McCullough wins in playoff

Mike Taplin from Highland Pacific blasts a shot out of the bunker onto the 18th green during the 62nd Cowichan Open Saturday. - Andrew Leong
Mike Taplin from Highland Pacific blasts a shot out of the bunker onto the 18th green during the 62nd Cowichan Open Saturday.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

It took two playoff holes between a pro and an amateur to decide the Discovery Honda Cowichan Open championship.

Cordova Bay pro Lance McCullough and Gorge Vale amateur Brent Wilson both birdied No. 1 Sunday at the Cowichan Golf and Country Club, the first playoff hole. They then went down No. 9 and McCullough birdied again for the victory.

Both shot 137 during regulation play Saturday and Sunday, McCullough with rounds of 69 and 68 and Wilson with rounds of 66 and 71. It was a heartbreaker for Wilson, a former Cowichan player who has vowed to Cowichan pro Norm Jackson many times that his goal is to one day finally win the Cowichan Open.

It was the second straight year as low amateur for Wilson, but he’s yet to capture top spot overall.

McCullough was a repeat champ, having previously won the tournament in 2005.

It was another great two days of tournament golf at Cowichan in keeping with tradition. A total of 186 players entered and conditions were, for the most part, ideal.

“We were really, really lucky,’’ said Jackson. “We had a 20-minute downpour on Sunday and that was about it.’’

The tournament showcased a great combination of impressive young talent like teens Tristan Mandur and Callum Davison and 20-somethings Derek Reid and Brayden Eriksen as well as the tremendous staying power of venerable veterans like James Harper.

Mandur finished second in low gross amateur with identical rounds of 70 for a 140 total while Reid was third at 143 (75-68) and Davison fourth at 144 (70-74).

The highlight for Reid was an eagle on No. 9.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Jordan Caron 145 (74-71), Eriksen 145 (70-75), Michael Moore 146 (74-72), Andrew Funk 146 (73-73), Mike Canning 146 (72-74) and Jarred Callbeck 147 (70-77).

Cowichan’s Gavin Hollebakken finished just outside the top 10 in 11th at 148. He ripped up the course for a 69 the first day but had a 79 Sunday to fall back.

Aaron Frost won low net honours over Tai Reynolds after both completed play at 135. Frost, who carries a 14 handicap, had rounds of 84 and 79 while five-handicapper Reynolds tallied 73 and 72.

Edd Boudreau was second among the professionals at 139 (69-70).

“It’s a good weekend for everybody,’’ said Jackson. “The pace of play was good. It was fun.

“Our members are so awesome,’’  he added. “The ladies do the scoring, the seniors do the spotting.’’

The course, as always, was in great shape.

“The guys come here, that’s what they enjoy,’’ said Jackson.

“You look at the course, it’s not very long but nobody beats it up.’’

Jackson is coming up to the end of his 25th year as Cowichan pro. He never thought he’d ever come close to reaching that milestone.

“For me, it’s the people and not just here at the club, in the valley,’’ he said. “It’s easy to be involved.’’

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