McDonald keeps up ‘Classic’ dominance
If there is a line between consistent and colossal, Alex McDonald just pole vaulted over it.
The 22-year-old former Fort Frances resident once again crushed the rest of the 26-player field to win his second-straight Kitchen Creek Men’s Classic on Sunday, making it four titles in the past five years.
That put him a seven shots clear of runner-up “Snake” Krawchuk, whose rounds of 73 on Saturday and 72 on Sunday helped him capture first place in the championship flight (the overall winner is considered separate from the championship flight).
McDonald won the event by nine strokes last year.
And here’s the scariest part for anyone hoping to knock him off his perch: he doesn’t believe he played his best in the tourney.
“My game is almost where I want it,” said McDonald, who led by four shots after Saturday’s opening round.
“I could have been a lot lower today,” he added. “I missed three putts that I should have had.
“You’ve got to make those putts if you want to go anywhere in this game,” he stressed.
McDonald had five birdies and two bogeys Saturday, then carded one less of each in Sunday’s round—surviving a heavy downpour at one point.
“My game plan [Saturday] was birdie the par-fives because if I par the par-fives, it’s like a bogey to me,” he explained.
“But with the lead, I wasn’t going to go for anything today [Sunday] but the par-fives,” he added.
“I laid up on No. 3 and No. 6, which I never do.
“I knew someone could make a run at me,” McDonald reasoned. “But I also knew if I shot 74 or lower, someone was going to have to shoot around 68.
“If you get that in the final round, props to you.”
McDonald claimed it’s his relentless drive to outdo everyone else that fuels his competitive fire.
“Since I was a junior here, I’ve wanted to be the best,” he remarked.
“I was 18 when I won here the first time so I reached that goal here,” he added.
“Then I moved to Winnipeg and joined the Breezy Bend Golf Club, and found there were a lot of players better than me.
“But I like to win so I’ve worked to the point where I’m one of the best at Breezy Bend [which holds its club championship this weekend].
“I’ve got to stay focused,” he reiterated.
McDonald recently just missed making the top eight at the Manitoba Amateur Championship, which would have qualified him for the Canadian Amateur Championship.
“I had three decent rounds, but it’s just golf sometimes and I blew up in my last round,” he admitted.
“But so be it. I’m not going to complain about it.”
McDonald also was pleasantly surprised with the course conditions at Kitchen Creek.
“I heard a lot of rumours about the flooding,” he noted.
“The fairways were a little bit hard but fine,” he said. “The greens were really rolling good and pretty healthy.”
Krawchuk, who continues to be a contender for the “Classic” crown well into his senior years, had another steady outing in 2014 to top flight runner-up Gerry Hrycun by eight shots.
Hrycun matched Krawchuk’s 73 on Saturday, but ballooned to an 80 on Sunday to finish at 153.
Jordan Sinclair was third in the flight with identical rounds of 78.
In the first flight, Blake Cawston came out on top with a net score of 144—three better than Kyle Turgeon (147) and four ahead of Dwayne Sinclair (148).
Alton Pollard nabbed the second flight crown with a net score of 141.
That was two better than Sam Harnett (143) and five better than J.R. Ewing (146).