THUNDER BAY - Conor Carr has grown up playing in the Strathcona Invitational and on Monday he was finally able to capture something he’s been dreaming of for a long time, the Invitational title.
“I’m kind of in disbelief. I can’t really believe it,” he said. “I grew up playing in this event and it’s always been a dream of mine to come to Strathcona and win the invitational.”
Carr defeated opponent Jeff Hunter through 18 holes of play on Monday, with the two evenly matched throughout most of the day.
“Jeff is a remarkable player. His ball striking is incredible,” Carr said. “It’s too bad the way it finished there. He put on a great display all day and he just as easily could have been right here.”
This year there were two newcomers vying for the invitational title, with Carr beating out Jordan Potter, Ryan Untinen, and Randy Boudreau to earn a spot in the final.
“We played five rounds this week. It was close to 90 holes,” Carr said. “There was definitely some mental slip ups towards the end, but I forgave myself a little bit on the back nine and it was still good enough to get the job done.”
“I’ve been hanging in there all week. I didn’t have my A-game by any means. I just kept reminding myself to stay in it, keep the ball in play, and that was my game plan.”
Carr started out the final on a strong note, earning a birdie to start the first round.
“I kind of blacked out when I made the putt to be perfectly honest, but it was a nice relaxing way to start the round,” he said. “The nerves started to settle around hole five and six. Me and Jeff didn’t trade off too much. A couple birdies in the middle of the round and at the end we traded off a couple of times.”
There wasn’t much back and forth between Carr and Hunter but Carr said the turning point for him came about halfway through the round.
“I thought the turning point in the round for me was hole number nine. When I was really out of the hole I ended up getting up and down for par from about 150 to 140 yards. And then the back nine was smooth and I kept it in play and hung in there until the end,” he said. “My putting within 12 feet I would say what got me here today.”
Carr will be going on to defend his Fort William Invitational title next week.