On a smaller scale, André Gagné's exploits during the Duke of Kent, at the Royal Quebec, take on the appearance of those of a certain Francis Ouimet at the United States Open. The star of the Côte de Boischatel quickly rose through the ranks of his sport.
Ouimet, a talented amateur who had long lived as a cadet and raised just across the street from the Country Club in Brookline in the Boston suburbs, had won the 1913 US Open by surprise.
For very long years, André Desgagné (right) served as a younger friend to his great friend. The two men also watched the Duke of Kent tournament together on September 14
Gagné presents a similar journey. Growing up a few steps from the golf club founded in 1874, he cut his teeth there as a cadet for 12 years in the early 1950s. A profession that revealed great secrets to him. He first tasted Kent by lugging the golfers bag until he signed up in 1963.
The Duke of Kent has been Quebec's major championship since the 1930s. Gagné has entered his name on it three times in his 55 participations. His community has always strongly supported him, basing their hopes on the hero of the town.
At the La Vallée du Richelieu Golf Club in August 2003, the Boischatel golfer won the second of his four coronations at the Quebec senior championship.
“It's true that my story can be like Ouimet's, if we adapt it to Boischatel, except that my parents wanted me to play golf. I was able to do almost everything possible to compete in the Duke of Kent, ”says the septuagenarian who, according to his personal records, has finished second in twice, in addition to the two times he lost in overtime. Either way, he's finished in the top 10 on 24 occasions.
“It's a tournament that occupies a huge place in my heart. This is our tournament in Quebec. I remember at the end of the 1970s there were over 2,000 spectators. It was grandiose. ”
In 2005, Gagné reclaimed his crown of senior provincial champion from Godin.
Not an option
Despite all his exploits, Mr. Gagné has never plunged into professional adventure. Often courted by clubs, he refused their offers, saying he was fully satisfied with his job as a designer at the Ministry of Natural Resources.
“In 1976, all I had to do was sign the contract offered to me and I became a professional. But I loved my job. I stayed there until I retired in 1997, ”he says with pride.
He did not go into exile in the United States to try his luck on the big circuits. “I had enough humility. I liked the competition. The amateur tournaments satisfied me amply. And I would not have liked to live in my suitcases tasting public life. ”
He is adamant when he observes his impressive record. “I especially do not regret my choices. ”