Buck brings back Provincial, North American gold medals

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Tillsonburg golfer Rick Buck added to his medal collection with gold medals at the 2017 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Championships at the Caledon Golf and Country Club.

"Gold in North America, gold at Provincials, just on a roll," said Buck, who was first at the North American Special Olympics Championships in June in Seattle, and followed up with another first at the Ontario Special Olympics Summer Games in the Peel Region scoring an 88 to win his division.

"I did alright," said Buck, recalling the Summer Games. "The last day (July 15) I sort of struggled at the end but still pulled it off. They had a really good Level 4 player who played his heart out, I give him credit. He came second (by one shot).

"I had a lot of fun, got to see a lot of friends from Seattle, and the North Americans last year too. It was fun - the course layout was really tight, you had to keep the ball on the fairway. You could unleash it, but you had to keep it straight," said Buck, who only missed the fairway twice on the weekend. "My dad caddied for me again and we just had some real good fun."

Buck said he was been 'playing for cancer' after his uncle (Rick Nickerson) was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

"When I came back from North Americans, I had to take my gold medal to the hospital and get pictures with him. After the Provincials he was at home and I took my gold over."

2018 national qualifiers have not been announced yet, but Buck is confident he'll have a shot at Nova Scotia next year. There are no North Americans next year, but Arizona will host the 2019 championships, and Buck plans to defend his title.

"I'm still playing, still trying to go hard at it. Golf is my life, so I'd do anything for it.

"I'm really thankful to a couple people - The Bridges at Tillsonburg, they've been a really good help, and Wayne Hearn, he's my one golf coach. He had cancer at the start of the year and battled through it. And I really want to thank him for helping me, he's done a lot for me. I'm still working with it."

Seattle was a fun experience, he said, recalling a trip to see the Seattle Mariners.

"Playing for Canada is just amazing. Playing for your country, you can't do anything better than that, right? Just being there and having fun is the big thing. I'm hoping in 2019 to be at the Worlds in Dubai playing for Canada." 



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