Grey Owl 2019 is over for another year.

See you in 2020 for the 60th Grey Owl.

  • Jay Thiesen of Russell wins his 2nd Grey Owl title.

  • Garth Collings of Winnipeg captures his 2nd Greyer Owl title.

  • Barry Clayton of Portage la Prairie wins his 3rd Grey Owl Media title

News from The Grey Owl

2019-06-09: Thiesen captures second Grey Owl crown

Russell’s Jay Thiesen has joined the two-time winner’s club at the 59th annual Grey Owl men’s golf tournament.

The 32-year-old teacher at Major Pratt High School fired an even-par 72 on Sunday at Grey Owl Golf Course to come from behind and win by three strokes over Winnipeg’s Jay Doyle. Thiesen, who finished with a 4-under-par 140 total, also captured the 2012 Grey Owl crown. Thiesen is the 12th multiple winner in the tournament’s nearly six-decade history.

“It’s nice to have two,” Thiesen said. “I think have more than (Russell’s) Brad (Clement) now. How many does Brad have? Hopefully he only has one.”

Clement does, in fact, have only one Grey Owl trophy, which he won in 1996.

Doyle, who plays out of Niakwa, had a two-shot lead over Thiesen going into the final round, but his putter let him down and he faltered to a 77 for a 143 total. Doyle’s round included 44 putts. Winnipeg’s Justin McDonald (70-76—146) and Todd Slatnik (71-75—146) tied for third.

Thiesen made two birdies and two bogeys, and was steady for most of the day on tough greens and from primarily back tees.

“It was a struggle out there today for everyone, so I was glad I was just able to hang in there and battle through the day,” Thiesen said. “I felt kinda bad for Jay. He missed some short little putts that probably would’ve made it a little more interesting down the stretch, but the last four holes I played pretty good.”

Thiesen (pronounced TEE-sun) had grabbed the lead from Doyle by the midway point of the front nine, and he still had a one-shot edge standing on the 15th tee. His drive went into the trees, but the ball bounced out and ahead, and he was eventually able to get up and down for par. He punctuated his par putt with a fist pump.

Thiesen then got plenty of breathing room on the par-3 17th when Doyle flubbed his first chip and made double bogey. Thiesen two-putted for par and was sitting pretty with one hole to go.

“I was pretty nervous standing on 18 tee there, but I hit my 2 iron (well),” he said. “The last time I hit driver was on five, and I didn’t hit it very good, so it stayed in the bag for the rest of the day. That 2 iron was pretty good today.”

Thiesen plans to play in the Manitoba mid-amateur championship for the first time and is registered to compete in the Tamarack in late August—unless he qualifies for the Canadian mid-amateur. Then he’ll have a decision to make.

Winnipeg’s Garth Collings, who owns the tournament record with 11 overall titles, shot 71-75—146 to defend his Greyer Owl crown for golfers aged 60 and over. Clear Lake’s Keith Fawcett (75-77—152) was the runner-up, with Winnipeg’s Tom Humniski (75-78—153) placing third.

Portage’s Barry Clayton posted 83-82—165 to win his third Media Flight championship. Kirk Penton of Kelowna, B.C., was second (86-80—166).

2019-06-08: Doyle leads way at 59th Grey Owl

Winnipeg’s Jay Doyle will carry a two-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the 59th annual Grey Owl men’s golf tournament at Clear Lake Golf Course.

The Niakwa native, competing in his first Grey Owl, carded nine birdies and fired a blistering 6-under-par 66 in damp and cool conditions on Saturday. He posted the sizzling score despite making a double bogey on the 10th hole.
Doyle has a two-stroke lead on Russell’s Jay Thiesen, who won the 2012 Grey Owl, and a four-shot advantage on Winnipeg’s Justin McDonald. Rounding out the final group is Winnipeg’s Todd Slatnik, who carded a 1-under-par 71 along with 11-time champion Garth Collings. Brandon’s Jarod Crane shot a 4-under-par 68 on Friday, but he opted out of the championship flight and will not compete for the title.

Two-time defending champion Nick Myhre of Rolette, N.D., struggled to a 75 on Saturday but still qualified for the championship flight.

Doyle birded the second, third, fourth and fifth holes before missing a short par putt on the par-3 sixth. He got it back with a birdie on the par-4 eighth and turned in a front-nine score of 32. Doyle didn’t let the mishap on 10 get him down, because he bounced back with birdies on the 11th and 12th. He birded the 14th and 18th to soar to the top of the leaderboard with a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine.

