Bearchell hopes to learn from Can Am debut

Matthew Gourlie
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The Canadian Men's Amateur Championship lasted four rounds and three playoff holes before crowning a champion.


Leighton Bearchell. File photo

Moose Jaw's Leighton Bearchell didn't make it that far.

Bearchell failed to make the cut after he finished at 23-over following rounds of 86 and 79 as he made his men's national amateur championship debut.

"I was kind of forcing things. I was so set on making the cut and trying to play my best that I kind of forced things out there and I didn't allow myself to play good golf," said Bearchell. "I was too afraid of making bad shots as opposed to trying to make good ones.

"Of course I wanted to play better than I did, but it was still a neat experience for me."

Bearchell had qualified by finishing tied for eighth at the Saskatchewan Men's Amateur Championship 10 days prior where he sank more birdies than anyone else in the field. In Winnipeg, he had a really tough opening round. He bogeyed every hole on the back nine and double-bogeyed three of those holes. He managed a birdie on the ninth hole.

The tournament was played on two different Winnipeg courses over the first two days — the Elmhurst Golf and Country Club and the Southwood Golf and Country Club. The final two rounds were both at the Elmhurst.

Bearchell said Southwood was pretty wide open and more a links-style course, while the Elmhurst was a little shorter, but also very narrow.

"It definitely penalized you a lot for missing the fairway," said Bearchell. "I played Elmhurst first and it chewed me up a little bit."

He had a much better second round, but the ninth hole at Southwood ended up hurting his score. He only had five bogeys on the second day, but his triple-bogey on nine proved costly.

"The second round was better. I had nothing to lose and I was playing for pride," said Bearchell. "I at least proved to myself that I could put a good round together. I started on the back (nine) and so nine was my last hole. Maybe I was excited to get the round over. I missed the fairway to the left and ended up in some pretty nasty stuff and got penalized for that."

He wasn't satisfied with his performance, but Bearchell knows it was a good learning experience.

"It's a new level. I've been to the Canadian juniors, but it's a different feel at a Canadian Amateur. You have so many different player from around the world and there's 244 players in the field," he said.

Bearchell will head back to Texas soon to begin his sophomore season on the Wayland Baptist University golf team. 

James Beale from New Zealand won the Men's Amateur thanks to a birdie on the third playoff hole. 

Beale beat Taylor Pendrith from Richmond Hill, Ont. and Jonathan Garrick from the U.S. after they finished in a three-way tie for the title at six-under after the final round of play.

David Stewart from Prince Albert was the top Saskatchewan finisher after he was in a tie for 49th at nine-over.

Organizations: Elmhurst Golf and Country Club, Saskatchewan Men, Southwood Golf and Country Club Canadian Amateur Wayland Baptist University Prince Albert

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Winnipeg, Texas New Zealand Richmond Hill U.S. Saskatchewan

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