AJT Wainwright Junior Open
By Dunc Mills:
When Alberta Golf added Wainwright to the Tour schedule a few years ago, we knew right off the bat that we might not get the same size of fields as we would for tournaments closer to larger population centres, but we also wanted to make a Tour event more easily accessible to youngsters in east central Alberta within an easy driving distance of their homes. Thursday, we had a couple of dozen juniors on hand from home clubs like Irma, Mannville, Coronation, Kitscoty SK, Hughenden and Wainwright. These kids had a great time, and head professional Josh Copeland at the Wainwright GC did a terrific job of making these juniors feel important and putting on a wonderful event.
Four U10 boys led the pack off the first tee, playing from a friendly set of tees for their ages, and these kids scooted around the golf course in well under four hours while leading the field in smiles. Young ( think he’s 9) Rylan Hryhirchuk of the host club cruised around in 78 strokes, easily outdistancing his U10 rivals for his 7th win of the summer in a variety of competitions. We need to keep an eye on this youngster in years to come, I think. Cole Yurchak, also from Wainwright, was tops in the boys U13 division with an 81.
In the boys U15 flight, Judah Wurtz of Belvedere GCC made his trip from Sherwood Park well worth his while, taking top honours in the flight with a 79. Another player from Edmonton, Ryan Badger from the Edmonton Pete Club, won the U17 flight and boys overall low gross honours with a 74, one shot clear of Kyson Jones of McKenzie Meadows in Calgary. Kyson and his mom have been travelling the Tour this summer in a motorhome and enjoying some quality family time surrounded by several tournaments.
The boys U19 division was captured by Rylan Montgomery of Coronation GC with an 80, as the east central Alberta kids more than held their own in the competition. In the junior girls division, Cherry Wang from The Hamptons in Calgary got the top points and prize money with an 88.
Only two ‘regular season’ events remain on the 2023 Tour schedule before the Tour Championship at River Bend Golf and Recreation Area in Red Deer on August 31st.
We are at Desert Blume Golf Resort in Medicine Hat next Tuesday, followed up by our first visit to Victoria GC in the Edmonton river valley on Thursday, Aug. 24th. The event at ‘Vic’ will have the largest field of the summer as over 100 players are expected to tee it up in the 8 a.m. shotgun start. Players, if you are entered at Victoria, the driving range and registration will be open at 6:30 . There is some construction ( in Edmonton, in the summer,,,who would have guessed?) near the bag drop area, so traffic might be a bit tight. The club has a couple of dozen pull carts available on a first come – first served basis.