2022 AJT Goose Hummock Junior Open
By Dunc Mills:
Whew. What a week.
Four outstanding junior golf tournaments over five days of competition across about as wide a variety of terrific Alberta golf courses as you can imagine. From the jaw-dropping Rockies on Monday in Canmore to wind-swept prairie links in Crossfield on Tuesday, to the best-conditioned course on Tour so far this year in Olds on Wednesday. The Tour stopped at Goose Hummock Golf Resort about 50 km northeast of Edmonton for the last two days. From the air, photos of “The Goose” are almost more reminiscent of Florida than northern Alberta, with all the water features in play, but that didn’t deter 41 junior golfers from as far away as Calgary and Ft. McMurray from competing in one of only two 36-hole McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour events.
The juniors did a remarkable job of overcoming some of the summer’s hottest temperatures the last 24 hours, as the mercury soared to 32C on Thursday and was only slightly more comfortable today at ‘only’ 29C. Thanks very much to Head Professional Brendan Tomiuk and the team at Goose Hummock for providing complimentary water today to help hydrate the players. Sela Ogada of Sirocco GC in Calgary continued her fine play on Tour this year, firing rounds of 81-77 to earn another McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour title. As familiar as the winner’s circle has become to the young Ogada, we had a Tour ‘veteran’ earn his first-ever championship on the boys’ side.
Sela Ogada (Low Gross) and Sabrina Lau (Low Net)
Payton Benneweis, playing out of the Edmonton Country Club, delivered back-to-back 76s, and his 152 total was good for a three-shot margin of victory over Colby Halwa of Black Bull Golf Resort. This was Benneweis’ first-ever McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour title, coming after many tries over the last few years and his score lead the pack in the boys U17 age group. Halwa’s 155 was tops in the boys’ U19 division.
Payton Benneweis (Low Gross) and Lambros Vasilakos (Low Net)
Overnight leader Ryan Badger of the Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club held a one-stroke lead going into today on the strength of his 75 on Thursday, but Badger slipped to an 81 today. His 156 total was good for third overall. Top money in the boys’ U15 division went to Tour regular Harrison Kiziak (82-83) of Belvedere. Judah Wurtz (84-83) of Wolf Creek Golf Resort got his nose one stroke in front of Jayden Popik (84-84) in the boys’ U13 flight.
Harrison Kiziak (Low Gross) and Theo Lau (Low Net)
We had seven junior girls on hand for the tournament, and Ogada’s 158 total was well ahead of Aliyah Hull of Willow Park in Calgary, who seemed to tire in the heat today, combined with a lot of golf lately. Hull posted scores of 83-92.
The Tour is off for the August long weekend, but picks up again on Tuesday in Nanton, one of the four original charter members of the Tour still on the schedule. We have the re-scheduled Ponoka event on Wednesday and the always-popular Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club tournament on tap for Thursday. Only THREE tournament dates next week! Easy squeezy! Have a great long weekend and get some rest, kids.