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Team Canada takes Mid-Am and Senior Championships
Congratulations to our 2023 Mid-Am Champions Simon McInnis (Crystal Beach, ON) & Garrett Rank (Elmira, ON), and our Senior Champions Adam Creighton (Wellesley, ON) & Dave Bunker (Ridgeway, ON).

Oak Hill Country Club
The only club to have hosted three PGA Championships, the Ryder Cup, the United States Open, the United States Amateur, the United States Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship.

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Clean sweep for Canadian teams at the 2023 John R. Williams

Simon McInnis (L) and Garrett Rank

It may have been a 1-2-3 finish for American players at the recently-held Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship. The Canadians, however, showed their strength over the weekend at the challenging Oak Hill in Rochester, New York, winning both the Mid-Am and Senior titles.

Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank — the NHL referee who will soon have to put the clubs away for the winter — took home the Mid-Am title, shooting Rounds of 67, 65, and 65 for a three-day total of 13-under 197. Rank is from Elmira, Ontario, and his partner, McInnis resides in Crystal Beach, Ontario.


Kamin and Licursi win the John R. Williams Four-Ball

Danny Licursi (L) and Chris Kamin

The Arizona duo of Danny Licursi and Chris Kaminteamed to shoot a final round 65 Saturday on Oak Hill’s East Course to win the mid-amateur division of the 58th John R. Williams Invitational, while Georgians Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel combined to win their second senior division title at 8-under 208.

Bob Royak (L) and Doug Hanzel

Kamin, who won the Arizona Stroke Play Championship in April, and Licursi carded rounds of 65-68-65 (-12) to post a four-stroke win over Kyle Downey and Brandon Grzywacz, who came in at 8-under (68-67-67) 202.

William Wingerd & Jeff Castle closed with a 68 to finish at 7 under, tied for third with Amory Davis & Chris DeForest. Three teams tied for fifth at 5 under, including 36-hole leaders Shane Heise and Scott Loving.

Chris Ironroad and Tyler Gulliksen, who erased a 5-shot lead on the final day to win last year’s event, couldn’t recapture the magic in their title defense and settled for a T30 finish.

Royak and Hanzel, who each has won a U.S. Senior Amateur title, posted an 8-under score of 205 (65-71-69) to win claim the senior title by three strokes over three teams: Jon Lindstrom & Chris Carlson, Steve McPherson & Jerry Gunthorpe, and Rob Cowan & Dave Bunker.

It was the latest four-ball win for the decorated senior amateurs; Royak and Hanzel won the Williams senior title in 2018 and have also won both the Georgia Four-Ball and Georgia Senior Four-Ball together.

Last year’s senior champs Wade Sarkis & Jim Scorse did not make the cut in their title defense.

>> Final Results

Gullikson, Ironroad deny Rank, McInnis a 3rd J.R. Williams title

Chris Ironroad (L) and Tyler Gulliksen
57th John R. Williams Invitational champions

Tyler Gulliksen (San Diego, Calif.) and Chris Ironroad (Fairfax, Va.) shot a final-round 66 on the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club to erase a 5-shot deficit and win the 57th John R. Williams Invitational.

Gullikson, a 34-year-old volunteer assistant coach at the University of San Diego, played golf at the Naval Academy and went on to become a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Unit (EOD). The 39-year-old Ironroad also has Navy experience as a Judge Advocate, and winning the All-Navy Sports Golf Tournament in 2018.

In shooting the low round of the day, Gulliksen and Ironroad denied the Canadian team of Garrett Rank and Simon McInnis a third Williams title. Rank and McInnis, who won the tournament the last time it was played in 2018 (a course renovation and COVID-19 cancelled the tournament the last two years), shot an 8-under 62 in the second round to take a four-shot lead into the final round. But they could never get anything going on Saturday, struggling to a 72 which put them one shot back of the winners a 8 under par.

Gulliksen and Ironroad started well, shooting a 5-under 65 on the West course to take the lead, before stalling out on the East Course for a second-round 70.

Kyle Downey (Webster, N.Y.) and Brandon Grzywacz (Sanford, N.C.) tied for second after a final-round 67. Jordan Sease (Cayce, S.C.) and Sam Jackson (W. Columbia, S.C.) finished fourth at 7 under, while Tom Linehan (Fairport, N.Y.) and Kevin Lewis (Rochester, N.Y.) rounded out the top five at 6 under.

The 2017 champions, Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, Ariz., tied for sixth at 3 under. The 2016 champs John Hunter (Houston, Texas) and Kyle Nathan (Coral Springs, Fla.) tied for 20th at 4 over par.

A total of 33 teams made the 36-hole cut which fell at 5-over 145.

Jim Scorse (L) and Wade Sarkis
Senior Champions

Wade Sarkis (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and Jim Scorse (Churchville, N.Y) won the Senior title on the first playoff hole over the team of Richard Kerper (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Mike Finster (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Sarkis and Scorse took a two-shot lead into the final round, but saw their playing partners draw even with a final-round 3-under 68 on the East Course. The two teams finished 54 holes art 8-under 205.

Bob Royak (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Doug Hanzel (Savannah, Ga.), who each have a U.S. Senior Amateur title, closed with a 67 to finish two shots back in third in defense of the title they won in 2018.

The 2017 champions John Kircher (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Mike Jaros (Endicott, N.Y.) started the day two back of the lead but fell back to a 7th place finish at 1 under. Two-time champs Tom Blank and Mark Dugan of the host club finished 10th.

Rank, McInnis fire 62, win 2018 J.R. Williams in playoff

Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank, the 2018 John R. Williams Champions
Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank, the 2018 John R. Williams Champions

It took a heroic final-round score, but Toronto’s Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank managed to fight their way back to the top of the leaderboard Saturday in the final round of the John R. Williams Four-Ball. The duo claimed what is their second title in the event.

McInnis and Rank teamed up to win the Williams back in 2015. This week, they put themselves in the mix at Oak Hill Country Club after a first-round 67, but dropped shots in the second round when they fired 2-over 72. A final-round 9-under 62 was just enough to get them into a tie with the Bakersfield, Calif.-based team of Stephen Hale and D.J. Fernando.

The two teams went back to the 18th hole for sudden death, where Rank made a crucial par for his side. Hale missed his par putt that would have forced more holes.

Rank is a well-known name in northern golf circles. Already this summer, he won the Ontario Amateur and Mid-Amateur, and played the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills as an amateur. Rank spends the golf offseason working as an NHL referee. His partner, McInnis, is a former player for the University of Waterloo.

Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel, Senior Champions
Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel, Senior Champions

Another Toronto team, Craig Hosie and Harris Bundy, finished third at 6 under. That side had the first-round lead after opening with 64, but then fired back-to-back rounds of even-par 70 to fall off the pace.

Second-round leaders Andrew Kay of Pittsford, N.Y., and David Fries of Penfield, N.Y., also tied for third at 6 under.

In the senior division, Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel, a Georgia-based team, increased their lead on Saturday and turned it into a nine-shot victory over Keith Holmes and Gay McMichael, also of Georgia. Royak and Hanzel combined for rounds of 63-67-64 to reach 19 under.

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