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Venman runs away with Birchbank Men’s Open title

David Venman shot 7-under to capture the Birchbank Men’s Open title on Sunday at the Trail course

Golfer Dave Venman from Kitimat captured the Birchbank Men’s Open in decisive fashion shooting a 7-under 137 to win the tournament by eight strokes.

The 76th Birchbank Men’s Open made its return to the Trail golf course on the weekend (Aug. 19-20), and was highlighted by a hole-in-one and great play from 74 competitors.

Venman shot a 5-under 67 Saturday and a 70 on Sunday to defeat Greater Trail golfer Derrick Simister, the Flight A winner, who finished at 1-over 145.

Meanwhile, Michael Cullinane won the low net with a 1-under 143 on the 18-hole Birchbank Golf Course.

But arguably the shot of the tournament came on Sunday when Darcy Pruden aced the seventh hole with a 6-iron from 171 yards. The hole-in-one, sponsored by Rock Island RV, earned the golfer a cool $20,000.

The two-day event teed it up for the first time since 2019, due to the pandemic, and trimmed the event down to 36-holes, from what was formerly a three-day, 54-hole competition.

The Senior Division, made up of players age 55 and over, was won by Fruitvale’s Scott Browell who came in at 1-over 145, while Aaron Stoushnow took the low net title also with a 145.

Trail golfer Dallas Calvin earned the Flight A low net with a 147, Garrett Kucher shot 147 for runner-up low gross, and Andy Lefries earned runner-up low net with a 148.

In Flight B, Pruden won the low gross title with a 161, and Dale Rieberger captured the low net shooting a 147.

In the Senior Mens, Todd Tibke shot 148 to win the low gross in Flight A, while Larry Mailey came in at 151 for the low net.

Trail’s Ray St. Jean shot 5-over 149 for Flight A runner up low gross, and Bob Elliot (R) was runner up low net with a 151.

Ken Mailey won Flight B low-gross title with a 154, and Don McLachlan earned low net with a 149.

Pitt Meadows golfer Kevin Hogg won the 75th Men’s Open in August, 2019, holding off local golfer Kucher to capture his third Birchbank Open title.

The event could not have been possible without the support from sponsors Chinook Scaffolding, McLachlan Automotive, Power Paving, West Kootenay Mechanical, Beaverfalls Machining, Castlegar Kia and the Birchbank Golf Course.

Read: 75th annual Rossland-Trail Open crowns three-time champion

Jim Bailey

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