"It feels absolutely great,” said Bill King, who has now qualified for six Canadian championships
Local golfer Bill King is headed to another national golf championship.
By doing what he had to at the Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur Championship in Cobourg, Ont., the 64-year-old punched his ticket to the Canadian finals.
Finishing tied for 26th place on Thursday with a 12-over-par 225 total, King earned a spot in the Canadian Senior Men’s Amateur Championship, slated for Sept. 4-7 in Bathurst, N.B.
“It feels absolutely great,” said King, who has now qualified for six Canadian championships.
Having skipped a pair of national events, he plans to play in his fourth in September.
“This is a goal you set as a competitive golfer when you’re 55 (years of age) and over every year,” he added. “I’m looking forward to it.
King’s first goal in Cobourg was to make the cut, which he did with ease on Wednesday. However, after playing so well over the first two rounds of the tournament, which began on Tuesday, a sore back threatened to derail his chances.
King fired a two-over-par 73 in Round 1 and an even-par 71 on Day 2 to stand seventh overall, just two strokes off the lead heading into Thursday’s action.
But during the last couple of holes on Wednesday he spoke of feeling a “twinge” in his back. It tightened up at night and King said he “thought of withdrawing on Thursday morning.”
However, after putting some medication on his back, the tightness began to subside — until he hit a few balls on the driving range.
“It went out again,” said King, who decided to take it easy on the course, keep the game simple and try to do what he had to in order to finish among the top 37 players.
That would be enough to qualify for the Canadian championship.
“I babied myself around the course, bunting the ball around,” said King, who wound up carding a final round 81. “I hit driver on only the first hole. I was hitting hybrids off the tee to get the ball in play.”
Happy whenever he earned a par, King described his play as “terrible, but well enough to qualify.”
He also called Thursday “a survival day.”
The veteran Sault golfer was certainly pleased with his first 36 holes, noting how he played “extremely well” on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s a driver’s course and I was driving the ball very well,” he added. “There were great scoring opportunities and I putted extremely well.”
While his second goal was to make it to the Canadian championships, King’s third goal was to talk up the fact the Sault Golf Club will play host to next summer’s Ontario senior men’s championship.
“I wanted to do a good job of representing the Sault and our course members and staff,” he said. “I wanted to get a lot of these guys excited about coming to the Sault next summer.”