Palladino claims championship number six
by Randy Pascal
After capturing the prestigious Idylwylde Men's Invitational Golf Tournament on five previous occasions, nabbing title number six might seem like
old hat for Vince Palladino. Not in the least, after Palladino downed Jay Quesnel Sunday afternoon in an all-Sudbury final.
Walking away with tournament bragging rights in exactly half of the championships contested between 1992 and 2001, Palladino now stands alone in the
history books, breaking a tie with five-time winner Fred Silver this past weekend.
And while his first five titles came almost directly on the heels of a time when Palladino had only recently graduated from the NCAA ranks, the 2011
victory will carry extra meaning, with life and business demands changing notably for arguably the greatest golfer that Sudbury has ever produced.
Palladino entered the championship flight in fine form on Friday, firing an even par 72 to trail only Cam Hreljac in the list of 16 qualifiers
still in the hunt on Saturday morning.
The path to the historic win would not be easy, as 2011 might well represent the first time in the sixty four year history of the Idylwylde Invitational
that the top four seeds coming out of the opening qualifying round all remained alive through to the semi-finals.
With Quesnel halted the torrid streak blazed by Hreljac and Palladino eliminating 2010 champion Ryan Willoughby, the stage was set. In the end,
the experience of Palladino, both with the golf course that he is intimately familiar with as well as the necessities of match play golf, would lift the
40 year old to the top of the podium.
With winds swirling throughout the weekend, this year's Invitational proved a daunting challenge for the uninitiated, as the qualifying round scores
While the overall depth of the field was perhaps stronger than any in recent memory, the low score of 71 posted on Friday by Hreljac was the highest
since 2006, when Winston Ivey shot a 71 to garner the top seeding of the championship flight.
The triumph by Palladino also marks the eighth different golfer in the past nine years to walk away Sunday as champion, with Mark Brewer turning
the trick in both 2007 and 2009.