Nicholson Bears down to win senior title

TODD SAELHOF -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

Home cooking helped Stuart Nicholson win the 2007 Alberta Senior Men's Golf Championship in Calgary.

Playing on his home course, Bearspaw Country Club, the 63-year-old golfer took control then hung on to win the title yesterday.

Not even a double-bogey, after finding water, on the tournament's final hole could keep Nicholson from the win, his first in nine years competing in the 54-hole event.

"I'm so excited -- it's the best thing I've ever done in golf," Nicholson said.

"Even though I leaked oil coming home, I hung on."

For his efforts, Nicholson not only claims the title but qualifies to play on Team Alberta at the Ontario-hosted national championship in September.

He joins fellow Albertans -- and Calgarians -- Al Dowdell of Pinehurst Golf and Country Club, Howard Broun of Earl Grey Golf and Country Club and Dwight Sandquist of Calgary Elks Lodge and Golf Club in Alberta's defence of the team title at the national event.

Two-time champion Dowdell nearly caught Nicholson, who was up four strokes with two holes to play, but missed a downhill putt on 18 that would have forced a playoff.

"I put up a bogey on 17," said Nicholson, who finished the three-round event with a 3-over-par 216. "Then on 18, I went into the water, and then I laid up and almost put it in the water again. It was hard to swing normally -- my adrenaline was flowing.

"Eighteen killed me -- I took a quad (bogey) on the second day and a double (yesterday). I usually do well on it. I had the advantage of course knowledge which really helped me."

First- and second-round leader Ron Mercier of Edmonton fell off the pace with an 11-over 82 yesterday.

WASYLOWICH GIVES CHASE

Lethbridge's Kris Wasylowich will need to come out swinging today to successfully defend his Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur Golf Championship title in London, Ont.

Dave Bunker of Woodbridge, Ont., looks poised for his first national title as he takes a four-stroke lead into the final round of the 21st edition of the event, conducted by the Canadian Golf Association. Bunker's third-round, 3-under 69 at the Oaks Golf Club puts him at 8-under for the event, four strokes up on Wasylowich, who shot a 1-under 71 in the third round.

WILLIAMS LOSES PLAYOFF

Diane Williams of Calgary lost the super-senior title in a playoff yesterday at the Royale National Senior Women's Golf Championship in Waskesiu Lake, Sask.

Pamela Williamson of Edinburgh, Scotland, finished with a final-round 78 and tournament-total 25-over 238 then won the playoff on the second hole over Williams in the championship's inaugural event for women 60-and-over. Williams fired a final-round 79 to finish at 25-over.

Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C., won the senior women's title with a 13-over 226.

RISDON STARTS STRONG

Brad Heaven and George Bradford shot opening rounds of 6-under 64 yesterday to share the lead at the Canadian Tour's Jane Rogers Championship.

Calgary's Dustin Risdon is two back at 66.


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