Denis Audette wins Rainbow Ridge men’s tournament

Denis Audette, right, is presented with the Rainbow Ridge Golf Course men’s championship trophy by John Dube.

AUNDECK OMNI KANING—Local golfer Denis Audette has had a particularly good summer thus far!

Mr. Audette, from Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) First Nation, became the first player to win the Rainbow Ridge Golf Course (RRGC) men’s open championship for the third time earlier this month. Previous to that, he had qualified for the 2022 Senior All-Ontario Championship.

Mr. Audette, who won the RRGC men’s championship flight tournament in 2017 and 2018, did it again this year in the two-day, 36-hole event held July 9-10.  “I fell apart during the 2020 tournament,” he quipped. “I definitely had nerves coming down the stretch.”

Mr. Audette posted a total score of 147 (three over par, 72-75), to win.

Other flight winners at the RRGC men’s open included Scott Madahbee in the first flight, Shane Corbiere in the second flight, co-winners Peter Bond and Matt Johnson in the third flight, Ronnie Odjig in the fourth flight, Mike Badger in the fifth flight, Trevor Esquimaux took top spot in the sixth flight and Travis Tremblay was the winner of the seventh flight.

Earlier this summer, Mr. Audette had placed seventh overall in the Ontario senior men’s championship qualifier held in Lindsay, Ontario. He posted an 18-hole score of 78 (six over par). He explained, “I qualified for the all-Ontario senior championship at the qualifier, held at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club. This will be the first time I have played in this tournament. When I retired, I promised myself I would work on my game.”

“I’m looking forward to the All-Ontario championships,” said Mr. Audette. “This year was the first time I’ve tried to qualify. I tried to get a practice round in at the Lindsay course, especially since I had never played there, but I couldn’t, so I went in blind. The greens were superfast and at one point we all had to face 50-plus kilometre winds.”

“I made an eagle on the 10th hole, to go to minus one on the day,” said Mr. Audette. “But then the nerves and the wind got me, and I had a few bogeys, and finished with a score of 78.” The top 18 in the tournament qualified for the All-Ontario championships (where Mr. Audette will represent RRGC)  on July 25-27 at the Sarnia Golf and Country Club.”

“Hopefully, I will do well (at the All-Ontario championship),” said Mr. Audette. “After the first two days, the cut will be the top 60. Hopefully I will make the cut, that is my goal. It would be nice to win, but I’m sure my nerves are going to be pretty high.” He noted, “they are allowing fans to the event and everyone will have a caddy.”

“No, I’ve never played in an event like this before,” said Mr. Audette. “If I can keep my nerves under control, I should do okay.”