Ally Tidcombe and Colin Brien of MCT Insurance pose for a picture on the 18th green at Brightwood Golf and Country Club. - Submitted
Ally Tidcombe can finally lay claim to an individual title in a Nova Scotia Golf Association event.
Tidcombe, an accomplished golfer, had never won a provincial championship as an individual until last weekend at Brightwood Golf and Country Club. Tidcombe was victorious in the shortened 54-hole MCT Insurance Amateur by two strokes over Grandview's Andrew Reid.
Much of the round was a seesaw battle between the two young talents.
"It feels great, I put a lot of work to get into contention. Obviously last year at Northumberland I was disappointed with my result after coming off a good season at school, but that happens it golf, and I managed to use that to fuel the fire and I got the job done here this year," said Tidcombe.
This is not the first time Tidcombe was in contention. Back in 2009, the Wolfville native narrowly missed a chance to become the youngest golfer in NSGA history to win the provincial amateur, but he lost in a playoff to Ken-Wo's Sam Holland, who was also a junior at the time.
Last week’s win helped Tidcombe put some playoff loss demons to rest.
"I learned a lot from that year, it was the first time I had the lead at a big tournament like this, and it really taught me that staying in the present is very key, and I from that I was better off today,” he said.
Tidcombe (-1) was paired in the final group with Oakfield's Brad Curren (-2), who was the leader heading into the final round, and Andrew Reid (-1) who was the leader following the first round. After Curren was +4 after four holes, it became apparent it was going to be a two-horse race between Tidcombe and Reid.
Following the sixth hole, Reid had a two-stroke advantage as Tidcombe made back to back birdies. Tidcombe clawed his way back and, after three consectutive bogeys for Reid, the golfers were squared up again on the 11th hole. A birdie on the par three 12th hole put Tidcombe (+1) up one stroke, but a three putt on the #13 green followed by a bogey on the par three #15 meant Reid (+2) had a one shot advantage with three holes to play.
"I was pretty disappointed after that bogey on #15 - if I lined up 100 balls, I probably wouldn't have hit one that poorly, but I told myself I have three holes left, three birdies and I have a good shot," Tidcombe said.
It would turn out he only needed two. After getting to the par five #16 green in two shots, Tidcombe would deposit his birdie, while Reid narrowly missed, meaning they were tied again. On #17, Tidcombe's tee shot would end up just off the green, about 20 to 25 feet from the hole, a position Tidcombe had been in before.
"I actually had a very similar shot four years ago at the junior, on that one I lipped out, but I said to myself, ‘this time you're putting it in’," he said, putting him one stroke ahead with one hole left.
Tidcombe put his tee shot square in the fairway but short, while Reid’s shot was longer but in the rough. After Tidcombe's approach fell short, a window of opportunity for Reid existed for him to make par and force a playoff. However, Reid's approach was long and, after a penalty drop, Reid double bogeyed. Tidcombe also bogeyed, but hung on for a two shot victory over Reid.
Tidcombe, Reid and Spicer will represent the province at the Canadian Championships at Elmhurst Golf and Country Club in Winnipeg from Aug. 4-7.