Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — LEWISTON — Despite steady rainfall toward the end of the 55th annual Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club on Saturday, players, volunteers and fans gathered in high spirits after the last hole was played to revel in the events of the last three days.
Awards were given out to the top players in the tournament and those who achieved low scores in several different categories throughout the tournament. The highlight of the award ceremony was the spontaneous singing of “O Canada” when tournament winner and Canadian native Taylor Pendrith was presented with the Porter Cup.
Among the other award winners were Tyler Dunlap, who placed second at 11-under, Justin Shin and Brady Watt who tied for third place at 10-under and Toni Hakula, who placed fifth at eight-under. Mike Weaver, from California, received the William C. Campbell award for having the lowest aggregate score over the Northeast Amateur, Players Amateur and Porter Cup.
The rain, while an inconvenience, had little impact on the event, said Tournament Director Steve Denn.
“The tournament went seamless,” he said, as several players came up to tell him how much they enjoyed playing after the award ceremony. “Obviously we had a little hiccup with the weather today, but we had picture-perfect weather the first three days and the first part of today.”
The grounds crew at Niagara Falls Country Club deserves a lot of the credit for keeping everything in order on the course, Denn Said.
“The golf course was in great shape,” he said.
Denn, who has been involved with the Porter Cup in some capacity for almost 40 years, is already looking forward to next year’s event.
“It’s in my blood,” he said. “I was kind of born into it. It will probably be with me until the day I die.”
While players from all over the country and the world play in the Porter Cup, Watt was one of a handful of Australians who made the trip this summer. In his first Porter Cup appearance, he tied for third overall with Shin, a Canadian, at 10-under-par.
Playing in the tournament was a “great experience,” Watt said.
“I’ve heard a lot about the event, and it lived up to expectations even more,” he said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it, and to play well was great.”
Watt, who went into Saturday 9-under and in fourth place, tried to make a run at the top spot but came up short.
“I still have some work to do,” he said. “I think having a good tournament gives you confidence going into the next one, but I have to do some practice. There are a few things I want to work on. I’m happy with the overall performance, but I can improve.”
For those watching Watt on the course, it was apparent the 23-year-old was enjoying himself. Watt frequently laughed and joked with the other players in his group.
“I like to be like that,” he said. “I like to stop and smell the flowers. Golf is just a game. When you play well and have fun, it’s a great combination.”For more golf content turn to page 5B for the weekly golf column by Ken Ruggiero.