Those who shot 76 or better qualified for the championship flight, which will begin teeing off at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The final group of Doyle, Thiesen, McDonald and Slatnik will tee off at 10:30 a.m.

Collings, who plays out of Breezy Bend, is the defending Greyer Owl champ and has a four-shot cushion in that division through 18 holes thanks to his 1-under-par 71 on Saturday. Winnipeg’s Tom Humniski, an Elmhurst member, and Clear Lake’s Keith Fawcett are tied for second after posting opening-round 75s.

Portage’s Barry Clayton is the clubhouse leader in the Media Flight after posting rounds of 83 on Friday and 82 on Saturday for a 165 total. Kirk Penton of Kelowna, B.C., and Bruce Penton of Medicine Hat, Alta., are tied for second after shooting 86s on Saturday.

There were two holes-in-one during Saturday’s play. Winnipeg’s Kanwal Saran, who plays out of St. Charles Country Club, aced the 119-yard, par-3 third hole en route to shooting 90, while Clear Lake’s Neil Cristall needed only one shot on the 136-yard, par-3 12th hole. Both golfers will gain free entry into the 60th Grey Owl tournament next June.

Check thegreyowl.ca for updates throughout the weekend.

2019-06-07: Crane leads after first day of 59th Grey Owl

Brandon’s Jarod Crane fired a 4-under-par 68 on Friday in hot conditions on Friday to take the opening-day lead at the 59th annual Grey Owl men’s golf tournament.

Crane is four shots clear of Shilo’s Nolan Tutkaluk, who carded an even-par 72, and five shots ahead of Winnipeg’s Tyler Rice, who turned in a 1-over-par 73 at Clear Lake Golf Course.

Crane posted six birdies and two bogeys, recording nines of 32 and 36. He was 6 under through 14 holes but bogeyed the 15th and 18th. Despite the two stumbles coming in, he still had the best round of the day by four strokes in 30 C temperatures.

Clear Lake’s Keith Fawcett posted a 75 to also take the lead in the Greyer Owl division, while Brandon’s Craig Downey shot 77.

Two-time defending champion Nick Myhre of Rolette, N.D., will play his first round on Saturday, as will Breezy Bend member and 11-time winner Garth Collings, who is also the defending Greyer Owl champ.

Clear Lake’s Grant McPhail is four shots back of Fawcett in the Greyer Owl flight, while Ken Mould of Winnipeg’s St. Charles Country Club is five back after an 80.

Portage’s Barry Clayton, who won back-to-back media flight championships in 2015 and 2016, has the lead in that division after carding an 83 on Friday. QX-104’s Stephen Johnston, the two-time defending champ, and CFAM’s Clayton Dreger are both four shots back.

The tournament consists of 36 holes over three days. The low 16 and ties after the first round will make up the championship flight, which will tee off on Sunday morning.

Check thegreyowl.ca for updates throughout the weekend.

2019-06-06: Myhre chasing three straight Grey Owl titles

WASAGAMING — American Nick Myhre will be out to match history this weekend when the 59th annual Grey Owl men’s golf tournament is contested at Clear Lake Golf Course.

Myhre, a 23-year-old from Rolette, N.D., has won the last two titles and will be trying to tie Garth Collings’ tournament record of three consecutive crowns that the Breezy Bend golfer set twice (2005-2007 and 1997-1999).

“That’s the goal,” Myhre said. “That would be really cool. It’s my fourth year in the tournament, so to win three out of four would be pretty cool.”

The action begins on Friday at the par-72, 6,309-yard layout, and the approximately 240-man field will play 36 holes by late Sunday afternoon.

Myhre will have his work cut out for him as he goes for the three-peat, as Collings leads the list of former champions in the field. Collings, who is coming off his first Greyer Owl crown, will be gunning to add to his record 11 championships. Other former winners competing this weekend are Brandon’s Jarod Crane, Grant Coulter, and Dale Coulter, Russell’s Jay Thiesen and Brad Clement and Brian Clark of Kelowna, B.C.

There will be a championship flight and eight regular flights, along with four Greyer Owl flights and media flight.

This will be Myhre’s last Grey Owl, as he will be turning pro immediately after the tournament. He will start competing on the Dakotas Tour at the end of June.

“I had to go back to the Grey Owl,” Myhre said. “I’ve had lots of fun, love the tournament. So I thought it would be a good way to end the amateur career. And I’ve been successful, so I thought that would be a good tuneup, too.”

Check thegreyowl.ca for daily updates throughout the weekend.

2019-05-30: The Draw is Posted ** UPDATED **

Here is the draw for the 1st round of The Grey Owl.

