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Thunder Bay golfers prevail in Border Battle

A group of local golfers defeated a squad from Wisconsin in a virtual contest at On The Links Sunday.
A team of Thunder Bay golfers beat a squad from Wisconsin in a virtual matchup at On The Links Sunday. The team consisted of Chris Ferguson Jr, back left, Corey Merritt, Larry Catillo, Chris (Lumpy) Holland, Andrew Mendes, Bob Yule, Sue Cassan, Tanner McDonald, Andrew Hill, Chris Ferguson Sr, Adam Rautio, front left, Conor Carr, Matt Nystrom, Jason Earl, Amy Bryant, Sterling Peterson and Mike Makela. Missing from the photo is Marc Gascoigne.

THUNDER BAY – A group of local golfers got the virtual upper hand over their counterparts from Wisconsin on Sunday.

Sixteen competitors defeated a squad from the St. Croix National Golf and Event Centre in a virtual “Border Battle” match-up that was held at On The Links.

“To be honest with you, I expected us to come away with the win,” said Chris Ferguson , On The Links owner and team co-captain.

“The reason for that is ever since the tournament idea came to the forefront about six weeks ago, we had our league guys coming in and practicing on the virtual Bay Hill course every Saturday, and then we had a bunch of teams coming in about two or three times a week.

“It ended up being a really good showing for us.”

The tandems of Sterling Peterson/Larry Catillo and Andrew Hill/Mike Makela led the way for the Thunder Bay squad as they each shot rounds of -21 with their handicap.

Connor Carr/Corey Merritt, Tanner McDonald/Adam Rautio, Andrew Mendes/Matt Nystrom, Amy Bryant/Sue Cassan, Chris Holland/Jason Earl, and Marc Gascoigne/Bob Yule were also on the local team.

Ferguson said other than a few technical snags to get everything set up with their counterparts at St. Croix, the event went well.

“We had some exposure beforehand through our social media posts and the media, so that there was a lot of hype leading into the evening,” Ferguson added.

“We definitely had some people that came out just to cheer us on. That made for a great atmosphere.”

There are plans to hold another virtual contest against a group of golfers from Sault Ste. Marie next month to coincide with the Masters Tournament.

As for the future, Ferguson hopes this is just the start of match-ups between Thunder Bay golfers and others from around the world.

“This feels like a gateway tournament with more to come,” Ferguson said.

“It’s definitely on my plate to reach out to other countries and see if they want to link up and have a tournament, especially since this first one went so well. We just want to keep things rolling.”

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