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Kirk captures second straight District Amateur crown

Thunder Bay golfer and aspiring lawyer credits his late grandfather's memory for helping him stay the course in Monday's final round at Whitewater.
Jeremy Kirk
Jeremy Kirk shot a one-over 73 on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 to capture his second straight Teleco District Amateur title, edging Colin Sobey by one shot. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY – When he woke up Monday morning, Jeremy Kirk paused for a minute or two and thought about his grandfather, who passed away five years ago to the day.

Arthur Kirk was his mentor on the golf course, teaching his grandson how to get better at the game even as his eyesight began to fail.

Arthur Kirk was also in Jeremy’s mind as he stepped to the 18th tee at Whitewater Golf Course, nursing a one-shot lead over Colin Sobey, on the final hole of the final round of the 2022 Teleco District Amateur.

Playing what he called an unspectacular round, Kirk wound up with a two-putt par, claiming his second District Amateur championship, a tournament his grandfather also won in 1960.

All around, it was a pretty special day, said Kirk, who shot a one-over 73 on the day to finish with a three-day, 216 total.

“It’s great. This one’s special. It’s a family tradition for me. My Grandpa won this 62 years ago. Today is also the fifth-year anniversary of his death, so I was thinking about him all day. He was with me today,” Kirk said.

Kirk, who recently graduated from law school at the University of Ottawa, had 17 pars and one lip-out bogey on his round, draining a 12-foot putt for par on the 17th to maintain his one-shot advantage coming home.

It was a pressure putt, he said.

“Seventeen is a short hole. I hit an iron off the tee and my wedge shot came out dead. I had about a 50-foot putt, which I left 12 feet short. That wasn’t good. But the 12-footer itself for par, it broke about three cups and it was just good to see it go in. Finally one went in,” said Kirk, now the two-time defending District Amateur champion.

“It was a lot of two putts today.”

Sobey, who opened the day one shot back, finished in that exact, leapfrogging Kevin Jackson for second. Jackson, in the final grouping, was tied for the lead entering the third round, but couldn’t get his round going on Monday and slid back.

A two-time champion in his own right, winning the title in 2018 and 2019, Sobey said the win was out there for him to claim, but he just couldn’t find the shot he needed to even things up with Kirk.

“I had three to play and I got an update on the score. I knew I needed to make at least two coming in. I birdied 17, but I missed a five-footer on 15 and actually lipped out and got kind of a bad break on 16. It was a rough bounce and left it just a ball-and-a-half short,” Sobey said.

On the final hole, needing birdie, he hit a nine-iron to 15 feet to give himself a shot.

“But I just left it a ball beneath the hole and it was a tap-in for a five. But when you’re chasing a guy like Jeremy, it’s a battle. You have to stay composed. It is what it is. I enjoyed my day and the weekend was awesome.”

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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