Building momentum going into the Provincials next week at Chinook Golf Club, Saskatchewan junior golfers showed just how impressive young players can be on the golf course by recording multiple under-par rounds en route to some of the lowest two day totals seen so far this season on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT), during the MJT Prodigy Series at Chinook Golf Club and Elmwood Golf Club in Swift Current, July 2nd and 3rd.
Jehremy Ryde, 18 of Eston, SK, was the headliner after finally breaking through to win both the Boys 17-19 division and low overall for the event, firing blistering rounds of 65 and 69. “It feels good to win after two second places this year,” said Ryde about his first victory of the season. “My highlight was the first round 65; good putting and wedge shots were key.” He added that he plays the MJT for the competition and the well run tournaments. A hard-charging Jerry Christiansen, 18, of Saskatoon, who just came off a third place finish in the CN Future Links tournament where he earned a spot in the Canadian National Junior Boys Championship, also carved out an outstanding 65 on day two to finish only one stroke back at 70-65 (135). In third place, still going low but unable to match the blistering pace was Regina’s Aaron Vogel, 17, (67-72=139). Compensation is that Vogel is the eligible qualifier based on age (Ryde and Christiansen turn 19) for the MJT’s spot in the Texas Junior Golf Tour’s Holiday Classic at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas, this December, an event that is very well attended by over 30 college coaches and provides excellent scouting exposure.
In the Boy’s 14-16 Division, Daegan Wall, 16, of Regina, SK, chipped in an eagle on the 15th hole to secure the champion’s title by five strokes (70-71=141). “It feels good to win my division,” he said. “I had a couple of bad holes during the middle of the round but bounced back with a great finish.” There was a tie for second place at 146 between Garret Blair, 16, of Lanigan, SK (69-77=146), and Riley Grona, 15, of Coronach, SK (70-76=146). Tyrin Foley, from Bengough was two strokes back at 148 for a fourth place finish.
Prince Albert’s 13 year old Cory Sawchuck is getting used to winning and captured the Boy’s 13 and Under title with his excellent scores of 71-73 (144), commenting, “Every time I stepped up to the tee I had lots of confidence - it was good.” Runner-up on the weekend was Carson Harcourt, 13, of Kipling, SK, who shot 77-74 (151). There was a tie for third place in the division at 161 between Regina’s Matthew Douglas, 13 (77-84=161) and the only Alberta player in the field, Medicine Hat’s Michael Valk, 12, (80-81=161).
It was a family sweep for the Sawchuck’s as Cory’s younger sister, 12 year old, Kayla, of Prince Albert, won the Girl’s Division title with scores of 90-87=177. “I have a sense of accomplishment and it feels like all the practicing paid off,” she said. Second place went to Alyssa Fournier, 15, of Ponteix, SK (104-107=211) while Erykah Pool, 13, of Swift Current, placed third (113-114=227).
Juniors also competed in skills competitions for Long Drive, Closest to the Pin and Best Second-day Comeback. In a rare sweep, Mitchell Matichuk (Melville Golf Club) won all three competitions for his division (Boys 17-19). Other division winners in the Mr. Lube Long Drive were Brody Knelsen and Erykah Pool (Elmwood/Chinook Golf Club), and Garret Blair (Willows Golf Club), and in the Sundog Eyewear Skills Competition, Taylor Kinch (Chinook Golf Club), Tyrin Foley (Bengough Golf Club) and Kayla Sawchuck (Cooke Municipal Golf Club). The other Golf Town Comeback Awards went to Carson Harcourt (Kipling Golf Club), Jessy-Lee Lacher (Elmwood Golf Club) and Kayla Sawchuk (Cooke Municipal Golf Club).
The Boston Pizza-presented Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour continues along its “Road to College Golf” with the MJT-CPGA of Saskatchewan Junior Championship presented by Lethbridge College at The Willows Golf and Country Club in Saskatoon on July 23-24. This event is part of a major junior championship series held in conjunction with the provincial bodies of the Canadian PGA. In addition to being a Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golf Saskatchewan ranked event, it is also an international qualifier for the Future Collegiate World Tour’s (FCWT) Notre Dame University Championship. This tournament is held at Warren Golf Club at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, this October and is ranked by the AJGA, Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard, which gives players the greatest exposure to US College Coaches. Registration is still open and spots are limited. Registration is online at www.maplejt.com or players can call 1-877-859-4653.