On May 25, 2010, Jamie Kureluk became Mr. 25.
Eleven years later, he reflects on his historic nine-hole score in the Alberta Open saying: “It doesn’t come up as often as it used to, but I have no problems answering questions about it.”
Kureluk, now the manager at GolfTec’s Calgary Midnapore store and a Class A member of the PGA of Canada, posted seven birdies and two eagles in the final nine holes at Carnmoney Golf Club on his way to a 61 in the first round of the Alberta Open to better the 26 shot by Corey Pavin in 2006 at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
“I remember every shot, every yardage I had in,” said Kureluk, who lives in Calgary with his wife Sherry. “But my approach shot on the 18th hole would be the most memorable. I had an awkward lie from 197 with a 5-iron with the ball a foot below my feet in the fescue.”
Kureluk, then an assistant professional at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club who was pursuing his PGA Tour dream, stuck the shot to two feet for an eagle. He made the putt and the scorecard of the day or a replica are in three places – on the wall of the Midnapore Shop, at Carnmoney Golf Club, and the original in the possession of Alberta Golf but soon to be with Golf Canada.
“I was aware that things were going extremely well,” he said when recalling his record-setting day. “I tried adding up the score on 17, the overall score for the round and I kind of lost track of it. I knew I was enough under par, but I didn’t know it was a world record at the time.”
After a pedestrian even-par second-round 70, Kureluk was declared the winner at 11-under-par 131 when snow and rain made conditions unplayable and organizers cancelled the final round.
“People in the city know about it,” Kureluk said. “There’s a scorecard here at the shop. I say that on May 25 I shot 25.”
Kureluk, who did not have a full-time instructor or mentor growing up in the game says he picked up valuable lessons in his development from his older brother who was a professional golfer as well as legendary instructors Stan Leonard and Jim Flick.
As the manager of the GolfTec facility in Calgary, Kureluk now does the teaching.
“I’m a better teacher than player now,” he says. “I was chasing the PGA Tour and once that didn’t happen and I started teaching and there are just not enough hours in the day for teaching and playing.”
He is rewarded with the “honestly there have been so many” success stories of his students at GolfTec, which employs all the tools needed in today’s technology-driven environment for individual improvement.
“The GolfTec team is full of PGA members who all go through extensive instruction training focused on providing the best instruction possible,” Kureluk said. “Every swing is recorded through our motion measurement system. We have hard data, we know what the hips and shoulders, for example, are doing in the swing. It is a lot easier to teach and for the students to understand.”
As of May 5, however, COVID-19 has shut down Alberta.
That gives Kureluk a chance to think a little about playing competitively.
“I’ll play local PGA events,” he said. “That has waned off in the last two or three years. It’s not that I don’t have the desire, but I know the balance of time that is needed to dedicate to something I did every day for six years.”
The results of the recent 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah were not unnoticed by Kureluk.
“I’m 45 years old now,” he says. “Phil Mickelson inspired all of us old guys. Hey, at the end of the day, it’s still golf with its peaks and valleys. I don’t count out that I can play at a high level again.”
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