Ontario Tech University golf coach Jake McNulty won the PGA of Ontario Player of the Year Championship in Niagara.
He won the event with back-to-back rounds of 70 for a four-under finish at Legends on the Niagara Golf Course.
Making par on 18 was crucial for McNulty, as David Sheman (Emerald Hills Golf Club) was climbing the leaderboard, finishing the tournament at three-under.
“I had to get it over the water, and there was also water on the right – so I hit a good shot, and then I found it in the hazard,” says McNulty about his bunker shot on 18. “It was a whirlwind, from feeling great to ‘oh no, you’ve got to make something happen here,’ and to win tournaments you have to make those shots.”
This victory was his third of the season, after winning the Toronto Players Tour event at Black Bear Ridge and Parasport Ontario Pro-Am at Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, his home course and home course for the Ridgebacks.
“Winning golf tournaments is really difficult, it takes skill, self-control, patience, an ability to handle pressure and some good fortune,” says McNulty. “I felt like I did a really great job of keeping my state-of-mind level through some adversity in the middle of the round. Because of that I was able to perform well on the last hole when the pressure mattered.”
McNulty says his role as coach of the Ridgebacks helps him as a player, and vice versa.
“Continuing to play tournament golf enables me to relate very well with their experiences in events,” he says. “I’ve gone through, and continue to go through, every emotion, every decision, every frustration that they experience as golfers that are fairly new to competition. That shared experience helps me guide the athletes to processes and habits that help them perform their best under pressure. While technique in golf is undeniably important, golf tournaments are won by people, people with grit, determination and patience. It is that other side of golf performance that I really aim to highlight in my coaching of the competitive athletes on the Ridgebacks and Oshawa Golf and Curling Club squads.”
Although the PGA of Ontario stroke play events have concluded for the year, McNulty will play two more stroke play events on the Great Lakes Tour to conclude his 2020 season.