Morkel captures Northern Men’s Open

Northern Men’s Open champion Wouter Morkel waves to spectators after coming off the 54th hole with a birdie and the win. (Thom Barker photo)Northern Men’s Open champion Wouter Morkel waves to spectators after coming off the 54th hole with a birdie and the win. (Thom Barker photo)
Northern Men’s Open champion Wouter Morkel putts for birdiie to win the tournament on the 54th hole. (Thom Barker photo)Northern Men’s Open champion Wouter Morkel putts for birdiie to win the tournament on the 54th hole. (Thom Barker photo)
Wouter Morkel, middle, collects his Northern Men’s Open championship trophy from Smithers club pro John Pierce (left) and club captain Tanner Olson. (Thom Barker photo)Wouter Morkel, middle, collects his Northern Men’s Open championship trophy from Smithers club pro John Pierce (left) and club captain Tanner Olson. (Thom Barker photo)
Dennis Williams, middle, collects his Northern Men’s Open low net trophy from Smithers club pro John Pierce (left) and club captain Tanner Olson. (Thom Barker photo)Dennis Williams, middle, collects his Northern Men’s Open low net trophy from Smithers club pro John Pierce (left) and club captain Tanner Olson. (Thom Barker photo)
Smithers club pro John Pierce, left, announces the low gross winners from the four flights. From left: Thom Barker, D-Flight, 283; Trevor Metcalf, A-Flight, 214; Sean Wright, B-Flight, 248. Not pictured, Terry Kruger, C-Flight, 264.Smithers club pro John Pierce, left, announces the low gross winners from the four flights. From left: Thom Barker, D-Flight, 283; Trevor Metcalf, A-Flight, 214; Sean Wright, B-Flight, 248. Not pictured, Terry Kruger, C-Flight, 264.
Smithers club pro John Pierce, middle, announces the second low gross winners from the four flights. From left: Joel Veenstra, A-Flight, 219; Phil Lickers, B-Flight, 252; Fred Mowatt Jr., C-Flight, 264; Pat Gallagher, D-Flight, 290.Smithers club pro John Pierce, middle, announces the second low gross winners from the four flights. From left: Joel Veenstra, A-Flight, 219; Phil Lickers, B-Flight, 252; Fred Mowatt Jr., C-Flight, 264; Pat Gallagher, D-Flight, 290.

Wouter Morkel is the 2020 Northern Men’s Open Champion.

After carding rounds of 71 and 72 (143) on Saturday and Sunday, Morkel trailed both second-round leader Dennis Williams (140) and second place Trevor Metcalfe (141) entering Monday’s final round.

Williams (winner of this year’s Senior Men’s Open) fell off the pace early carding a five-over-par 41 on the front nine while Morkel drew even with Metcalf (2014 Northern champion) with a two-under 34 to Metcalf’s par frontside.

On the back side, Morkel and Metcalf traded blows on holes 10 through 14 with Morkel taking the lead twice only to have it taken back. But Metcalf birdied both the par-five 15th and par-three 16th to Morkel’s pars and took a two-stroke lead to the par-five 17th tee.

Then disaster struck for Metcalf when he hit it into the trees on 17 and struck a tree trying to get out. He managed to get it on the green in five, but three-putted for his only triple bogey of the weekend allowing Morkel to take a one-stroke lead into the final hole.

Metcalf would bounce back, though, with a birdie on 18 forcing Morkel to make a putt to match for the win.

MORE GOLF NEWS: Smithers golfer snags fourth professional win

Morkel said it was very satisfying.

“Oh man, very blessed, very thankful,” he said “I came out here this morning thinking, the world’s struggling with COVID and we’re going to worry about a golf tournament.

“I’ve really wanted to win this thing for a long time, so it’s really good that it’s in the bag and it’s nice that it stays in Smithers. I’m proud of that and I’m a proud champion, I can tell you that.”

Smithers Golf and Country Club pro John Pierce said it was a great tournament.

“The caliber of play we watched out there was fantastic with those guys back and forth coming down the last few holes there and both of them birdieing 18 to have Wouter come out on top was amazing,” he said. “I thought that was one of the best finishes I’ve seen in a tournament in a long, long time.”

In addition to the champion’s trophy, Morkel took home a big screen TV.

Despite carding a third-round nine-over-par 81 to fall out of contention for the overall championship, Williams, whose handicap is four, was the overall low-net winner. His net 66, 66, and 77 rounds for a total of 209 gave him a one-stroke advantage over Bill Maskiewich (also a four-handicapper), who shot rounds of 76, 72, and 74 for a 210 total compared to handicap (Hcp).

Williams said it wasn’t what he wanted, but was happy with the result.

“I didn’t really expect to win low-net for the tournament, I’ve never even come close to low-net before, but as a low-handicapper, it feels great to capture low-net,” he said. “I really wanted to win the overall low-gross prize, but maybe next year.”

After collecting the low-net trophy, Williams selected a barbecue for his prize.

Last year’s champion, Otto Koldyk, never contended this year shooting 78 (net 80) in round one and 81 (net 83) in round two and did not play round three.

Prizes were also given out to the top four low-gross and low-net winners in each of the four flights with Morkel and Williams excluded from A-Flight on the basis of their overall wins.

In the A-Flight (handicaps of 6 and lower), Metcalf (Hcp 0) prevailed in the low-gross category with rounds of 69, 72 and 73 (net 214). Maskewich (Hcp 4) was the low net winner.

READ MORE: Williams takes Senior Men’s Open

B-Flight (handicaps of 7 to 12) saw Sean Wright (Hcp 9) take the top prize in the gross category with rounds of 83, 79 and 86 (248). Rod Weise was the net winner with a net 223 total after rounds of 86, 85 and 85 (256).

Terry Kruger (Hcp 14) won the C-Flight (handicaps of 13 to 18) carding rounds of 91 86 and 87 for 264 (net 222). The net winner was Joe Hirak (Hcp 18) with net 211 on rounds of 88, 91 and 86 (265).

In the D-Flight (handicaps of 19 and above), Thom Barker (Hcp 20) came out on top with a gross total of 283 (net 223) on rounds of 93, 90 and 100. Dakota Wilson (Hcp 33) captured the low net prize with rounds of 109, 114 and 107 (net 231).

Given the record-breaking wet summer, conditions were tough for most golfers, but the champion was very complimentary to the club.

“The conditions were good,” said Morkel. “At the start of this summer, or the spring, this course was in terrible shape after the winter, so I think the greenskeeping staff did a great job. I think the clubhouse itself, the food, the vibe here is really good now.”

The Northern is traditionally the club’s biggest tournament of the year and despite all the challenges of 2020, that was also the case this year with 117 registrants of which 108 finished all three rounds.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Terrace River Kings lost 9-3 to the Quesnel Kangaroos on Mar. 2, 2019 in the final CIHL playoffs. (Lindsay Chung Photo)
Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season

League open to playing exhibition games if possible

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Randy Bell. File photo.
Former Smithers council candidate arrested for refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union

Salvation Army Christmas kettle campaign. File photo.
Kettle campaign delayed, kicks off Nov. 27

Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser to look different this year, thanks to COVID, tap option available

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read