Living up to the hype

Matt Veno
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Banks becomes first Truro golfer in 50 years to win Nova Scotia men's championship

Banks

TRURO - Mission accomplished...and so much more.

Eric Banks was hoping he could win the Nova Scotia men's amateur golf championship or simply earn one of the three spots to nationals up for grabs at the event.

But by clinching victory Saturday by a stroke over Digby Pines' Eric Locke, Banks became the first Truro golfer to win the men's amateur since George Sharman did it in 1961. He also became the first player to win on home turf since Grandview's Charlie Banfield in 1996 and only the fourth junior-age player to win Nova Scotia's top golfing prize.

"It feels really special," the 18-year-old Banks said with a beaming smile following the awards presentation. "I knew there was a lot of pressure put on me and I wanted to live up to the hype."

That he did.

Banks was no further down the leaderboard than second during the 72-hole event after opening with a red-hot 5-under-par 66.

"There's more pressure because it's your home course," said Banks, a member of Canada's junior squad. "But then again, after the rounds you can go hang out with your friends and treat it like a normal day and that kind of kept me grounded throughout the whole week."

After entering Saturday's final round two strokes behind Locke, Banks birdied the second hole while Locke bogeyed to draw the pair even. Banks then grabbed a one-stroke lead on the par-4 third hole when Locke double-bogeyed and the Truro resident never looked back, recording birdies on the 12th and 17th holes to finish the round at one-over-par 72. He finished the event at two-under 282 while Locke fired 283.

"I'm not too disappointed at all," said Locke, who set a new course record Friday with a scorching 64. "It's his home course. It's his place so I'm quite happy. I just wanted to finish the week under par and I did."

After three days of warm temperatures and sun, Mother Nature threw a curveball at the field of 60 Saturday with unrelenting rain that, by the end of the event, left standing water all over the 6,330-yard layout. Nonetheless about 200 people braved the conditions with umbrellas to follow the final group.

"You just have to accept the weather for what it is," Banks said. "You can't change it so I just did my best to try to keep my clubs and hands dry and just try to hit the ball as close as I could to the hole."

East Mountain's Craig Dale, a Truro club member, narrowly missed out on the third and final spot on the Willingdon Cup provincial squad for nationals, losing by a stroke to Ashburn's Chris Evans on a sixth playoff hole. Dale's putt to win on the fifth extra hole lipped out, leaving the door open for Evans on the next green.

"It's pretty crushing, I guess," the 20-year-old Dale said. "I mean, to come this far and to lose in a playoff... it sucks. But at the end of the day you've got to give credit where it's due and Chris played unbelievable in the playoff."

Dale earned an alternate spot on the team while Banks, Locke and Evans will represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian amateur championship Aug. 4 to 9 in Winnipeg.

In the meantime, Banks is shifting his focus to today's opening round of the Nova Scotia Golf Association Junior Championship at Highland Golf Club at Ingonish Beach.

"I really like the course up there," Banks said. "It's going to be pretty tough if the wind blows up there because the holes are really tight but I'm looking forward to the test."

sports@trurodaily.com

 

FINAL RESULTS:

Following are final results from the 2011 NSGA Men's Amateur Championship at the par-71, 6,330-yard Truro Golf Club:

1. Eric Banks, Truro 66 75 69 72 282

2. Eric Locke, Digby Pines 69 75 64 75 283

T3 Chris Evans, Ashburn 73 69 71 78 291*

T3 Craig Dale, Truro 73 73 69 76 291*

5. Trevor Chow, Ashburn 69 71 76 76 292

6. Sam Holland, Ken Wo 68 77 70 79 294

7. Aaron Nickerson, River Hills 71 73 71 80 295

8. Wayne Ritcey, Ashburn 77 73 70 76 296

9. Leon Carter, Dundee Resort 72 76 76 74 298

10. Sean Hurley, Brightwood 75 77 69 78 299

T11 James Holland, Ken Wo 75 73 76 76 300

T11 Jody Swim, River Hills 70 74 74 82 300

T13 Robert Jeffcock, Truro 76 81 73 71 301

T13 Matt Cormier, Amherst 78 78 71 74 301

T15 Stuart Lenehan, Grandview 73 76 73 80 302

T15 Michael Penny, Brookfield 76 81 74 231

17. Ally Tidcombe, Ken Wo 81 78 72 72 303

T18 Danny Beck, Ashburn 76 80 73 75 304

T18 Paul Coulson, Truro 71 82 73 78 304

T20 Matt Gallupe, Brightwood 76 79 73 77 305

T20 Sean Stuart, Ashburn 74 80 71 80 305

T20 Glenn Robinson, Pin-Hi 81 79 74 71 305

* Evans won in a playoff

Other Colchester County players' results

T23 Terry Clarke, Fox Hollow 75 77 78 76 306

T26 Trevor Jordan, Truro 76 79 70 82 307

T29 John Archibald, Truro 82 78 74 74 308

T31 Brian Hayden, Truro 73 77 75 84 309

34 Jay Foster, Truro 77 77 83 310

35 Jamie McIsaac, Truro 74 77 78 83 312

T38 Chris Topshee, Truro 77 82 78 77 314

T40 Peter Hunt, Truro 77 75 86 77 315

T40 Patrick Vincent MacCormack, Truro 78 77 78 82 315

T47 Nevin Jackson, Truro 76 76 85 81 318

T50 Jeff Van Wart, Truro 74 84 82 80 320

56 David Loughead, Truro 78 80 82 82 322

57 Freeman Maxwell, Truro 80 80 80 85 325

59 Tim Hollett, Truro 82 77 83 85 327

CHAMPIONS:

The following are the last 12 winners of the Nova Scotia men's amateur golf championship. Since 1927 only two Truro golfers have won the event, George Sharman in 1961 and Eric Banks this past week.

2000 Leon Carter, Dundee.

2001 Rob Collins, Clare.

2002 Leon Carter, Dundee.

2003 Russ Passmore, Osprey Ridge.

2004 Leon Carter, Dundee.

2005 Paul Batchelor, Ashburn.

2006 Peter Campbell, Bell Bay.

2007 Leon Carter, Dundee.

2008 David Williamson, Ashburn

2009 Sam Holland, Ken-Wo

2010 Jeff Bishop, Springhill

2011 Eric Banks, Truro

Organizations: Eric Banks, Highland Golf Club, Truro Golf Club Dundee Resort

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada, East Mountain Winnipeg Tidcombe Colchester County Fox Hollow Bell Bay

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments