Tyson Morrisseau was grinning from one side of his mouth and spitting nails out the other.
The Muskie boys’ golf team’s top player lost on the second playoff hole to Cameron Baird of the Westgate Tigers (Thunder Bay) during the NWOSSAA championship yesterday at Heron Landing to finish with the silver medal.
That same colour, though, was earned by himself and the rest of the team of Kendyn Faragher, Sheldon Jourdain, Graeme Kitt, and Cam Gushulak, who finished second by just six strokes to the St. Ignatius Falcons (Thunder Bay) in the team standings.
St. Ignatius had a combined score of 348 while Fort High carded a 354.
With the team not finishing first, that meant Morrisseau and Baird—as the top two individual finishers not associated with the Falcons—also advanced to the OFSAA boys’ championship Oct. 15-16 in Windsor.
“I’m pumped about it but a little bummed out I lost in the playoff,” admitted Morrisseau, who is the first Muskie golfer to make it to the all-Ontarios since the boys’ team of Alex McDonald, Kevin Jackson, Ryan Mosbeck, James Brown and Cody Ward won NWOSSAA in 2010.
Morrisseau and Baird each shot rounds of four-over 76 to force the playoff, which began on the par-five 18th hole with both players making birdie.
But when the playoff moved to the par-four 10th hole, Morrisseau became too anxious to make something happen—and paid for it.
“It was a little too risky,” conceded the Grade 12 player, whose tee shot ended up lost in the trees down the left side of the fairway.
“I was trying to cut the corner and caught it a little too quickly, and it was all downhill from there.”
Morrisseau’s third shot after the penalty drop ended up in the right-hand sand trap in front of the green.
Baird, meanwhile, turned a perfect drive down the right side into an approach shot that landed on the green.
A pitch to 15 feet past the hole by Morrisseau left him a tough downhill putt that he missed left of the hole for bogey.
That was followed by a half-hearted tap back that again overshot the mark, followed by a tap-in for a triple-bogey.
Baird three-putted from 72 feet, but that was good enough for a bogey and the win.
The rest of the Muskies did their part to help earn the team silver.
Faragher’s round of 86, his best of the season, put him in a four-way tie for 12th along with Matthew Cho-Chu (St. Ignatius), Ben Kurish (Geraldton Knights), and Brett Robinson (Ecole St. Joseph in Geraldton).
Jourdain carded an 89, also a season-low, to tie for 20th with Colton Yaremko (Kenora Broncos).
Kitt bounced back from a 57 on his first nine to wind up with a 103 to tie for 43rd with Alex Irwin (Hammarskjold Vikings) and Ryan Schram (Geraldton).
Gushulak carded a 109 to tie for 51st with Jeremy Gervais (Manitouwadge Wolverines) and Owen Doerksen (Kenora), although his score was left out of the calculation of the team score.
Morrisseau afterwards focused on the positive of his teammates’ contributions.
“I’m proud of how hard this team has worked, coming out here after school every day,” he lauded.
“We’ve got good coaches who are good role models.”
Muskie head coach Brian Johnstone, assisted by Farrell White, was thrilled with his team’s accomplishment.
“Silver is way above expectations for what we thought we were going to do here,” he beamed.
“I’m extremely pleased with our season.
“I’m happy for Tyson,” Johnstone added. “He’s worked hard on his game this year and learned a lot from one year to the next.”