North Milton native in the field for this year's Cooke Insurance P.E.I. Amateur Golf Championship, which begins Thursday morning
Brodie Ward is chasing his first P.E.I. Amateur title this weekend at a course he has played some of his best golf at.
The 25-year-old North Milton native is in the first group to tee off today at 7 a.m. at Eagles Glenn of Cavendish for the Cooke Insurance P.E.I. Amateur Golf Championship. The three-round competition concludes on Sunday.
In 2012, Ward shot a 6-under 66 on the final day of an Atlantic championship at Eagles Glenn.
“It’s certainly a confidence builder going into the tournament, but 2012 is a long time ago and obviously things change,” he said. “But it never hurts to go into a golf course having had success there in the past.”
The 66 still stands as the course record, which is shared with Kensington’s Tim Yorke, who is also in this week’s field and has won the amateur five times.
“Certainly, he’s going to be a guy to beat this week too because Tim is a longtime member at Eagles Glenn,” Ward said Wednesday at his home course of Andersons Creek Golf Club.
Ward entered the final round of the 2012 event about eight shots off the lead.
He knew he had to play aggressive to put some pressure on the leaders and while he made a run, he ended up tied for seventh.
There were lessons learned from the round that can be used this weekend.
“My goal this week is to make sure I come out with that mentality and stay aggressive,” he said.
“If you play conservative off the bat, there’s going to be guys this week who are going to shoot low . . . and if you’re not playing aggressive, you’re going to be behind early and it’s hard to make up ground against these guys.”
With some good weather conditions, Ward expects players will have to shoot at least par to be in contention and there could be some scores in the 60s.
“I will be trying to make as many birdies as I can,” he said.
“I have a solid short game inside 100 yards. I know that if I am putting well, I’ll have a chance come Sunday.”
Ward has been a mainstay on the player of the year series since graduating from the junior ranks. He was six years old when he got involved in the sport through a junior program at Green Gables run by Kevin Champion.
“I played tons of sports growing up, but golf has been my passion since I was that young,” he said. “Kevin Champion has been huge for me right from the time I was six years old making it fun and interesting.”
At 12, competitive golf caught his attention and Ward challenged himself to improve. Four years later he was competing at nationals. In 2013, he graduated from junior golf but wanted to stay involved in the sport.
He joined the men’s circuit and while a little intimidated initially found some great people to learn from in Yorke, Dave Shellington and Martin O’Brien.
“Learning from them was huge,” he said.
Ward finished second at the amateur in 2014 in Summerside and third last year at Green Gables.
“I’m motivated to finally come out and get a win because I have been right there,” he said. “I have been in the last group with the lead on Sunday in the past and just haven’t quite been able to get it done.”
He has been in contention for other tournament wins in the past before being victorious in Amherst, N.S., in August.
“That was certainly a major step for me getting that first really big win,” he said.
And while Ward wants to keep improving, he also wants to help give back to the game. He is helping Champion with a junior program at Andersons Creek. Wednesday, he met some of the next generation of golfers at the clubhouse and talked to them about their rounds.
Ward is also a teacher by trade. The Bluefield and UPEI graduate taught at Donagh Regional School in 2018-19 and is moving the Queen Charlotte Intermediate School in September.
Cooke Insurance P.E.I. Amateur Golf Championship
What – A three-round golf championship. It is the Island's top golf event of the season and is managed by the Prince Edward Island Golf Association.
When – Today through Sunday.
Where – Eagles Glenn of Cavendish.
Important holes – Brodie Ward has had some success at Eagles Glenn of Cavendish. He said 8, 17 and 18 are key holes that could play a factor in the championship’s outcome.
“The par-5 eight is a hole that can yield birdies, but it certainly can result in some higher scores if you’re not careful,” he said. “You can hit three good shots and give yourself a really good chance of a birdie. But every one of those three shots can result in a double bogey as well, so you have to pay attention.”
