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Bayer Canadian's Tournament
By Phil Winch

Sarnia, Ontario: At a club whose lineage includes a member of golf's Royalty - PGA Star Mike Weir - Huron Oaks added to its star qualities in a big way on Sept. 16.

Jason Bohn, 28-year-old Georgia resident, played the round of his life, shooting a 58 on the final day of the Canadian Tour's Bayer Championship to win the event.

Seven days later, after playing in the Canadian Tour's specialty event in Niagara Falls, Bohn was still coming to grips with his accomplishment in the wake of more than 60 interviews from media world-wide.

Bohn had experienced the spotlight before, winning $1 million in a hole-in-one contest while at university in the early 1990s.

But nothing could have prepared him for the response to his afternoon round at Huron Oaks Golf Club, where he broke into the miracle 50s zone and went one better for good measure.

In breaking by three strokes the course record of 61, previously held by two players including Canadian golf veteran Danny Mijovic and Mike Weir's first instructor Steve Bennett, Bohn's round went like this:

Front: birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, eagle, bogey, birdie. 9-under 26.

Back: birdie, par, par, birdie, par, par, birdie, birdie, par. 4-under 32

In a sports world paralized by the tragedy that befell America on Sept. 11, Bohn's miracle round made headlines across the globe.. From New Zealand to South Africa, to England, to the U.S., sports reports chronicled what was the lowest score ever in professional tournament play, besting by one the scores of names like Duval, Begay and Sorenstam, on this par 71 course.

With his million dollar hole in one already recorded, Bohn was quick to put his 13-under par day into perspective, a day which included a $32,000 cheque for first place, his second win on the Canadian Tour.

"I think this means more to me because this is something I earned on my own, as opposed to a lucky shot," said Bohn, who jumped to third from 14th on the Canadian Tour's money winning list, which was finalized at the $200,000 Bayer Championship.

"It was wild, it was crazyŠonce I got really low, I started to get nervous but my caddy kept me calm," he said.

In the first three years of the Bayer Championship, Bohn had played 10 rounds, missing the cut in 2000 after shooting 74-71. His first two days in September offered no hint of what lay ahead, with his 68 and 71 leaving him in 36th place, 8 strokes behind leader Steve Scott, who lost a playoff to Tiger Woods in the U.S. Amateur Championship several years ago. Day three provided a hint of things to come with his 63. And with perfect scoring conditions greeting golfers on Sunday, Bohn took full advantage.

Playing at 9-under through seven holes, it wasn't long before word spread around Huron Oaks that history, it appeared, might be in the making. A bogey on the par 3 8th hole might have been enough to detour his run to the top, but he responded with a birdie to finish the front nine, and another to start the back.

Opening day leader Steve Scott, saw his gallery drop off as crowds moved to Bohn's group, which included, North Carolina's David Mathis. For the record, Mathis shot par and finished in 23rd.

Several thousand people followed the two-some throughout the back nine, with the cheers getting louder with each subsequent sub-par hole.

It was a day which began with Chatham, Ontario golfer Mike Woodcock witnessing the birth of a daughter a 4 a.m., and hours later playing his final round. Woodcock for the record, was just as happy as Bohn, despite going 6-over, ending a sleepless 33-hour marathon. Bohn's journey added to the excitement of what had been to that point a subdued week, with flags flying at half-mast on the leader board.

While the miracle 58 was the story of the day, the one-minute silence prior to the awarding of the Bayer Championship crystal, reminded the audience of bigger issues, and was followed by a donation by the tournament and title sponsor Bayer Inc., of $15,000 to the U.S. relief effort, matching a donation it also provided to the tournament's two other charity partners.

Efforts to follow up on that contribution are now being made in Sarnia. A large commemorative lithograph highlighting Bohn's historic round is being produced, including photos and a reproduction of the scorecard. All proceeds will be donated in Jason Bohn's name to the U.S. disaster relief fund.

A total of 458 prints (round "4", "58" score) will be sold for $119.58 (day "11", month "9" of terrorist attack, "58" score). To purchase a personally autographed litograph, email: kaps@ebtech.net.

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