Pilgrim Comes from behind to claim 2017 NB Senior Men’s Championships in playoff

For Immediate Release

The Fredericton Golf Club’s Dan Coulombe set out on day three of the 2017 NB Men’s Senior Championship in search of his first NB Senior Men’s crown, and his first individual title since claiming the NB Mid-Amateur Championship in 2004.

Dan Coulombe hits his bunker shot to the 18th green

Coulombe’s championship search would start at 1:30pm off the Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club’s first tee with a one shot lead over Shane Wellman of the Restigouche Country Club and Wilfred Pilgrim of Kingswood Golf.  A Wellman birdie at the first would pull him into a tie for the lead, but Coulombe would bounce back with a birdie of his own at the par five 2nd to take another short lived one shot lead.  Coulombe would relinquish the lead at the third where a double bogey, five, would see him fall one back of Wellman and into a tie for second with Pilgrim, who also carded a birdie at the 2nd and a bogey of his own at the 3rd.

The trio would end up tied at one over par (+1), through 41 holes when Wellman bogeyed the par four 5th, but a Coulombe birdie at the 7th would pull him one clear yet again.  Wellman and Pilgrim would both bogey the par four 9th making the turn in one over par (+1), 37’s, while Coulombe would card an even par (E) outward nine and take a two shot lead to Gowan Brae’s difficult back side.

Pilgrim would whittle the lead to one with a birdie at #11 and start a wild swing in momentum.  While Pilgrim and Coulombe were wagging their own little war, the penultimate group found Denis Beaulieu busy jumping into the conversation as the Club de de Saint-Quentin member would birdie the par four 10th and eagle the par five 12th to grab a share of the lead with Coulombe through 47 holes.

With Beaulieu now in the mix, Pilgrim would head to the 12th tee one back, but would leave the 12th green alone in first.  A Pilgrim birdie combined with Beaulieu and Coulombe bogeys would create a two shot swing giving Pilgrim his first lead of the event with six holes to play.

The back and forth would continue with another two shot swing at the par four 13th.  While Beaulieu would make par up ahead, a Pilgrim bogey and Coulombe birdie would push Coulombe one shot clear of both Beaulieu and Pilgrim.

The 14th tee however would be the last time Coulombe would hold the outright lead.  Coulombe would card back to back bogeys at #14 and #15 to fall one back of Pilgrim and into a tie for second with Beaulieu, who had also bogeyed #14.  While Pilgrim pared his way from #14 through the difficult par three 17th another bogey for Beaulieu at #17 would drop him to third position coming home, two off Pilgrim’s pace and one back of Coulombe for second.

Undaunted Beaulieu would again turn up the heat with a clutch birdie on Gowan Brae’s 380 yard par four finishing hole to post a final round one under par (-1), 71, and become the leader in the clubhouse.

With Beaulieu in, with a three day total of four over par (+4), 220, Pilgrim would come to the 54th hole in the driver’s seat, needing only to par to secure the victory.   After striping their drives center cut, both Pilgrim and Coulombe would hit wayward second shots that would put the pressure on their short games if either wished to hoist the trophy at day’s end.  While Pilgrim’s 75 yard approach shot would come up short, Coulombe would be unable to get up and down from the front bunker, seeing him post a final round of three over par (+3), 75, and a three day total of 221, one back of Beaulieu’s mark.

Wilfred Pilgrim sinks his putt on #18 to force a playoff

Needing to get up and down from the front of the 18th green, Pilgrim would hit a great chip shot and would run in his four footer to card a final round one over par (+1), 73, and a three day total of four over par (+4), 220, to force a three hole aggregate playoff with Beaulieu for the 2017 NB Men’s Senior Championship.

In the end playoff it would be Pilgrim besting Beaulieu to claim his first NB Provincial Championship to go with is 2015 MCT Insurance NB Senior Men’s Player of the Year title.

By virtue of their finish, Pilgrim, Beaulieu, Coulombe will be joined by first alternate Gary Melanson (76, 74, 73, +7, 223) of the Covered Bridge Golf & Country Club as members of Team NB at the 2017 Canadian Senior Men’s Championship to be held from September 11th to 14th, 2017 at the Kanawaki Golf Club in Kahnawake (Montreal), Québec.

In the Super-Senior Division it was the Aroostook Valley Country Club’s Herrick Hansen bringing home his first NB Super-Senior crown.  Hansen would fire an even par (E), 36, on the front, but would struggle coming home with six bogeys to go with a lone birdie at the 12th.  However, his final round five over par (+5), 77, would be good enough to secure a four shot victory over Jean LeBlanc (82, 75, 74, +15, 231) of the Fox Creek Golf Club, Gilles Masse (77, 80, 74, +15, 231) of Gowan Brae and Louis Boudreau (73, 80, 78, +15, 231), of the Pine Needles Golf Club.  Tied for fifth in the Super-Senior division were Royal Oaks’ Bernie Leger (77, 81, 75, +17, 233), and The Riverside Country Club’s John Brown (81, 75, 77, +17, 233).

2017 NB Super-Senior Champion – Herrick Hansen

In divisional play Pilgrim would claim a five shot victory over Shane Wellman, in the second division, while Jim Haddad (72, 82, 78, +16, 232) of Country Meadows and the Fredericton Golf Club’s Garry Jenkins (79, 77, 76, +16, 232) would finish tied for third.  In fifth position was Michel Audet (84, 72, 78, +18, 234) of the Memramcook Golf Club.

The third division would be brought home by Barry Justason (77, 74, 75, +10, 226).  Justasson`s final round three over par (+3), 75, was good enough to squeeze out a one shot victory over Gowan Brae`s Paul McLean (78, 75, 74, +11, 227) and stay four clear of Aurora, Ontario’s Phillip Doyle (81, 72, 77, +14, 230) who would cruise into third position.  Fourth position belonged to Brent Wilson (84, 79, 81, +28, 244) of the Moncton Golf & Country Club while J.P. Gaudet (85, 84, 77, +30, 246) of Royal Oaks would complete the top five with a final round five over par (+5), 77, and a three day total of 246.

Stephen Wilson (72, 85, 77, +18, 234) of the Sussex Golf & Curling Club would run away with the fourth division thanks to his opening round, even par (E), 72 that saw him hold a share of the first round lead.  Wilson would find himself 15 and 16 shots clear of Gowan Brae’s Owen Cameron (84, 85, 80, +33, 249) and Gordon McLean (82, 86, 82, +34, 250).  Rounding out the top five was a tie for fourth between the Hampton Golf Club’s Brian Duplessis (81, 84, 89, +38, 254) and Gowan Brae’s Ken Ellis (85, 86, 83, +38, 254).

For more information on the 2017 NB Men`s Senior Championship including results and tee times, please CLICK HERE.

For more information on the Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club please CLICK HERE.

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