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Last minute entry prevails in First Air Tournament
Thirty-two golfers participate in tournament at Seven Spruce Golf Course

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, September 15, 2011

A team seemingly joined by fate won the First Air Open at the Seven Spruce Golf Course on Sept. 10.

NNSL photo/graphic

Shane Thompson, left, the president of the Seven Spruce Golf Course, stands with Jerry Antoine and Darrell Littlechild, the winners of the First Air Open, and the tournament organizers Roger Pilling and Kele Antoine. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Jerry Antoine didn't realize the tournament was happening until a neighbour told him that morning.

When he arrived at the golf course in Fort Simpson, Antoine didn't have a partner for the two-person-scramble style tournament.

Fortunately Darrell Littlechild didn't have a partner either so the two decided to team up. Antoine and Littlechild went on to shoot 75, three over par on 18 holes, and the best of the men's teams.

Antoine said he had some good putts, including a two-metre shot that won the men's longest putt contest; Littlechild took care of the long drives.

"There was no pressure, just lots of fun," Antoine said.

Hole three, which they birdied twice, was the pair's best hole.

Second place in the men's division went to Scott McIntosh and Kenny Harrison with 76.

"We started off really rough," said McIntosh.

The team hit par on hole four their first hole but then hit three bogies in a row. Now three over par McIntosh and Harrison turned their game around bringing in pars and birdies.

The men made some long putts on holes three and eight and parred both of them.

During the majority of the tournament the team was quite consistent, said McIntosh.

McIntosh said the tournament provided an opportunity to get on the course with people and to have a good time.

"It was all for fun," he said.

A total of 32 people played in the tournament. Third place in the men's division went to Dave Giddings and Brian Conway from Fort Nelson.

In the women's division, Leah Keats and Sheila Pollard finished in first with 86. Keats said the win was a joint effort.

"Sheila was having some awesome drives," she said.

Pollard out-drove the longest marked women's drive twice but in both cases her ball was in the rough so it didn't count.

Keats said putting was her personal strength.

Between the drives and the putting is where the team had issues, however, Keats said.

The team was only three over par after the first nine but things fell apart in the final nine, she said.

Keats said she and Pollard made some lucky shots including both chipping to and hitting the pin on hole five, although neither ball went in.

Keat's luck held out in the elimination draw.

Hers was the last name out, winning her a return trip for two with First Air to Edmonton. Kevin Menicoche won the consolation prize, a return trip for two with First Air to Yellowknife.

Kristen Morrison and Kelley Andrews-Klein took second place in the women's division with an 87 while Lorayne Menicoche-Moses and Hilda Antoine placed in third.

In the mixed division the winners were Roger Pilling and Val Gendron at 83, Stephen Thompson and Colinda Blondin at 92 and Wendy and Kirby Groat.

Individual prize winners included Eric Menicoche for closest to the pin, Amy Michaud for the ladies' longest putt, Colinda Blondin for the ladies' longest drive and Rylan Hardisty-Gillis for the men's longest drive.

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