Venman battles back to win Prince Rupert Jubilee

Dave Venman of Kitimat fired a one-over 71 in the third round to capture  the Prince Rupert Men
Dave Venman of Kitimat fired a one-over 71 in the third round to capture the Prince Rupert Men's Jubilee Golf Tournament on Sunday. Venman carded a 54-hole total of 217 to edge Ian Robertson by four strokes.
— image credit: Todd Hamilton photo

Kitimat's Dave Venman fought back from a three-stroke deficit to capture the Prince Rupert Men's Jubilee Golf Tournament on Sunday.

Venman was three back of Ian Robinson heading into the final 18 holes of the 54-hole tournament but Robinson's quadruple bogey on the 346-yard Par 4 sixth immediately handed the lead to Venman.

Staying patient and conservative in sweltering heat and drying course conditions was the key, Venman said.

"The thing was to just stay down the middle, hit fairways and greens and par the course to death," Venman said. "I love the heat ... I imagine [the heat] caught up to some of them. A three-day tournament like this can be tough ... it drains you mentally."

Robinson, who went on to win the Championship Flight, took an early lead with rounds of 70 and 73, but faltered on the final day ballooning to a 78 for a three-round total of 221.

Venman started out rough but battled back on Saturday carding a two-under 68 before finishing it up on Sunday with a 71 for a tournament best 217.

Sten Sundin, a four-handicap Prince Rupert groundskeeper, was a model of consistency as he made his way around the Centennial Course with rounds of 75, 74 and 73 to record the lowest overall net of 210.

"I really just came out here to get some experience, competitive tournament experience," Sundin said. "Winning [low net title] is really a shock to me ... I didn't expect anything like this."

As temperatures rose over the course of the tournament, bumping 30C on Sunday, the normally wet, slow Rupert course dried out giving players an extremely different challenge.

"At the start of the tournament the greens were running about 8.5 on the stimpmeter ... by Sunday they were 10," Sundin said.

"Quick greens scare the hell out of me but I putted fairly well for how fast they were."

Venman also noted the improvement in the course.

"The first day it had its areas, the greens were slow and had a few bumps ... but the superintendent did a hell of a job to cut and roll the greens like this."

Despite the heat, scoring conditions improved significantly in Round 3, something of which the eventual flight winners took advantage.

In the Championship Flight, Round 2 leader Ian Robinson held off Scott Rigler by three strokes who carded rounds of 75, 76 and 73. Brian Holkestad finished in third with rounds of 80, 75 and 76 for an overall gross of 231.

Trevor Deschamp destroyed the field in the First Flight signing off on rounds of 77, 79 and 77 for a 54-hole total of 233 for the low gross title over Ravi Baldwan, who finished 13 strokes back at 246. Baldwan took second on a countback against Bobby Smith who also posted a 246.

Sandy Anderson, an 11-handicap, posted a 207, seven better than second place Ross McNish at 214 and nine better than Rob Brown who finished third with a 216.

In the Second Flight, Roy Cage carded rounds of 82, 85 and 91 for a three-round total of 258. Minhas Ranveer finished four-back with a 262, which was two better than third place finisher Colin Zenuk at 264.

Nippy Sahdra, a 17-handicap, capture the Second Flight Low Net with a 215 with Richard Adams coming in two strokes back at 217. Andrew Schaeffer finished up with a 220 total.

George Kuntz rode two final rounds of 84 and 88 on his way to dominating the Third Flight. Kuntz registered a 54-hole score of 266 to post a 15-stroke victory over second place Paul Zenuk who finished with a 281. Mike Minhas posted the third lowest gross in the Third Flight with a 284.

Twenty-five handicapper Eric Hand was the class of the Third Flight low net field posting a 26-stroke victory over second place James Horne and third place Gillaume Coetzee.

Hand finished the tournament with a net score of 199 with Horne at 225 and Coetzee at 227.

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