AJT Westlock Junior Open
By Dunc Mills:
When I made note throughout the summer of visits to the four remaining charter members of the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour (Innisfail, Lacombe, Ponoka and Nanton) , I sometimes forget that we have another charter member of the Tour BACK on the schedule now after some years of absence. That’s Westlock, located about an hour north of Edmonton. Bonus Trivia Points : Who was the first Junior Boys Champion in Westlock in 1996? More later……….
We had 46 juniors on hand this morning from as far away as Calgary and Ft. McMurray, and the largest block of entries came from the U13 age group, both boys and girls combined. This certainly bodes well for the future of junior golf in our province as these young people get their first exposure to the fun, frustration, and financial rewards of playing in tournament competition.
On the Boys U13 side, Daniel Harbin of Edmonton’s 87 was a single shot clear of Luke ChaiEdge, also from Edmonton. Luke Bock of Devon completed the podium with a 90. In the Junior Girls U13 flight, Belanna Bandola of Windermere GCC led the way with a 106.
Boys U13 winners: low Gross, Daniel Harbin, (L), and Low Net winner Luke Bock, (R)
In the U15 flights, Shylee Kostiuk of Glendale fired a steady 82, which was not only tops in her age group, but tied for girls Overall Low Gross with Anna Kibria (U19) of the Edmonton Pete Club. Top U15 boy was Kendrick Lee of the Edmonton Pete Club with a fine 75.
Girls U 13/15 winners. Low Net , Ariana He (L), and Low Gross was Shylee Kostiuk, (R)
Girls U19 winner, Anna Kibria, Edmonton Pete Club
U17 winners today included Kyson Jones of McKenzie Meadows GC in Calgary, who has become a real road warrior on Tour this summer. Jones’ 74 bested his age group , and tied for overall boys’ Low Gross honours with Jensen Dawes of Drayton Valley, who led the way in the boys U19 flight.
The third McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour event of the week goes on Thursday morning in Wainwright, before winding up the regular season next week at Desert Blume Golf Resort in Medicine Hat on Tuesday, August 22nd and the Tour’s first-ever visit to an Edmonton city-owned club at Victoria GC on Thursday, August 24th with what will be the largest field of junior golfers this year on the Tour.
The 2023 season winds up on Thursday, August 31st at River Bend Golf and Recreation Area in Red Deer. For more information about the Tour, please visit our website at www.albertagolfjuniors.org
Oh, the Trivia answer: First Junior Boys Champion in Westlock was Sherwood Park’s Danny Sahl. Danny was the top junior in Alberta, and had been busy all summer dominating junior competitions across Alberta and Canada. But Danny wanted to compete in the first Tour Championship that September at Wolf Creek Golf Resort, but he had to earn his way into the field and he showed up in Westlock to punch his ticket to the Tour Championship. ( P.S. he didn’t win the Tour Championship)
Sahl is today making an excellent living in golf as Corey Conners’ caddy on the PGA Tour.