Monty Ort becomes youngest winner of Niles City Golf Tournament
Published 1:44 pm Monday, July 22, 2013
The 57th installment of the Niles City Golf Tournament took place this past weekend at Plym Park and those who were in attendance got treated to a spectacular show.
It included come-from-behind victories, near collapses (and collapses) down the stretch, a playoff, a dramatic 15-foot putt for a championship, the youngest player to ever participate in the adult version of the tourney, the oldest player to ever win a division title, a wedding anniversary celebrated with a division win, and finally, a 24-year-old player winning the Championship Flight in his first year of competition at that level.
You almost can’t believe it all happened in one weekend of golf, but it most certainly did.
Edwardsburg graduate Monty Ort won the tournament’s ultimate prize, winning the prestigious Championship Flight title by posting a tournament best mark of 151 to beat out the best of the best golfers in Niles.
Ort trailed legendary Niles golfer Doug Freeman (who has multiple city titles on his resume) by three strokes with three holes left to play. After picking up one stroke on seven, Ort made a phenomenal approach shot that nearly found the bottom of the cup on the eighth hole. He tapped in for a par while Freeman recorded a double-bogey to set up an all-square heads-up showdown on the final hole of the tournament.
The two went shot-for-shot on the day’s final hole with the only separation between the two coming on the last putt of the tournament. With Freeman’s ball coming to a stop within two feet of what had to be between a 25-30 foot birdie putt, Ort was given the chance to avoid a playoff and claim the title with one uphill 15-foot putt.
In typical dramatic fashion, Ort’s ball rolled around the rim before falling into the tin and delivering him his first golfing title of any kind.
“This is crazy, I had nerves, this was only my second competition for golf, so to do this is just awesome, I really can’t describe it all,” a jubilant Ort said.
In the A Flight, 36-holes were not enough to crown a winner as Josh Townsley and Jacob Van Dyke finished the tournament knotted at 163 strokes apiece; which led to a sudden-death playoff between the two. Townsley emerged with a 5 and 7 victory in the playoff and a division title in what would be a banner day for him, as Sunday was also his sixth wedding anniversary with his wife Brittany who was on hand for the win.
“She was nice enough to let me come play, I figured I should probably at least win the thing,” Townsley said.
Niles’ Dick Noble became the oldest man, at 85 years young to ever win a flight in the tournament. He won the Seniors Flight with a score of 180.
Jim Conrad won the B Flight finishing the day at 172, while Rick Kidwell won the C Flight with a score of 179. Terry Churchill won the Super Seniors Flight recording a 160 for the tournament.
Niles High School’s Riley Delinski became the youngest player to ever compete in the men’s city tournament at the age of 15.