Gord Burns and Rick Willan fight off high winds for 2017 Head Professional/Assistant Professional Team Series Victory


June 27, 2015
CAMBRIDGE, ON -- The PGA of Canada - Ontario Zone held their 2017 Head Professional/Assistant Professional Team Series at Whistle Bear Golf Club on Monday and after a tough day fighting the gusting wind, Gord Burns and Rick Willan successfully fended off the rest of field posting a 5-under 66 which was good enough for the win.
Whistle Bear Golf Club was fresh off hosting the 2017 LPGA Manulife Classic and was in incredible condition.  "The greens were perfect, some of the best we've played all year," Burns said after the round.  All of the PGA of Canada - Ontario Zone Professionals were treated to a memorable day hosted by a first class venue. 
In the early part of the day, the weather conditions were very favorable.  The wind started to pick up and wouldn't stop intensifying until it reached gusts of 60km/h.  "It was really windy out there," Willan added.  "We started off with a birdie, then we kind of ham and egged it for a couple holes until I made a twenty footer on our last hole of the Alternate Shot.  That sort of turned us around and got us headed in the right direction." 
The HP/AP uses a 6-6-6 format consisting of Scramble, Better Ball, and Alternate Shot.  Rounds notoriously hinge on how well teams play during the alternate shot portion, just finishing that format at even par can set a team up for a low round.  It allows them to score in the remaining twelve holes, specifically scramble. 
"We played the scramble holes later in the day," Willan continued.  "The winds were picking up and when it was our turn for scramble I thought we had no chance at winning the tournament because normally you would make birdies on the scramble holes and we were just making pars.  My partner was striking the ball beautifully today and I putted pretty well." Burns and Willan managed to finish the alternate shot at 2-under, paving the way towards victory and allowing for some leeway in the remaining formats. 
The pair were the last team to enter the clubhouse and sign their card which broke a tie that was about to send Team Dalewood Golf Club (Brad Pemberton, Shea Varty) and Team Peterborough Golf & CC (Chris Jones, Matthew Peavoy) back out on the course for a playoff.  Burns and Willan snuck in ahead of the two playoff bound teams by one shot, finishing the day with six windy birdies and a windy bogey for a windy 5-under 66. 
Merit Golf Vacations was on site with a closest-to-the-pin contest.  Brad Kerfoot (Maple Downs Golf Club) made a great shot on the par 3 eighth and stuck his ball 22 inches to the pin, taking home the $150 bonus prize.  One of the more interesting stories of the day came from the side-pot skins game.  As teams continued to bring in their scores and more and more skins were being erased from the board, it was the team from the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear Golf Club who was the only team left on the board at the end of the day.  104 of 106 players entered the skins game and David Smallwood and Jeff McDowall took home all of the cash with an eagle on three and a birdie on seven.  The duo took home $2080 for their efforts. 
For full standings and scores from the 2017 HP/AP CLICK HERE
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