The Early Tyson Tour

The junior golfers today who compete
on the Junior Tyson Tour with it's
website, up to the minute leaderboard
and close to 20 events would be hard
pressed to recognize the Tour in it's
inaugural year of 1968.

Even the name of the Tour has
undergone a slight change. The
original name of the Tour was the
"Tysons Tour" made up of the first
2 Letters of London Free Press
reporter Bev Tyrell's last name and the word 'sons' from his hope that some
year his two twin sons could compete
in the tournaments. Although the
trophy that Bev donated still says,
Tysons, the tour has become the
Tyson Tour which sounds much better.



The first year, 1968, had only 4
tournaments and the winner was
decided by stroke average rather than a points system. Accordingly, junior golfers had to
compete in all 4 events to be eligible.
Participating courses were East Park,
Strathroy, Fanshawe, and Thames Valley.
The low stroke averages were aided
by the fact that par at East Park was
only 62.

The first winner was Harold Kewley from
St. Thomas. He was a better known
hockey player than he was a golfer.
He cemented his Tysons trophy victory
with a dramatic chip in for 72 to win the
final tournament at Fanshawe. Four
other players who had shot 73, watched
from beside the green.



In 1969, the tour expanded from
4 to 6 events. East Park dropped
out but Ingersoll, St.Thomas Public,
and St. Thomas Union were added.
A points system was initiated with
15 points for a win and only the
best results from four of the six
events counted.

Bev Tyrell didn't run the Tour for
very long as he left to live in Winnipeg in 1978.
Before he left, he made the astute decision to ask Fred Kern to keep the Tour going.
I am sure that he would be very proud
of the progress of the Tour over the
past 35 years.

John Cowie
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