Ray Kierce

Venman defend championship at Prince Rupert Men’s Jubilee

If this is Dave Venman's warm-up season, his competition better up their game later this summer.

If this is Dave Venman’s warm-up season, his competition better up their game later this summer.

Venman won the Prince Rupert Golf Club’s Men’s Jubilee overall low gross title in the Championship Flight on the weekend, and he did it for the second year in a row.

“It feels pretty good. I had a good battle with a local. I’m quite pleased with the way it went,” said Kitimat’s Venman.

“It’s the beginning of the year, [so I’m] working on the game, getting in shape for mid-season form.”

Venman’s three-day score of 216 was a stroke better than his tournament-winning score of 217 last year, and he beat overall low gross second place’s Brian Holkestad by three strokes on the weekend, after entering Sunday tied at 147. Venman scored a one-under 69 on the final round to take the title. He shot 76 and 71 in the first two rounds.

“I got to play with [Brian] all three days. He’s a good player and he’s a very nice guy to play with,” said the champ.

Ray Kierce, a 26-handicap playing in the second flight, won the low net title with a score of 190 after rounds of 64, 62 and 64 and he mostly did it without a pivotal piece of equipment.

“I kept the driver in the bag most of the time, because I can’t keep my driver in play. That’s why my cap is so high,” said the Rupertite, playing in his second-ever Men’s Jubilee at the area golf club.

“I just used my three-wood off the tee and it was straight and about 230 [yards] every time and I always had pretty good second shots. It put me close to the green or on it,” said Kierce.

“[Saturday’s] 88 was the best [round] I’ve ever had. [The course] is pretty tough. It’s nice and green. I just come out and enjoy the company, there’s lots of good people here to meet.”

Not as many as in past years, however.

“[The competition] was definitely a lot weaker [than last year],” said Venman.

“The numbers are down and there’s not much support around here. Even in Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers, the support needs to grow around here in order to keep these clubs going.”

In the Championship Flight, second-place Holkestad made his way around the course with rounds of 74,73 and 72 and third-place Ian Robinson fell behind after a tough first day, carding rounds of 78, 70 and 72.

Greg Blair throttled his competition in the First Flight’s low gross title, shooting 83, 78 and 77 for a score of 238 for the win, while Trevor Deschamp followed that up with a 249 after rounds of 82, 84 and 83.

Andrew Schaeffer, a 14-handicap shot a 209, taking the First Flight’s low net title, carding rounds of 64, 73 and 72, and Danny Wright, a 14-handicap was nipping at Schaeffer’s heels with a 210 score, shooting rounds of 78, 63 and 69 on the weekend.

The Second Flight saw Teru Yamamoto shoot 252, carding rounds of 87, 81 and 84 for top low gross amongst his peers while Al Green shot 272 for the Second Flight’s second-best low gross, with rounds of 95, 90 and 87.

The Second Flight’s lowest net score belonged to James Horne (following Kierce), a 27-handicap who shot rounds of 68,67 and 60 for a total of 195 and Eric Hand, a 21-handicap followed that up with rounds of 79, 68 and 68 for a 215 low net.