Lucky No. 13 was also a good way to call it a career.
On Monday golfer Barry Caland edged regular playing partner Joe Scharf with a par on the second playoff hole to capture the 2012 Canadian Tire District Amateur – then promptly announced his retirement from the game.
The win, the 42-year-old’s 13th local major of his career, broke a longstanding tie with Trevor Jones, who held the previous mark.
He’s been trying to pass Jones for more than two years, his last major win coming at the 2010 Strathcona Invitational, followed by a string of runner-up results.
“I have mixed feelings, I guess,” said Caland, who shot a three-over 75 at Whitewater Golf Course on Sunday to finish the three-day, three-course event with a 212 total.
“I’ve been trying for a long time to get to that record … and knowing it was the last tournament of my career, it’s a nice way to go out.
Caland, who holds a record seven Strathcona Invitational titles, two District Open crowns and four District Amateur wins, said the decision was set in stone earlier this summer.
With a young son at home and injuries beginning to mount, Caland said he’s walking away with his head held high.
“I knew a month ago it was set in stone. Basically I’ll play the Stokaluk Shootout because I’m going to get an invite, but as far as competitive golf goes, this will be my last year. I’m just glad I can finish with no regrets.”
Caland lost last year’s District Amateur to Ed Atwill in a one-hole playoff, and said he had a feeling heading into this year’s sudden-death playoff that Scharf – who Caland twice captured Better Ball championships with in 2008 and 2009 – might have his number.
But faced with similar shots on the second extra hole, out of the thick rough on the left side of the 10th hole, Caland found the putting surface while Scharf’s iron shot flew on him and rolled over the back of the green.
He couldn’t have asked for a better playoff partner.
“To be able that last one with Joey, it was pretty special. We’ll have a lot of talks about it. He’s going to try to talk me out of (retiring) over the winter, but it’s done.”
Scharf began the day three shots behind Caland, but narrowed the gap to one at the turn, playing a group ahead of the final threesome alongside Robbie Untinen and Dave Joubert.
He birdied three of his final home, including a clutch approach on 18 that he stuck to within seven feet, calmly rolling home the putt to force the playoff.
“I’m very proud of myself for doing that, but unfortunately in the playoff I came up a little short. But that’s the way it goes,” said Scharf, adding he plans to take the year off from competitive curling, sticking to the Men’s Major League circuit in 2012-13.
“On this golf course you don’t have to get too risky. You know there’s going to be a lot of bogeys out there and a lot of pars. My game plan was to make a whole bunch of cards and take the birdies when I could get them. I put a good little run together at the end.”
Caland, who bogeyed 6, 10 and 15, describing his game as terrible, had a chance for an up-and-down to win from the greenside rough in regulation, but came up short on his chip and settled for par.
On the first playoff hole, the 590-yard 18th, Caland hit the green in two, but once again Scharf stuck his third to about five feet and halved the hole with a birdie.
Untinen, 17-year-old Evan DeGrazia and Robert Cumming finished two shots back at 214 in a three-way tie for third.
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