Fore The Record

JOHN HERBERT, FREE PRESS GOLF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Being the parents to two of Canada's finest young golfers has its challenges for Bob and Barb Hill of Bright's Grove.

Matt is in Japan this week playing for Canada's junior team in the world championship.

Graham has spent the week in Toronto playing for Canada in an international tournament called the Copa de las Americas Cup.

Things get interesting tonight.

After the fourth round at Beacon Hall, Bob Hill heads to the airport in Toronto to put Graham on a flight to Calgary, where he hopes to qualify for next week's Canadian Tour event. While at the airport, he hopes to meet Matt on his way back from Japan and drive him home to Sarnia.

It's all in a typical week for the Hills and it's not cheap.

Most of the boys' expenses are covered by the Royal Canadian Golf Association when they play for the team, but not everything. In Graham's case, the Hills pay nothing. However, he must pay for the trip to Calgary because a Canadian Tour event is not covered. In Matt's case, the family pays $5,000 over the course of the year for him to play on the national team.

Barb Hill said the RCGA spends about $20,000 on Matt's golf.

"It's not all about the money," Barb Hill said. "It's a neat experience and they get great coaching and opportunities."

Graham Hill's plan is to play in Calgary, but if he doesn't qualify on Monday, he's returning home to Sarnia and will play in the annual 36-hole Sarnia men's invitation Thursday and Friday at his home course. Meanwhile, Matt is in London on Monday for the London Hunt 36-hole tournament and will go against his brother -- if he's home -- in the Sarnia tournament later in the week.

The Hill boys have already gone head-to-head this year at the McDonald's Amateur in Port Huron. Matt won by a shot shooting a final-round 65. Graham shot 68 the final round.

SCOREBOARD

London's Andrew Parr shot 68 Thursday in Surrey, B.C., in the opening round of the $100,000 Greater Vancouver Open on the Canadian Tour. Parr was in a five-way tie for second, a shot out of the lead, heading into yesterday's second round of the 72-hole tournament . . . Terry Skoretz of West Haven is also on the West Coast playing in the Canadian Club Champions tournament in Gibson, B.C., which ended late last night. Skoretz was tied for 34th, shooting 78-77-76 through three rounds . . . Alan McLean picked up $835 this week, finishing in an eight-way tie for second place in the Great Lakes Tour event at Paris on the Grand. McLean shot 67 Thursday in Detroit to advance to final qualifying Monday for next week's Buick Open in nearby Flint, Mich. Four players from Monday's qualifying will win spots into the PGA event.

FROM THE FRINGE

The annual Spark tournament in honour of Barry (Spark) Paterson is July 19 at Highland. Barry Paterson and his twin brother Bruce were big supporters of junior golf in London before Barry's death from cancer in 2003. Each year, the tournament committee offers a $1,500 scholarship in Spark's memory. This year's recipient is Matt Gowdy of Highland, who finished his first year at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. He'll be presented the award at the tournament dinner. The tournament has given Camp Trillium, a camp for kids with cancer, $45,000 the last four years.

MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Teacher Dave Bunker was the only player in the Ontario Mid-Amateur to shoot under par this week in Cobourg, posting rounds of 69-69-71 for a four-stroke victory over former Western golf team member Scott Hickerson of Oakville. The top 31 receive exemptions into the Canadian Mid-Amateur at the Oaks in August.

Bunker, Hickerson, Chris Markle and Jess Maytham will form the Ontario team.

John Crowther of Highland led the London and area players, shooting 75-74-69 to finish in sixth place. Lee French of Sunningdale, the Canadian university and college champion, was in good position after two rounds, shooting 73-70, but fell to a 79 in the final round. He still finished 25th and earned an exemption to the Oaks.


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