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Timberwolf snaps the Ryder Cup skid while Idylwylde celebrates a hole in one
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The Timberwolf Golf Club octet celebrated their first Ryder Cup win in nine years, the Idylwylde Golf & Country Club contingent celebrated a rare hole in one in competition play and while the Lively Golf Club representatives would see their two-year winning streak snapped over the course of this past weekend, there was still no lack of smiles and memorable shots from one and all of the 24 golfers who took part.

With most of the area’s top practitioners of the game in attendance, there is still something that sets apart the event that was launched back in 1994 by current Timberwolf pro Tom Clark.

“It’s kind of that same group of guys from Sudbury, with a good battle with the same crew every year,” noted Matt Dumontelle (Timberwolf), who recorded no less than seven birdies in walking away with his Sunday afternoon head to head match with Cory Vaillancourt of the Idylwylde.

“We all get to see each other, which is great – but we’re also competitive,” added the soon-to-be 40 year old who is also a more than well-known name within local curling circles. “We play against each other so much but this is the one event where you get the top eight guys against each other.”

Going wire to wire, the Timberwolf crew earned three points on Friday (vs Idylwylde-2 and Lively-1), adding a deuce on Saturday to enter the final round a half point clear of the “Idy Eight”.

“The last two years, we were in the lead heading into Sunday and we blew it, basically,” noted Timberwolf team captain Brian McGarry, the young man who still sits third in all-time career points in the NOJHL (382), trailing only the Rayside-Balfour Canadiens' duo of Bryan Verreault and Denis Castonguay.

“There was a lot of experience learned from our mistakes. The guys really wanted this; we were talking a month before this even started.”

With only McGarry and veteran Jay Jewett also part of the 2015 championship group, the Timberwolf relatively young guns proceeded to rack up 6.5 of a possible eight points on the final day, with Joey Kremer, Alex Fowke, Scott Whalen, Ben Fowke, Matt Dumontelle and Jay Jewett all earning victories and Kyle Lekun finishing all-squared with Lively rep Justin Karcz.

“It’s repetition, given that we play here all the time,” stated Dumontelle, his team’s total of 11.5 points good enough for a three point advantage, in the end, over the Idylwylde gents. “We know every shot from every tee with different winds. We know where to land the ball, where to land it on the green and where to chip from.”

“And knowing where the pins are is key, as well. You’ve got to miss in the right spots.”

Returning no less than six of the eight golfers who went right to the wire in 2023 with Lively on their home course, McGarry and company were chomping at the bit to take a swing at returning the trophy to the New Sudbury venue this year.

“Coming into the tournament, we thought we had one of our best teams since we last won the tournament,” said McGarry. “We were very confident. The guys went out there and played great golf. Leading up to the tournament, we were all on the same page.”

But with the slimmest of leads in hand Saturday evening, group consensus would override the captain’s strategy with everything on the line some twelve hours later. “We came in with a game plan but we went against my game plan last night, so I was a little nervous coming into today – but the boys felt confident,” said McGarry.

“These seven other guys on the roster know these greens better than anyone.”

Over time, their roles have changed, as Matt Dumontelle is wont to note.

“The team camaraderie is great,” he said. “We’re really gelled; these guys are awesome. We’ve got some young guys on the team – with Jay (Jewett) and I being the old farts. I remember playing this when I was a kid, 21 years old. Now, we are trying to calm the guys down.”

“That’s our job now – and I thought we did a pretty good job this week.”

Not displaying any signs of youthful nervousness, 20 year-old Ethan Mulligan (Idylwylde) accomplished what appears to be only the second ace in Ryder Cup history, finding the hole from the tees on the 17th at the Idylwylde Saturday evening and propelling he and partner Johnny Svalin to a 1 up win in their match with Jewett and Dumontelle.

“I hit it long – but it was pure – and there’s a backstop on 17,” said the Lo-Ellen Park graduate who recently completed his second year at Laurentian University as a member of the Voyageurs golf team. “It just came back into the hole.”

Stationed exactly 168 yards away – according to Svalina – Mulligan relied on the gathering of 30-40 Ryder Cup followers much closer to the action to know exactly how much closer to the hole he might come from his previous best of a foot or so in pursuit of the magical hole in one.

“I knew (it went in) because they started going crazy up at the green,” said Mulligan with a smile, his trusty seven-iron having turned the trick for the first lowest possible hole score of his career. “I knew it was close and they all started running towards the hole, so I threw my club and started running towards them.”

“It was pure excitement – completely insane.”

And it was one of those memories that will now be etched in Ryder Cup lore, the event now holding a very special place in the summer calendar of so many very talented local golfers in the region.

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