Thunder Bay District Pro Am Has A Familar Winner
by Scott A. Sumner
Everyone in the golfing world knows the dominance Tiger Woods has had in the last 12 years on the PGA Tour. We may just have our own dominant player here in Northwestern Ontario in Barry Caland. Caland has won the first three tournaments of this season including two majors and ended 2007 with a flurry as well. It was fun to watch him play some holes in the District Open this past weekend where he won the event for the second time by three shots over Robert Cumming.
“ It has been a good start with TBCC Invitational, Pro Am and the Open. This was my number one goal up to July 1st so it is nice to get it out of the way. It is pretty cool,” said a happy Barry Caland after his win. “ Trevor Jones and I are the only players to have won the Grand Slam twice, winning all the majors in NW Ontario. It has been on my mind for 4 or 5 years and to do it is great. The pressure is there if you think about it before theh round. The Open tournament has had different formats over the years but this one worked for me.”
Caland will fly to Toronto on July 6th to compete in the Ontario Amateur and has been working hard on his game. Today the practice must have paid off. “ I have a cold and feel like garbage but it was one of the things beware of the walking wounded. I lost a ball on 6 and 9 but fortunately made birdies on 12 and 13 to get back into it. The other guys were struggling at the same time. It was a tough day with all the wind,” noted Caland.
The Thunder Bay District Amateur, the third major is a month away and Caland won’t think about it until Strathcona is over. It is a chance to go for 5 in a row in Thunder Bay for the talented golfer. “ I played in Philadelphia last fall with Bert Andreola and it was some of the best golf I have ever played. Some of the guys there said I should give the Ontario Amateur another try. Last time I missed the cut so it would be nice to finish top 20.” said Caland.
Putting has dramatically improved for Barry Caland with a lot of practice. “ The first thing Hank Wilke said to me today was how great I putted. I putted bad yesterday in the round so I went out for 15 minutes and practiced in my backyard and it looked good in my hands. It
is windy here at Whitewater every day so you get used to it. I knew it would be nice to come home to Whitewater and that was an advantage for me today,” smiled Caland. “ Ron Rost was my caddie and we worked unbeleivable today. He is a tough guy from doing triathlon
championships in Hawaii. There were times he would stand in front of me on the tee and not let me hit until I was ready to go. On the one putt I made on 16 to save a par he asked me if I had it , are you 100% sure and I said yeah, little things like that. He is one of my best friends
and when he asked to caddie for me I wasn’t going to turn him down.”
Caland has his sights set on the Ontario Amateur coming up in Toronto, The Strathcona Invitational, Whitewater Club Championship and then the Thunder Bay District Amateur. It will be fun to follow the progress of this talented golfer the rest of the way this season.