Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:17

Rumancik wins golf title for his grandmother

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brennan Rumancik left no doubt who inspired him to the assistant pro title at the 2011 CPGA Zone Championship at the Elmwood Golf Course last week.

Within minutes of receiving his trophy after shooting an even-par 213, the 20-year-old starting talking about his grandmother, Magda, who wasn’t able to watch the 20-year-old win his first tournament as a pro.

“She actually ended up passing away this winter, which was a little bit tough, but I know she was looking down on me today (July 20),” said Rumancik. “I told her that my first-ever win I’d dedicate to her.”

Rumancik feels he owes his entire life in golf to his grandmother.

When he was eight years old and visiting her farm near Fort Qu’Appelle, he found an old five iron near her barn. In her Slovakian accent, Magda explained what the golf club was, how to hold it and how to hit the ball.

Rumancik, who moved from Fort Qu’Appelle to Maple Creek when he was 15 years old, said Magda wasn’t very good at golf — she could only hit the ball about five feet every time — but she got him interested in the activity.

Every time he would go to his grandmother’s house after that, which was about five days a week, Rumancik would find that old five iron and hit a golf ball to Magda’s barn, around the barn and back to the house.

He taught himself the basics of the game without taking a single golf lesson.

“I loved whacking golf balls around the barn. It was a lot of fun,” he said.

Rumancik continued with his passion for golf while attending high school in Maple Creek. He competed in junior golf tournaments, earning the right to play on Team Saskatchewan four times and Team Canada once.

After high school, he elected to attend Lethbridge College to become a golf professional. He worked at Elmwood’s pro shop during his first summer break from school, never thinking of getting his pro card.
It wasn’t until this winter that the thought crossed his mind.

“When she did pass away, she left me a little bit of money and I said I’d use that to get my pro card this year,” said Rumancik, who will return to Lethbridge for his final year of school in the fall. “There was no better way than to have her bring me into the game of golf and I kind of finished my way into the game of golf by becoming a pro and I won the low assistants here.”

Winning the assistants’ pro championship was not easy for the Elmwood assistant golf pro. Although he knew the course well from working there for the last two years, he was not expecting to deal with the changes in weather during the three-day event.

The first two days of the championship, July 18 and 19, had temperatures in the 30s, which felt like it was in the 40s on the course. Not only did Rumancik find those days to be a grind, but Saskatoon’s John Greenough set a new course record in the first round with his 10-under par 61.

That didn’t bother Rumancik, who shot one-under and even par during the first two rounds. He kept to his game and targeted the assistant pro title on day three.

Despite having to be at work at six o’clock that morning and having to deal with cool, windy weather, Rumancik managed to shoot one-over par to finish third overall and be the best assistant pro at the event.

Rumancik finished two shots behind his boss and Elmwood’s head pro Jeff Chambers and eight shots behind Greenough.

With the win comes the opportunity to compete at the Titleist and Footjoy Canadian PGA Assistants’ Championship in Ridgeway, Ont., from Sept. 18-21. He will prepare for that event by competing in the Pro Partner event at Dakota Dunes Aug. 15 and at the Zone pro-pro event in Outlook Aug. 25-26.

Regardless of how he fares at those events, Rumancik, who will be happy making a living off of golf as a player or club professional, knows those events won’t have the special meaning winning last week’s event had for him.

“It was really awesome,” said Rumancik, who had his father drive his golf cart during the third round at Elmwood. “I’m really happy dad came down for that. I’m definitely dedicating that to him. That was his mom who passed away.

“It definitely meant a lot to us for getting that win and it feels like a double win for both of us. It feels really good.”

Results from the 2011 CPGA Zone Championship:

• 1st — John Greenough, Deer Valley Golf and Estates, 61-71-73=205 (-8)
• 2nd — Jeff Chambers, Elmwood Golf and Country Club, 71-68-72=211 (-2)
• 3rd — Brennan Rumancik, Elmwood Golf and Country Club, 70-71-72=213 (E)
• 5th — Jeff Gross, Class A Member (Swift Current), 70-68-77=215 (+2)
• T13th — Chad Lavallee, Elmwood Golf and Country Club, 77-72-76=225 (+12)
• T18th — Ryan Neustaeter, Sask. Landing Golf Resort, 78-73-76=227 (+14)
• T23rd — Andre Wall, Chinook Golf Course, 77-74-78=229 (+16)
• 36th — Sheldon Reinhart, Elmwood Golf and Country Club, 79-73-84=236 (+23)
• 39th — Dean Toles, Elmwood Golf and Country Club, 77-86-86=251 (+38).

Click here for results from the Saskatchewan Men's Amateur Championship.

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