Experience key for Lockwood

JOHN HERBERT -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

PORT STANLEY -- Dick Lockwood was at Redtail Golf Course when it opened on June 26, 1992.

Daniel Kim was in diapers back home in South Korea.

Yesterday, the oldest and youngest players in the 72-hole Investors Ontario Amateur championship, which opens this morning at Redtail, played a practice round with Jon Drake and Russ Goodwin, sons of the Redtail owners.

For Lockwood, 62, a London lawyer, today marks a return to the provincial championship after about 20 years. For Kim, 14, this is his first Ontario Amateur.

The story today is defending champion Andrew Parr, the London Hunt golfer coming off shooting a course-record eight-under 64 at Redtail Saturday. Parr, who played only nine holes yesterday and said he was ready, will be in a feature group with Ontario match-play champion Tyler Mcdannold and Andrew Ross of Hamilton, the son of RCGA executive director Stephen Ross, at 1:40 p.m.

The field of 156 includes 32 from the London area. The event is open to the public; tickets are $15 at the gate.

Lockwood has been taking a ribbing about being the oldest player in the field.

"That doesn't bother me because I think young. I think the same way as ever. My head is no different than any of those kids."

Lockwood hopes his experience knowing Redtail-- and his play lately -- will help him make the 36-hole cut tomorrow. His play in recent weeks suggests he's capable of much more.

He shot a 74 to qualify at Huron Oaks against much younger players and followed that with senior tournament wins at Essex in Windsor and York Downs in Toronto, where he shot eight under for 27 holes.

A former club champion at Highland and winner of the Hunt Club men's 36-hole invitation, Lockwood had other reasons than competitive spirit for playing this week.

"Probably because of my affection for Redtail and my involvement (in the club)."

Lockwood can't remember when he last played in the Amateur, but said it might have been 1983 at Sunningdale. He also remembers playing in it at Kitchener Westmount and up to three other times.

Kim has realistic goals this week.

"I'm not thinking about it as anything more than it being a great experience because it's my first men's tournament and I hope to make the cut," Kim said.

Teaching pro Henry Brunton, who operates a golf academy at the Eagle's Nest course in Toronto for some of the brightest young players in Canada, says Kim is lucky to be playing at Redtail after collapsing two weeks ago at a junior tournament in the U.S. Feeling tired and stressed out, Kim was admitted to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children when he came back to Canada.

He spent a week in hospital and was unable to try to qualify for the Ontario junior this month at St. Thomas. Yesterday, he looked ready to play as he took his first swings at Redtail and clearly wasn't intimidated.

"He's a heck of a player," said Brunton, who followed Kim at Redtail. "I hope he does really, really well. It's very encouraging to see someone that young in a competition like this."

Kim was born in October 1990 -- the same year Mike Weir won his first of two Ontario Amateur titles -- and moved to Canada in 1999, although his father remains in South Korea. He lives in Toronto with his mother and an older brother and sister, who attend university.

Daniel Kim took up golf only five years ago when his father, who was visiting, introduced him to a Korean golf coach living on the same floor of their apartment building.

Kim shot 72 at a Toronto course to qualify for the Amateur. His biggest tournament before the Ontario Amateur was playing last summer as a 13-year-old in the Canadian junior championship.

Also on the course yesterday at Redtail, playing in two foursomes, were eight former Ontario Amateur champions not entered this year. One group included Gary Cowan, Warren Sye, Stu Hamilton and Ray Coole, who combined to win 16 Ontario Amateurs. Cowan, with nine, and Sye, with five, rode in the same cart. Former champions playing include Parr, Kelly Roberts and Peter Laws.

The championship trophy is called the Gary Cowan Trophy.

TOP PAIRINGS

8:20 a.m. (first tee): Bill Seagris, Robbie Greenwell, Kelly Roberts

1:10 p.m. (10th tee): Ben Moser, Bill Swartz, Peter Laws

1:40 p.m. (first tee): Andrew Parr, Andrew Ross, Tyler Mcdannold

DIRECTIONS TO REDTAIL

- From Lambeth follow Colonel Talbot Road (Highway 4) to Highway 3 at Talbotville and turn right.

- Follow Highway 3 to John Wise Line and turn left.

- Follow John Wise Line across the Fingal Road to Bush Line and turn right.

- Follow Bush Line for about two kilometres to Mill Road and turn left. Follow to golf course.

- Admission $15


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