Brandon’s Dean Oakden is coming into this weekend’s two-day MGI Wealth Tour Championship at the Killarney Lakeside Golf Club as the points leader, but he knows it will be difficult to hang on to that lead.
Oakden has a 49-point edge on David Glenn and a 68-point lead on defending champion Matt Burman. However, point values are six times what they normally are on Saturday and Sunday — with the winner earning 300 points. That could give any of the top 15 players on the tour who are playing this weekend an opportunity to come out on top when the event wraps up Sunday afternoon.
“Everyone has the same chance almost,” Oakden said. “I just hope the guys go out and have a couple fun rounds of golf. Someone has to win in the end.”
Oakden claims his tour lead is a little misleading as he has played in most of the tour events and collected a lot of points through that, even though he only won two events.
He also knows Killarney isn’t an easy course to play, which will challenge all the competitors even more.
“Killarney’s par threes are pretty tough,” Oakden said. “They’re all pretty long and you have some tee balls you really have to place off the tee. It’s always a course that’s in great shape and I think the guys are looking forward to playing it.”
Meanwhile, Burman isn’t sure whether he can claim the Mike Jones Player of the Year trophy for the second straight year.
The Brandonite lost his lead atop the tour standings last weekend after withdrawing from the Westman Invitational. He admits he gets tired in September and struggles with his game a bit, which isn’t giving him a lot of faith in himself for the weekend.
“I don’t have my driver anymore, so I’m using a different driver,” Burman said. “But anything can happen. I didn’t play well last September and then I went up to Oak Lake and I played pretty good and was on fire and won that. Hopefully I can go out Saturday and see what happens and not worry about anything else and just have some fun and enjoy the time with the guys.”
At least 10 players are expected to compete in this weekend’s Tour finale. With so many of the circuit’s top players, Oakden expects a great competition.
“You’ve got a lot of the top players in the Westman area playing,” he said. “Whoever ends up on top this weekend is going to be a pretty good player and they’re going to deserve winning the title.”
CHIP SHOTS: The Greenskeeper’s Revenge tournament tees off at the Boissevain Golf Club on Saturday … The Minnedosa Golf and Country Club hosts its cross-country tournament on Sept. 29.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 20, 2012