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Yorke wins Avondale Open six months after hip replacement

Avondale general manager Connor Lea, left, presents Tim Yorke with the Avondale Open trophy on Sunday.
Avondale general manager Connor Lea, left, presents Tim Yorke with the Avondale Open trophy on Sunday. - Submitted

KENSINGTON, P.E.I. — Tim Yorke was nervous about how going under the knife would impact his love of golf.

“There was a lot of anxiety,” he said. “When you’re a competitive golfer and all of a sudden, you’re going through a major injury, (you wonder) am I going to be able to swing as fast? Am I going to be able to turn? ... Am I going to be able to walk the golf course?”

But the 53-year-old Kensington native said he had no cartilage left in his right hip. He suspected it wore down over time after years as a runner and growing up playing a lot of basketball.

The issue bothered him for the past couple of years, and he knew hip replacement was the answer.

“It got really bad last year,” he explained, “to the point that at the amateur I took the cart because walking wasn't going very well.”

He walked two practice rounds at the Canadian mid-amateur but wore down.

“At the 10th or the 11th hole, I was walking with a severe, severe limp and couldn’t swing into the right side,” he said. “Last year was a year of constant manipulation of trying to swing around the hip.”

In December, Yorke had hip replacement surgery done by Dr. Steve Miller in Charlottetown and later began physiotherapy with Sports Centre Physiotherapy’s Colin Moore.

“I was so lucky with Dr. Miller and the job he did and Colin Moore doing my physiotherapy,” Yorke said. “I did my routines, I did my workouts and I did my exercises.”

He started lightly swinging a golf club about 10 weeks after surgery. During his 12-week checkup, Yorke was given the greenlight to start building up the speed of his swing.

“Right from the get-go, swinging a golf club was never an issue,” Yorke said. “It never bothered me ... From all I’ve read and researched, actually the golf swing does it a lot of good.”

He first practised hitting a ball in a field to get a feel for it.

He returned to the course for Andersons Creek opening day on April 27 and picked up right where he left off. He shot rounds of 73 and 71 before a bogey-free 69 on his third round of the season.

A regular top-five finisher during the Prince Edward Island Golf Association tour, Yorke entered the first event of the season, last week at Avondale — and won.

The victory came under tough weather conditions after a beautiful Friday on the eve of the event.

“30 to -2 C, thank you,” Yorke joked. “It snowed on us four times out there, and we warmed up in freezing rain.”

He recorded rounds of 77 and 78 to finish with a two-round total of 11-over 155. Adam Gallant and Jason Campbell were three strokes off the lead.

Winning wasn’t a priority for Yorke heading into the weekend. It was more about getting back out with a supportive group of golfers and seeing how he held up with his new part.

“I went as a I felt ... I wasn't going to do anything stupid,” Yorke said.

His big goal for the season is to be ready for the Cooke Insurance P.E.I. Amateur Championship, July 6 to 8 at Green Gables Golf Club. The event is always special for Yorke and the rest of the field, but this year provides him a chance to make history.

“Nobody has ever three-peated the amateur championship,” he explained. “I had the chance in '98 to do it on my home course in Summerside — and I let it get away — and it’s always been something I wished I had the opportunity to do again.”

He is excited to be back on the course and is thankful for the great care he received while in hospital.

“Dr. Miller was fantastic,” Yoke said. “He’s really the reason that I’m playing golf.”


AVONDALE OPEN

Results from the recent Avondale Open golf tournament.

Championship Division

                        Saturday    Sunday    Total

Tim Yorke            77                78          155

Adam Gallant      78                80           158

Jason Campbell  76                82           158

Curtis Martell       82               77            159

MacKenzie Clow  76               83           159

Steven Gamester 81              79            160

Jeff Hughes          83              78            161

Ben King               81             80            161

Nick Arsenault      77              85            162

Jeremy Brown      77              85            162

Cameron King      78              84            162

Ronnie Dennis     85              81            166

Scott Purdy          83              83            166

Tony Perry           83              88            171

Mark McKenna    87              91            178

Tony Burns          86            DNS            –

2nd Division

                            Saturday    Sunday        Total

Ricky Knockwood    76                90            166

Sid Stead                86                 83            169

Norm Platt               83                88            171

George Stewart       89                84            173

Jacob Richards       82                93            175

Liam Arsenault        80                97            177

Bobby Savidant       92                88            180

Leonard Doyle         95                87            182

Wade Yeo                95                87            182

Kennie Macwilliams 93               99            192

Bert Stevenson      112              DNS            –

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