Paul Stokaluk Shootout 2006 A Real Family History
by Scott A.Sumner
It is a tradition that started in the 60s and Thunder Bays Tony Stokaluk has kept it going each Thanksgiving weekend ever since. "The way that this tournament is planned to this day from the 60s and 70s is until my dad retired in 1975 he would have all his brothers and nephews come to Municipal in the 60s when golf was not popular the way it is now. We would have a 1 pm tournament, drink nothing but beer and after the golf tournament my mom would cook supper for everyone," smilesTony Stokaluk. "We would stay and play cards until 3 in the morning and then everyone could go to their own families on the Monday. That is how we kept the tradition of those days."
The contestants had to qualify to play with points over the entire season
The Stokaluk family had 8 brothers, 3 of whom were pros. Tonys dad, Paul was at Municipal, Emile at Terrace Bay and Julie in Nipigon. All the other five bothers were very good golfers as well. There would be 16 or 17 all playing in two groups with one club each. To this day all the family helps with the tournament in memory of Paul Stokaluk. It is all about family.
This years winner of the Shootout was Hank Wilke. The quiet spoken Thunder Bay golfer started poorly but pulled out the win on the ninth hole over Rollie Turrie after a shootout. "There was a branch right behind the ball after my tee shot on NO 1 and I didn't know whether I could get through it or not. It grabbed my club on the first attempt and I missed it all together. The second moved a few inches and the third I hit a good shot to with in 15 feet of the pin, made the putt for a 5 and then kept alive in a shoot out over Bob Roglaski to advance," smiles Hank Wilke. "I was embarrassed, my chances were slim and I was almost ready to pack it in. I did feel I might make a bogie and they usually get into a shootout."
The final two golfers, Rollie Turrie and Hank Wilke had great years in 2006!
"This is my third time and first win at the Stokaluk. It is very nerve racking each hole as the first few holes you dont want to be eliminated so early. I had more nerves here than any other tournament," laughed Wilke. The Stokaluk Shootout has so much history. I have watched Tony play as a kid and followed the history of all the Stokaluks. It means a lot."
Organizer of the event Tony Stokaluk with family
Winner Hank Wilke with Tony Stokaluk