Famous “Ace’s”. Well, we have Ace Frehley, guitarist from Kiss (kids, ask your parents about Kiss!). We have Ace Ventura (“I’d like to ace you a question!”). Now we can add the name “Ace” Ranganathan to the list!
Elbow Springs’ Ajay Ranganathan notched the first hole-in-one on the Tour this summer this morning on the 142-yard par-3 7th hole at McKenzie Meadows GC in Calgary, today’s stop on the McLennan Ross Alberta Golf Junior Tour. Ajay smoothed a wedge downwind and the ball landed just short of the green, rolled up to the flagstick and toppled in on its last revolution. It was nice to see the youngster revel in his first-ever ace, but just as impressive was that he used it to trigger a fine round of 2-over par 74, only a single shot out of a playoff for the Boys’ Championship.
That honour went to Shiv Kaura of Pinebrook and the host club’s Jeremy Hart, who each carded 1-over 73s under sunny skies, and brisk winds as the morning wore on. With a major corporate event going out on the course after the junior tournament, we used the club’s pitching area to set up a 65-yard playoff hole. Hart lobbed it in to about 4 feet, but his fine shot looked like a mile away after Kaura knocked his shot to about a foot! When Hart’s putt snapped off left at the hole, Kaura’s tap-in earned him the title and a spot in the season-ending Tour Championship at Wolf Creek Golf Resort on August 23 along with Ranganathan.
Other qualifiers today included Sebastian Berube of Priddis Greens, who fired an outstanding 2-over 74 from the flight for boys born in 2005 and later. Wild Card qualifiers today included Justin Hughes (79) of Canmore, Ty Merkel (79) of the Public Player Club, Nolan Edwards (78) from River’s Edge in Okotoks, and Grayson Collins (77) from The Glencoe.
We had a nice field of six junior girls on hand today, but the winner was a familiar face. Brynne Davies of Earl Grey made it two titles in two days this week, coming on the heels of her win yesterday in Ponoka. Davies’ 84 was five shots clear of her clubmate Emily Gage, who had the nice consolation prize of earning her spot in the Tour Championship. Tasha Wallace of The Links at GlenEagles in Cochrane was third with a 90.
The Tour wraps up a busy four-event week tomorrow morning in Strathmore, with plenty of events to come next week as the Tour moves into the heart of the 2019 schedule.
Next week’s events include:
Monday – Canmore – Best Scenery on Tour and an outstanding golf course.
Tuesday – Collicutt Siding in Crossfield – New event on the Tour and the largest junior golf academy in Canada.
Wednesday – Lacombe – One of four charter members of the Tour that remain on the schedule.
Thursday and Friday – Goose Hummock at Gibbons. One of only two 36-hole events on the Tour. Great prizes and a Thursday evening Horse Race!
These are the Top Six and Ties in each age group today, who earned Titleist Order of Merit ranking points. We had field of 47 juniors today.
Q = Player qualified for Tour Championship
WC = Wild Card qualifier for Tour Championship
PQ = Player had previously qualified for Tour Championship.