With many provincial golf championships fast approaching at the end of September and early October, our sport spotlight for this month focuses on golf. Read about some past champions as well as what is happening in the coming weeks.
Ever since the game of golf was first played on pastures in Scotland, it has been a sport that has strong values, such as honesty and integrity, built into the rules. As such, it is a great sport for young high school athletes that helps them discover how to use those values in a variety of situations: whether they are at home, at school, playing sports or in everyday social interactions.
High school golf in Canada has been growing for many years and has developed a number of outstanding young golfers; there are currently 426 Canadian golfers playing in U.S. Colleges, according to the Golf Canada Foundation. While this migration of Canadian golfers to the U.S. is a strong indication of the skill level of our athletes, the Golf Canada Foundation has developed a University/College Support Program that offers Canadian athletes the opportunity to stay in Canada to continue their post-secondary education while continuing to compete and train at a very high level. Read on to find out about some of the up and coming high school Canadian golfers.
Every spring, British Columbia hosts the provincial championships and earlier this year, some of the lowest scores in ‘AAA’ history were set after some very impressive team and individual performances.
Jiso Keel, a grade 10 student, led the way for the Gleneagle Talons as she carded impressive rounds of 72 and 68 to finish with a 4-under par total. Her second round was highlighted by seven birdies and a strong finish that saw her go four-under par over the final eight holes. Keel made history, as she was the first female to capture the low-score total in the co-ed championship’s 40-year history.
Keel wasn’t the only star of the team, as her teammates also enjoyed solid rounds en route to overcoming a 2-shot deficit to Belmont Secondary after the first round. Kevin (Suk Woan) Ko had the second lowest individual score at even par, David Lee shot a one-under 71 on the second day to finish at four-over par while Ally Shin rounded out the top 4 scores with a seven-over par total. The Talons’ remarkable team score of seven-over par is the lowest AAA score in recent history and is sure to be remembered for many years to come.
Every year the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) awards the Mizuno All-Canadian award to two high school students for their outstanding performance in academics, golf and community involvement. In April of this year, Sydney MacDonald from Calgary was selected as the female recipient of the award after she has excelled both on the golf course and off. MacDonald is hoping to follow up that stellar season with another as she attempts to earn a university or college golf scholarship to continue developing her game.
“I have such a passion for the game and all the enjoyment it brings me each and every day,” she said. “I am driven to continue to work hard to achieve my goals and hope that I can be a role model to encourage more girls to get involved in the game”. MacDonald’s smooth swing will be on display at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) provincial championships being held on September 26 and 27 at Belvedere Golf and Country Club in New Sarepta.
The Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) held their provincial golf championships on September 26 at The Links at Penn Hills as golfers from over 20 schools came out to compete. The boys team from CP Allen ran away with the championship, with an overall team score of 298 that blew away the competition. Bruce Tomie had the day’s low round of 72 to lead the way, while his teammate Brad Curren followed close behind with the day’s second lowest round of 73. Daniel Keays and Jonathan Loder rounded out the strong CP Allen team with scores of 76 and 77, respectively. The boys from Parkview finished second place in the team competition with a total score of 321, while the team from Dr. JH Gillis came in third with a score of 324.
In the girls’ competition, the team from North Nova Education Centre (NNEC) claimed their second straight title, as Julia Henderson and Mairi Keay teamed up to shoot a team score of 175 ahead of Northumberland HS (198) and West Kings HS (212).
Saskatchewan is the only province to boast both Sand and Grass Golf Championships, which just meant that there was yet another tournament showcasing the great young up and coming golfers. In the Sand Golf Championships, Tyrin Foley of Bengough HS shot an impressive two day total of 140 (71-69) to easily take the individual title over Brennan Tomporowski and Matthew Pauls, who shot identical rounds of 82-77 to finish at 159. Foley’s performance wasn’t enough to win the team championship though, as Tomporowski’s team from Canwood HS finished with the low score of 683 ahead of Bengough’s 700. In the girls’ competition, Cassidy Onerheim edged her Frontier HS teammate Hope Anderson by 3 strokes to win the girls’ individual championship. Onerheim was the only girl to break 90 on both days, as she shot 88-89 to finish at 177 while Anderson shot 86-94 for a total of 180.
In the Grass Championships, Daegan Wall of Regina Leboldus had the low two-day score of 144 to clinch the individual championship while also helping his team claim the team championship as well. Wall’s teammates Aaron Vogel, Matt Turchett and Kyle Whitrow also enjoyed a strong tournament as the Leboldus team finished 19 shots ahead of the second place finisher. The girls’ side of the tournament featured some high drama as Lisa Reid of Riffel HS edged Ricki-Lee Scott of Whitewood HS in a playoff after they both finished the two-day competition tied at 174. In the team competition it was Coronach HS that took the title as they finished at 373, while Swift Current and Whitewood finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.