2021 AJT Ponoka Open
Alberta Golf (Ponoka) – By Dunc Mills
Ponoka Community Golf Club is one of four remaining charter members of the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Golf Tour (Nanton, Innisfail, Lacombe), and for the 27th consecutive season, hosted an outstanding junior golf competition this morning for 42 juniors from as far away and Edmonton and Calgary. Host head professional Ryan Moore co-holds the tournament scoring record with a 6-under par 66 back in the day, and while today’s scores didn’t approach that level of excellence, the players still exhibited outstanding behaviour and desire as they learn what it takes to compete in junior golf.
Russell Quinn of Wainwright perhaps travelled the longest distance to get to today’s tournament and he made every mile count by firing a steady 4-over par 76 to capture his first Tour win from the U15 age group. Quinn and his father are using this week for a father/son golf holiday and we expect to see Quinn later this week at Olds and perhaps in Lacombe as well.
Rhees Moss of Sturgeon Valley GCC in St. Albert was a single shot back in solo 2nd with a 77. Memphis Burgeson of Northern Bear, Seth Marriott of Wolf Creek and Bennett Love of Red Deer were T3 on 79, as all five of these players punched their tickets to the Tour Championship at Wolf Creek Golf Resort on August 30th with their efforts this morning.
Ten junior girls were on hand this morning, and it was no surprise that Edson’s Zoe Banack came out on top. Banack finished in the Top Twenty at last week’s Alberta Golf U19 Championships in Carstairs, and Banack’s experience as a seasoned tournament competitor was evident as she bagged a 6-shot win with a 79. Nicole Rohr of Camrose and Justin Leon of Lakeside GC in Chestermere were T2 with 85s, as all three girls qualified for Wolf Creek.
The Tour continues tomorrow with the sold out Parent/ Child event in Innisfail as 60 pairs of family members and juniors will test their games over the always challenging slick greens and tree-lined fairways at the beautifully groomed Innisfail layout. Olds and Lacombe’s Junior Opens round out a busy week on Tour with their events on Wednesday and Thursday.