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Sobey captures third District Amateur championship

The 2018 and 2019 champion cruised to an eight-shot with on Monday, shooting a 1-over 73 at Whitewater Golf Club.
Colin Sobey and his caddy, Gary Nistico, on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, line up a putt at Whitewater Golf Club in Round 3 of the Teleco District Amateur. Sobey went on to win his third title in five years at the event. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY – Colin Sobey wasn’t looking to set Whitewater Golf Club on fire on Monday.

With a nine-shot lead entering the third and final round of the Teleco District Amateur, fairways and greens were good enough for Sobey, who captured the tournament in 2018 and again in 2019 and looking to add a third championship to his growing resume.

Sobey didn’t manage to hit the 60s for a third straight round, but his 1-over 73 was more than enough to secure the win in the sweltering heat that sapped the energy from the 45-golfer field.

Then again, disaster would had to have struck again and again and again for Sobey to surrender such a large lead – knowing his putter was almost as hot as the humidex and with the added incentive of a chip on his shoulder, after losing last year’s District Amateur by a single stroke to Jeremy Kirk.

In a reversal of fortune, this time around it was Kirk in the runner-up spot, eight strokes behind Sobey’s three-day 207 total. No other golfer was within 10 shots, Rob Atatise taking third with a 2-over 217 total. Matthew Cho-Chu was fourth, at 219, while a quartet of golfers, including Matthew Lysak, Jaden Jones, Barry Caland and Jordan Potter tied for fifth at 221.

Sobey said he had plenty of reasons to celebrate his third District Amateur title.

“It feels great. My youngest just turned one and I won my first one when my oldest was two weeks old,” Sobey said. “Then I won it again when he was won, so now I’ve got a third one here for both my boys.”

Sobey pointed to his irons for his success.

“I had everything down. Yardages were perfect. Then again, my flat stick, my putter, helped on big shots when I needed it. Today I think I had a 15-footer for par on 15. I short-sided myself and had to chip it on. I told (caddy) Gary (Nistico) that I just had to get it on the green and maybe something will fall for me. And sure enough, it fell.”

Fittingly he finished his one-over 73 final-round with a lengthy birdie putt on 18, putting a stamp on the victory.

Sobey opened with a 5-under 66 on Saturday at Chapples and followed that up with a 4-under 68 on Sunday at Strathcona, the lone golfer to shoot below 70 on the day.

Despite the margin of victory, Sobey said it was a grind the past two days.

“The heat, it was very draining. I went through at least seven litres of water today and maybe 10 yesterday – and I still cramped up big time.”

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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