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.
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.
After two rounds at Oak Hill Country Club, the senior four-ball team of Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel are beginning to pull away. The Georgia twosome followed an opening 63 with a second-round 67 Friday at the John R. Williams Invitational, and will take a four-shot cushion into the final round.
In the mid-amateur division, meanwhile, things are a little bit tighter. Andrew Kay and David Fries, from Pittsford and Penfield, N.Y., respectively, lead with an 8-under 132. Two more teams are within two shots, however.
Kay and Fries overtook the Toronto-based twosome of Craig Hosie and Harris Bundy in the second round. After opening with 64, Hosie and Bundy came back with 70 to lose some ground.
There were three rounds of 66 on Friday, which was the low number of the day. Stephen Hale and D.J. Fernando, both of Bakersfield, Calif., posted a 66 that carried them into second place, sandwiched between Kay/Fries and Hosie/Bundy.
Daniel Licursi and Chris Kamin, of Chandler and Phoenix, Ariz., also had that number and that team is tied for fourth. So did the Chicago-based team of Kyle Moran and Charlie Waddell. They are tied for sixth.
Notably, 2015 champions Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank of Toronto followed an opening 67 with a second-round 72 to drop to 1 under and into a tie for 13th.
As for the senior division, Royak and Hanzel will be looking to hold onto their advantage in the third and final round. Their closest pursuers are Keith Holmes and Gay McMichael, another Georgia-based team, at 8 under after rounds of 65-69.
Craig Hosie and Harris Bundy, both of Toronto, shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-shot lead into the second round of the 56th annual John R. Williams Invitational at Oak Hill Country Club.
Playing early, Hosie and Bundy went 3-under on each side, with only a single bogey on the par-3 4th offsetting seven birdies.
They lead by a single shot over two teams. Andrew Kay (Pittsford, N.Y.) and David Fried (Penfield, N.Y.) shot a 65 in the morning, while Jeff March (Penfield, N.Y.) and Francesco Romano (Ashburn, Va.) matched the score in the afternoon.
Four teams are tied for 4th at 66, including the Houston-based team of John Hunter and Greg Cole. Hunter was the 2016 champion with partner Kyle Nathan of Illinois.
Another Toronto team, the 2015 champs Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank, shot a 3-under 67 and sit in a tie for 8th with six other teams. Among them are the South Carolina team of Jordan Sease and Walt Todd, Jr., winners of the Devlin Cup earlier this year.
The defending champions, Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, Arizona, opened with a 1-under 69 and are in a tie for 16th.
The field will be cut after tomorrow’s second round. The current cut line is even par, with 37 teams at that score or better.
In the Senior Division, the Georgia-based team of Bob Royak and Doug Hanzel shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-shot lead over Adam Kugler (Closter, N.J.) and Dan Levinson (New York, N.Y.).
Keith Holmes and Gay McMichael, both from Macon, Ga., are another shot back at 6 under.
The defending champions John Kircher (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Mike Jaros (Endicott, N.Y.) are tied for fourth at 4-under 67, along with 2015 senior champions Don Erickson III and John Benson of Pennsylvania.
Two-time champions Tom Blank and Mark Dugan (Pittsford, N.Y.) shot a 3-under 68 and are in a tie for seventh place.
The projected senior cut is at 3 under, with 9 teams at that mark or better.
The Williams Committee is pleased to announce the appearance of Rich Lerner to highlight our Wil-Am event on Wednesday, September 12.
Lerner follows a list of recent Wil-Am speakers that includes John Feinstein, Curtis Strange, Billy Harmon, Tim Rosaforte, Sir Nick Faldo, Andy North, and Paul Azinger. Lerner joined Golf Channel in 1997 and has been involved in many aspects of golf coverage over the last two decades. He currently serves as a play-by-play host for Golf Channel’s PGA Tour tournament coverage. In addition, he is the lead host for the network’s Live From programming airing on-site at golf’s major events. Known for writing and narrating captivating essays on the game of golf and for his interaction with the game’s biggest stars, this year’s Wil-Am promises to be another memorable event at Oak Hill!
The John R. Williams Invitational is an international Four-Ball competition held annually at Oak Hill that showcases the best mid-amateur and senior players from across the United States and Canada. The Wil-Am is a practice day for John R. Williams contestants that involves Oak Hill members being paired with our Williams’ players. The event includes an afternoon shotgun start, cocktail hour, and dinner that will conclude with Rich Lerner as our guest speaker.
The Williams Committee will establish an official registration process for this event. Later this summer, the membership will receive a communication which will detail all available golf and dinner options.