>> CLICK HERE <<

2019-04-30: Grey Owl still accepting entries.

Your Grey Owl committee has decided to keep accepting entries beyond the April 30th deadline.

Make sure you tell all your golfing buddies about our tournament and get them to submit an entry.

NOTE: There are reports of Paypal having some sporadic issues.  Please try 2 or 3 attempts.  If unsuccessful, then simply mail us a cheque for your entry fees.   We should have your online entry form and we will notice that your entry fees are not accompanying your entry form.  We will notify you that we see your attempts.


Robert “Bob” Picken: 1932-2019.  R.I.P.

2019-02-06: Reflections on Bob Picken from his fellow Directors

I met Bob Picken for the first time in the late seventies. I was a young sports announcer for CBWFT, the French Radio-Canada television station. And I remember hearing his voice coming from the old announcers lounge on the second floor when you walked in the CBC building on Portage Avenue. And even when he was doing his sportscast on the air, you could hear his voice coming through the walls of the studio. So much for sound proofing. Not only did Bob have this incredible voice, but he also was a fantastic writer. And his delivery was always impeccable.

I had been coming to the Grey Owl for a number of years when Bob approached me to join the Board of Directors in the early nineties. I agreed without hesitation and I must say, working in his company on organizing this golf tournament for almost 30 years, has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

Last year, I was very proud to put forward a resolution to change the name of our annual Honour Award to the Robert J. Picken Honour Award, to recognize Bob’s contribution to this tournament.

Bob was the Grey Owl, and without his tireless contribution, this golf tournament would not have had the success that it has known for the past 60 years or so.

We will miss his Picken Report at our monthly meetings; we will miss his presence at the starter’s tent during the tournament; we will miss his direction and expertise but most importantly, we will miss the man, our friend Pick.

François Riopel

Grey Owl director


I was invited onto the Board of Directors of the Grey Owl by Ralph Bagley in 1996.  As you can imagine, attending my first meeting of the board was somewhat intimidating, seeing and meeting people such as Jack Wells, Ed Dearden, Dallas Beck,  Marcel Gautier and, of course, Bob Picken.

I have had the privilege of working with Bob Picken ever since. We worked together on computerizing aspects of the tournament.  Most of the work was in regards to him being the Drawmaster.  We would get together at my house and prepare the Entry Bulletin and Entry Form for mail-out or via email. We would go through the database and update each and every name that submitted an entry.  During the tournament we would work for hours on each days draw.  We would work on each days scoresheets, updating them by hand till 3 or 4am and be ready for the morning so we could post them up on the scoreboards.  And, while it was a lot of work, it was also filled with a lot of fun and laughter.

Bob was very much “old school”.  Although he was adopting new ways of doing things [computers, email, etc] he somehow could not get rid of typewriter habits.  I guess he used an IBM Selectric electric typewriter because Bob would write emails that used the space-bar for wrapping lines with columnar text like our duty roster and the tee-times for the Knobby Beck tournament, which is held the Thursday before the Grey Owl begins. His text would not line up unless your email windows was a size that matched his when he created the content.  I tried to explain to Bob that Tabs could be set and he should hit ENTER at the end of each line.  But, while he understood, he kept on with his ways of doing things.  He was also the fastest 4-finger typist I have ever seen.

What struck me most was the way Bob conducted himself.  Very professional. Thoughtful. Opinionated and firm in his decisions, but they were based upon his thoughtful insight and vast experience. Also, Bob treated everyone with respect and friendship.

Bob in so many ways was the public face of the Grey Owl Golf tournament.  More than that, he was the structure of how the tournament was run the past 20+ years.  He was a mentor, a role model and I am proud to say he was my friend.  He will be missed. Most of all he will be remembered.

John Nordien

Grey Owl Director


Here is the classic joke Bob once told at the Grey Owl Howl…

Two Trees and a Woodpecker
Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in the woods.
A small tree begins to grow between them, and the beech says to the birch, ‘Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?’

The birch says he cannot tell, but just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling.

The birch says, ‘Woodpecker, you are a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?’

The woodpecker takes a taste of the small tree and replies, ‘It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the best little piece of ash I have ever poked my pecker into.’

Bob brought down the house!

Todd Slatnik

Grey Owl Director


 

The Grey Owl

About The Grey Owl

The “Grey Owl” is one of the largest and longest-running golf tournaments of its kind in North America. Every year, during the second weekend in June, 320 golfers tee it up at the picturesque and challenging layout in the Riding Mountain National Park’s Clear Lake golf course. The tournament was started in 1961 after Laurie… continue reading