Another win for Collings

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

ST. ANDREWS -- Garth Collings didn't have the most dominant year on the golf course, but when he was on ... boy, was he ever on.

And that was enough to convince the voters to name Collings the Labatt's Amateur Golfer of the Year at the annual Golf Manitoba awards dinner last night at Larters at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club.

Collings, 47, has been nominated for the award 11 times, and this is the third time that he's won it. The Breezy Bend Country Club member also captured the honour in 1999 and 2003.

The other finalists this year were Manitoba men's amateur champ Jordan Krantz, of Vermilion Bay, Ont., and Winnipeg's Scott Loewen, who plays out of Elmhurst.

"Beating Jordan and Scotty is beyond my wildest dreams," Collings said last night. "Those guys are class acts and they're players. Those kids are players and they love the game.

"I didn't know what to think, and it kind of shocked me. We all had great years."

Collings may not have been as superb in 2005 as he was in 2003, but it was still another fabulous season nonetheless. He won his fourth Manitoba mid-amateur and his third straight Saskatchewan mid-am, setting tournament records in both of them.

He guided Manitoba to its first team title and was the medallist at the national mid-am in Charlottetown, and he captured his fifth Grey Owl at Clear Lake.

"Winning the team championship was huge," Collings said. "That was good for Manitoba. The boys were pretty excited."

The highlight of his year, though, occurred on July 25 at Steinbach Fly-In Golf Club. It was the first round of the Manitoba mid-am, and Collings blistered the track with a course-record, 10-under 62.

That remarkable round also included a bogey.

"Somehow I parred in the last two holes," Collings said. "I was out of my comfort zone on that day."

Collings being out of his comfort zone doesn't happen often, and that's why he still hopes to qualify for the Champions Tour when he turns 50.

"It's still a goal. It's always a goal," he said. "If you don't have goals, there's not much use in playing. The drive's still there, too, which is big."

But is his game ready to compete with the world's best over 50?

"It's there, but it's gonna have to better than it is," he said.


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