HOROWITZ SNATCHES TITLE AFTER DRAMATIC FINISH
2 Dec 2011
Joe Horowitz kept his cool when it mattered most to clinch a second Gosling's Invitational crown in three years at Belmont Hills on December 1st, 2011.
Playing in a threesome that included past winners Bill Walsh and Kirk Hanefeld, the 32-year-old singer/songwriter got up and down on the final hole to win the tournament by a single shot over Nick Kenney.
Horowitz, who settled for a share of the spoils with Mike Donald in 2008 after a play off failed to separate the two men, did just enough to avoid having to play extra holes after entering the clubhouse at even par for the round and one-under for the tournament.
He carded four birdies and four bogeys and clinched the tournament with a clutch six foot uphill putt on the final hole to save par in fading light.
Horowitz said yesterday’s win was just as special as his first.
“The first time I won was more of a relief but this one is more like joy and happiness and confirmation. It feels so much better than I thought it would feel,” he said.
The former Canadian Tour player entered the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with local pro Anthony Mocklow and Matt Hoffman but left himself with some work to do after surrendering three shots to the course on the front nine.
“There’s a lot of good players out there and it was such a grind. All I tried to do all day is think that par is good,” he said.
“I made three birdies and three bogeys on the front and so it was a very rough front side. But I was very proud of my demeanour out there. Even after the bogeys I knew it wasn’t over.
“I didn’t watch anybody else, care or ask about scores until the last hole and I knew I had to get up and down for the win.
“It was all mental and truthfully, physically, I am definitely a better golfer than I was two years ago. I felt so comfortable and confident and it was just really good to win.”
Canadian Kenney shot the day’s lowest round of three-under 67 along with American Zoltan Veress, while local Daniel Augustus came in at two -nder par for the round and one-over for the tournament to round off the top three in the Professional Division.
Had it not have been a for a quadruple bogey on the 18th hole on the first day things might’ve panned out entirely different for the Bermudian, who pocketed $5,400 for his efforts.
“I feel like I lost it on the first day on 18 where I took an eight,” he said. “But that’s golf.”
Mocklow also went to lengths to put on a brave face following his meltdown on the front nine where he carded four bogeys, a double bogey at seven and a triple bogey at the par-four eighth to finish at eight-over for the tournament.
“I guess I got a little ahead of things on the front nine,” he said. “I made a couple of bad swings and really got punished. But it would have been nice to keep it together.”
Defending champion Walsh finished in a four-way tie for fifth at four-over for the tournament.
Local and past Gosling’s Invitational champion Eric Hav Trott won the Senior Amateur Division by a comfortable eight-shot margin over nearest rival Max Atherden.
Trott’s win denied compatriot Jeffrey Lindo an unprecedented fifth straight Senior Amateur crown.
American Gray Yancie won the Junior Amateur title also by eight shots to capture his first major title on his debut in this event.
“This is my first major title and I am very excited to win it,” he said. “It was a very lucky win.”
By Colin Thompson
The Royal Gazette
Photo By Mark Tatem