Sudbury's Most Complete Local Sports Coverage

Date Published:  September 7, 2014

Inco TrophyCaptivating storylines have been ever-present, at least for the past decade, every time the International Nickel Company Trophy has been up for grabs. Presented to the winner of the Idylwylde Invitational annually since 1948, the cherished hardware has been home to some of the great finishes in Sudbury sporting history.

From Garrett Rank's shot to remember on eighteen in 2008, to the record-setting sixth championship for Vince Palladino (2011), to the near-flawless performance of youngsters Colby Beckstrom (2004) and Braeden Cryderman (2013) right through to the incredible three holes down with three holes to play comeback of Kyle Rank this past July, the fodder for clubhouse discussion is rich.

And that tradition, it would appear, dates all the way back to the inaugural tournament some 67 years ago. At that time, local golfing stalwarts Johnny Poupore and Jim Dewey were not given much chance to emerge victorious from an impressive field, even as the now legendary tournament was launched.

Such was the reputation of the Idylwylde course. Ontario junior champion Gerry Kesseling would be on hand, as would veteran Tony Matlock and Ottawa Riverside Club champion Bob Runge.

Eighteen year old Bob Fair, who finished second in the Seagram tournament, would surely contend, along with northern Ontario talent such as Frank Wyatt of Beattie Mines (won N.O.A.G.A. in Haileybury) and senior champion Jock Stokes.

The very first "calcutta" in tournament history would see Matlock draw the highest bid, scooped up at a bargain price of $175, with Jim Boeckh second at $130. Yet when qualifying play opened on Friday, it was Poupore who showed the way with a 75, Boeckh and Fair just three strokes back.

The only Invitational Tournament played in September (it moved to August in 1949 for six years, settling into July since then - with the exception of 1963, 1967 and 1990) would see an unlikely athlete get red-hot over the weekend match-play competition.

Dave Morland of North Bay had enjoyed some success on the northern Ontario golf circuits, though he generally received less acclaim than his brother Bill. Still, it was Dave Morland who knocked off Boeckh in the Sunday semi-final, before taking down Sudburian Roy Herne 3 & 2 later that same day, earning the honour of having his name inscribed on the Inco Trophy for the very first time.

Over the years, the lore of the Idylwylde would grow. Bill Morland would more than earn a reprieve on his sibling, hoisting the mug on three occasions, as would Nick Westlock. Canadian amateur great Gary Cowan won in both 1961 and 1962, but it was Buffalo Hall of Fame golfer Fred Silver who would set the standard for years, picking up five victories between 1970 and 1981.

Ironically, Silver was originally a top hockey prospect at Clarkson University, while also demonstrating a clear aptitude for golf as well. The bar remained unchanged until a graduate of the Ohio State Buckeyes golf program burst on to the scene.

Not only has Vince Palladino walked off as tournament winner on six seperate occasions, including a three in four year stretch from 1998 to 2001, he also owns one of the most unbelievable streaks in the history of the Idylwylde.

In every single Invitational tournament that he has entered since 1991 (he has missed only three), Palladino has qualified for championship flight match play. Put into context, the next longest streak as we look forward to 2015 is held by two-time champion Ryan Hagger of Blind River, at three years.

In the end, this is simply one more of the fascinating facts that has endeared the Inco Trophy to sports enthusiasts in the Nickel City. Following is a list of all of the winners since 1948:

1948 - Dave Morland
1949 - Bill Morland
1950 - Tony Matlock
1951 - Nick Westlock
1952 - Jerry Magee
1953 - Nick Westlock
1954 - Nick Westlock
1955 - Bill Morland
1956 - Johnny Poupore
1957 - Bill Morland
1958 - Dave Goodman
1959 - Bill Morland
1960 - Phil Brownlee
1961 - Gary Cowan
1962 - Gary Cowan
1963 - Merle Noyes
1964 - Bob Plashnik
1965 - Bruce Brewer
1966 - Ken Thorpe
1967 - Bruce Brewer
1968 - Tommy Woodall
1969 - Ben Kern
1970 - Fred Silver
1971 - Mike Silver
1972 - Gar Hamilton
1973 - Bruce Brewer
1974 - Ken Doig
1975 - Fred Silver
1976 - Fred Silver
1977 - Bruce Brewer
1978 - Ken Doig
1979 - Fred Silver
1980 - Paul Davis
1981 - Fred Silver
1982 - Dan Mijovic
1983 - Dan Mijovic
1984 - Rick Todd
1985 - Mark Brewer
1986 - Garth Collings
1987 - Garth Collings
1988 - Dave Morland IV
1989 - Bruce Helbig
1990 - Dave Pulkinnen
1991 - Bruce Helbig
1992 - Vince Palladino
1993 - Vince Palladino
1994 - Bruce Flick
1995 - Ian MacDonald
1996 - Ron Silver Jr
1997 - Bruce Helbig
1998 - Vince Palladino
1999 - Vince Palladino
2000 - Bill Walsh
2001 - Vince Palladino
2002 - Kurt Kowaluk
2003 - Kurt Kowaluk
2004 - Colby Beckstrom
2005 - Ryan Hagger
2006 - Bruce Helbig
2007 - Mark Brewer
2008 - Garrett Rank
2009 - Mark Brewer
2010 - Ryan Willoughby
2011 - Vince Palladino
2012 - Ryan Hagger
2013 - Braeden Cryderman
2014 - Kyle Rank

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