Nos. 17 and 18 provide a great finish at the course. Ward said No. 17 is a strong par 3 with lots of water and a narrow green. The final hole is a par-4 and 450 yards. Ward birdied three of the last four holes when he tied the club record of 6-under 66 in 2012.
Tee times for today’s first round of the three-round Cooke Insurance P.E.I. Amateur at The Eagles Glenn of Cavendish.
7 a.m. – Brodie Ward and Luke Dillon.
7:10 a.m. – Mark Carragher, Scott Morton and Curtis Hall.
7:20 a.m. – Paul Gormley, Ronnie Dennis and Justin Caron.
7:30 a.m. – Jack MacKinnon, Tyler Murphy and Andy Luttrell.
7:40 a.m. – Tyler Ranahan, Adam Gallant and Bradley Chisholm.
7:50 a.m. – David Cantelo, Drake Squarebriggs and Tyler Hashmi.
8 a.m. – Isaac Drake, Stephen Anderson and Len Currie.
8:10 a.m. – Teese Hakkers, Saulomon Lanigan and Jason Campbell.
8:20 a.m. – Cameron McQuaid, Benjamin King and Nevin Dunfield.
8:30 a.m. – Stu Musgrave, Sam McNeill and Colin Younker.
8:50 a.m. – Caleb Drake, John-Anthony Langdale and Todd McGowan.
9 a.m. – Evan Stewart, Ricky Knockwood and Tim Yorke.
9:10 a.m. – Maxime Gaudet, Spencer Compton and Mackenzie Clow.
9:20 a.m. – Michael Hall, Cameron King and Carson Lund.
9:30 a.m. – Jeff Hughes, Nick Arsenault and Jason Poley.
9:40 a.m. – Joseph Cluney, Connor Shea and Kirk MacPhee.
9:50 a.m. – Kevin Chen, Curtis Martell and Matthew Cole.
10 a.m. – Ryan Ellis, Peter McDougall and Carter Gamester.
10:10 a.m. – Steven Gamester, Kris Taylor and Cam White.
10:20 a.m. – Gary Moore, Marty Koughan and Paul Earnshaw.
10:30 a.m. – Nelson Thompson, Jim West and Stephen MacIsaac.
10:50 a.m. – Ernest Corrigan, Mel Bernard and Alan Aitken.
11 a.m. – Roger Perreaux, Jeff Cooke and Ron Garrett.
11:10 a.m. – Barry Gass, Merlin Affleck and Lawrence Harrison.
11:20 a.m. – Steve Ball, Wade Gauthier and Wayne Crosby.
11:30 a.m. – Gary Melanson, Sid Stead and Stephen Wilson.
11:40 a.m. – Bertin Desjardins, Scott Purdy and David Romcke.
11:50 a.m. – Katherine Beamish, Myrna Millar and Melissa Castle.
Noon – Chrissie MacLauchlan, Debby Beck and Paula Buote.
12:10 p.m. – Fiona Thompson, Sherry White and Sandra MacDonald.
12:20 p.m. – Brenda McIlwaine, Kathy Murray and Brenda Perry.
12:30 p.m. – Grace Yeo, Jacquelyn Taylor and Charlotte Cluney.
A look at some recent Prince Edward Island Golf Association men’s and women's amateur title winners:
Year Women’s champ Men’s champ
2018 Sherry White Andrew Reid
2017 Chris MacLauchlan Tim Yorke
2016 Sherry White Tim Yorke
2015 Julia Henderson Jason Campbell
2014 Sherry White Cody MacKay
2013 Sherry White Martin O'Brien
2012 Sherry White Greg MacAulay
2011 Angela Drane Chris Welton
2010 Sherry White Anthony Warren
2009 Morgan Bell Anthony Warren
2008 Angela Drane Anthony Warren
2007 Heather Fudge Matt Matheson
2006 Chris MacLauchlan Robbie Younker
2005 Morgan Bell Mike Fortier
2004 Sherry White Jeff MacEachern
2003 Sherry White Tim Yorke
2002 Sherry White Craig Taylor
2001 Cherie Hansen Anthony Warren
2000 Sherry White Jeff MacEachern