Champion Katrina Lenoury drains a putt during the Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club Club ladies championships Sunday. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Champion Katrina Lenoury drains a putt during the Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club Club ladies championships Sunday. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Holtom, Lenoury go low for glory at Spallumcheen tourney

Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club men’s/ladies championships

Forget a birdie binge. Paul Holtom went straight to ace territory for success in the Spallumcheen Men’s Club golf championship Sunday.

The soft-spoken 60-year-old opened the 36-hole tournament with a 1-under 71 Saturday and closed with a 70 Sunday, recording a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole. Tyler Galenzoski and Bill Copeland were the eyewitnesses.

“It was a nice clean shot with my eight-iron but I should say I used a wedge,” laughed Holtom, a two handicap who finished runner-up a few times. “A couple of bounces and it rolled in. We got out our scopes to check it out but we were pretty sure it went in. We sent Tyler to the hole to make sure it was in the cup. I was hitting it pretty clean all weekend.”

It was the second career ace at Spall (the first one came on No. 12) for the retired power engineer/plumber who has been playing the course for 20 years.

He recalls two others when he was living in Smithers back in the day.

“I kept it on the fairways; I’m a left-handed bumper. I don’t bomb it.”

Holtom pocketed a Ping bag, a dozen ProV1 balls and a range pass for 2019. He lost money in the lounge thanks to the hole in one.

Randy Strang, with 142, took the first flight low gross, while Ron Nolan was third at 147. Jim Ryan and Darryl Zubot both carded 148.

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Wayne Brown earned the same prize package as Holtom for low net champion at 129.

The smoke-filled skies didn’t seem to affect the field of 58 with Glen Guest, a lung transplant recipient, showing no signs of fatigue.

On the ladies side, Katrina Lenoury shot rounds of 77 and 79 for what seems like her trillionth title (officials say it’s actually close to 10).

“I was trying to remain focused and calm, but it was a little bit of a challenge this year because the shanks crept into my golf swing a few weeks ago,” said Lenoury, a 52-year-old B.C. Assessment employee.

“I was six-over with three doubles the first day. My goal for the weekend was to shoot two games in the 70s so I achieved that.”

Lenoury topped the field of 28 and took home a FootJoy sweater and some ProV1 balls. Former champion Shelley Cooper was second low gross at 167.

A six handicap, Lenoury learned the game as a 12-year-old living in Comox, getting instruction from her father, Aylmer Lineen, a former Northern Ireland champion.

“He really wanted me to play golf in college so I got a pair of golf shoes for my high school graduation,” laughed Lenoury. “He wasn’t happy I didn’t play college golf but we’re good now.”

RELATED: Lenoury’s 76 wins Ladies Open

Mary Lukacs turned some heads by acing the seventh hole from the red tees with a gap wedge. She previously scored one on the same hole, playing the 150-yard white tees and using the sandtrap for glory.

“It landed on the green, bounced once and disappeared,” said Lukacs, playing with Neva Gigliuk and Marsha Allen. “I hit it just like I wanted and we got the KP too. That made my day.”

Linda Bridgeman earned the low net title at 138 for the same prizes as Lenoury. Kay Cornish was runner-up low net at 140, followed by Tara Brown, at 141.

In Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour play in Jasper, Vernon’s Brandon Chai was fourth in a field of 39. Chai carded 72-74-73-219. Aussie Corey Lamb produced 73-72-65-210 for the win.


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