 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship is set for Riverside Golf and Country Club in Saskatoon, Sask.
The 2006 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship was held in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club. Throughout its history, the club has proven itself among the most championship worthy layouts in all of Canada.
The following is the 36-hole final match result for Friday, August 18 at the 2006 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
(31) Richard Scott, Kingsville, ON Def. 2&1 Todd Halpen, Calgary, AB (8)