Barry Caland Wins TBCC Invitational
By Scott A. Sumner
Thunder Bay resident Barry Caland has had a stellar amateur golfing career in Northwestern Ontario. He added to his success by easily winning the championship match over Hank Wilke to take the Thunder Bay Country Club Invitational. “ The first couple of matches I did not play that well but as the week wore on I played much better. Once I got in the semis it got better. I have been working hard this spring to get my game in shape and came out today and started hitting it well right off the bat so it was kinda nice to see it going where I wanted.” said Barry Caland.
In the TBCC Invitational you must win 5 matches. In match 1 Caland played Kevin Kennedy, age 17 and won on 17. Then it was Rod Merkely where he won on 16 and Mark Willanen which went to 17 on Saturday afternoon. The championship match was against Hank Wilke who was equipped with new custom ordered irons and a fitness regime followed all winter. “ Today I came out aggressive right out of the chute. I hit it well the whole front nine and didn’t make any mistakes at all, birdieing holes 2, 4 and 6. After 9 I was 5 up and was just
trying to finish him out. I felt very confident, just pulling the trigger and not trying to think too much. Everything was solid today. I was trying to force it at the end and gave a little opening. You don’t want to do that with Hank,” said Caland who has won the TBCC
Invitational twice and lost in the finals 4 times to Bill Seagris. “ I consider it the fourth biggest tournament in town behind The Open, District Amateur and Strathcona Invitational.”
This was the 41st year of the match play event at the TBCC with playing groups of 8 and 16 in the championship flight. “ We had a small field of 48 this year with the late start to the golf season and people having not played a lot. The course was in great shape. Ryan Milani our
superintendent did a great job on the course,” said Craig Morton, Head Professional at the TBCC. “ Not a lot of people have golfed yet. We do treat the golfers that play our event like they are a member and that is why they like to come. We take care of them for the whole week of
“ The course was awesome, in really good shape with fast greens. It was great considering how bad the spring has been,” said Caland. “ My achilles heel last year was my putting so it was either live with it or get better and I decided to get better. I spent the last 5 1/2 months on my putting, hitting some 10,000 puts in the basement at home. The 3 and 4 footers are easier now. It is part of a bigger plan. I want to have a real good year. Since the middle of last summer I have won 5 of my last 8 events with a second and a third as well. One win is not enough with the whole year ahead. I have got the Pro am, Open, Toronto with the Ontario Amateur, Strathcona, Terrace Bay, the Whitewater Club championships and the District Amateur in my schedule this year. I love to win. The problem with golf is you have to learn to win and lose a lot before you do. “
Caland has won about 25 times in NW Ontario including the the Amateur twice, Strathcona four times, the TBCC twice and lots of club championships.