Olds Junior Open
July 15th, 2020




By Dunc Mills

The SOLD OUT sign was hung up again this morning at the Olds Junior Open, today’s stop on the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour.  The Tour, celebrating its 25th year, is off to a spectacular start this summer, with every event on the schedule to date chock full of junior golfers from across the province eager to get their feet wet in the world of junior golf competition.  We have seen a tremendous surge in interest in junior golf across Alberta this summer, not only at McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour events, but at clubs throughout the province.  Word is filtering back from junior coordinators that the level of demand at clubs is the highest in many years. Blame it on Covid, blame it on whatever you want to, but we’re not complaining.  It’s fantastic for the health of the game.
We had our first sudden-victory playoff in the 2020 season today in the Junior Girls’ division at the beautifully conditioned Olds Central Highlands GC.  Head Professional Wade Bearchell and his team of staff and volunteers had protocols and procedures organized like clockwork for 73 juniors from as far away as Edmonton and Brooks to Lethbridge and points in between. When the scorecards were all tallied, Olivia Leung from The Winston GC in Calgary, Kali Yeske of Calgary’s Valley Ridge GC and 9-year-old Aleah Shields-Ropide of McCall Lake GC in Calgary finished in a three-way dead heat with matching 85s.  Shields-Ropide is competing off of a solid 9.2 handicap index (what was YOUR handicap at 9?) , so she certainly wasn’t out of her league with the older girls. But it was Leung who came out on top, making a routine par-4 on the first extra hole to capture her first tournament victory at the ‘advanced’ age of 14!   We had a sensational total of 19 junior girls on hand this morning, continuing an amazing run of outstanding turnouts for junior girls so far this season.  With the large number of girls on hand today, three qualifying spots in the August 28th Tour Championship at Wolf Creek Golf Resort were up for grabs, and these three youngsters in the playoff took those qualifying spots home with them in addition to their prizes.
The junior boys were not to be outdone as several players in the field were coming off successful performances last week at the Alberta Golf U-19 Championships at The Links at Spruce Grove. Rory Wutzke of Camrose, who finished T31 at the U-19s, offset 4 bogies with 5 birdies to post a 1-under par 71, good for a 2-shot margin over Quinn Laidlaw of The Winston.  Nolan Edwards of River’s Edge GC in Okotoks and McKenzie Meadows’ winner Jeremy Hart of Sirocco GC in Calgary were T3 on 75. Wutzke, Laidlaw and Edwards all punched their tickets to the Tour Championship by virtue of their  play this afternoon.  They will be joined in the field at Wolf Creek by Christian Flick of Carnmoney GCC in Calgary, whose 78 was best in the large flight of boys born in 2006 and later, and Heritage Pointe’s Josiah Tong, whose 79 earned the available spot from the flight for boys born in 2004/05.
The run of sold out McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Tour events continues next Monday at RedTail Landing GC in Nisku, followed by another full field at Whitetail Crossing GC in Mundare.  As of  6 pm this evening, 19 entries remain up for grabs in Camrose on July 22 as they will be capping their field at 72 players.   Get those spots while you can if you haven’t already entered.
1.  Rory WUTZKE                                Camrose                                   71
2.  Quinn LAIDLAW                          The Winston                            73
T3.  Jeremy HART                              Sirocco                                     75
T3.  Nolan EDWARDS                       River’s Edge                            75
5. Christian FLICK                             Carnmoney                              78
T6. Josiah TONG                                Heritage Pointe                      79
T6. Branden LAILEY                         The Winston                           79
8. Jalen APEDOE                               Serenity                                    80
T9. Reid WILLIAMSON                   Olds                                           81
T9. Cole PHILLIPS                            Willow Park                             81
BOYS BORN IN 2001 – 2003
1. Rory WUTZKE                              Camrose                                    71 Q
2. Quinn LAIDLAW                          The Winston                            73 WC
3. Nolan EDWARDS                         River’s Edge                            75 WC
4. Matthew FRIEDRICK                  Brooks                                      86
T5. Seth MARRIOTT                        Lacombe                                   88
T5. Thijs Van-LANKVELT               Wintergreen                            88
BOYS BORN IN 2004-05
1. Jeremy HART                               Sirocco                                       75 PQ
T2. Branden LAILEY                       The Winston                             79 PQ
T2. Josiah TONG                             Heritage Pointe                        79 Q
4. Reid WILLIAMSON                    Olds                                            81
5. Aidan FONG                                 Country Hills                            82
T6. Jaden PATEL                             Inglewood                                 86
T6. Nathan ROGERS                      The Winston                             86
1. Christian FLICK                          Carnmoney                                 78 Q
2. Jalen APEDOE                           Serenity                                        80
3. Cole PHILLIPS                          Willow Park                                  81
4. Mateo KERN                              Canyon Meadows                        82
5. Ryan BADGER                           RedTail Landing                         84
T6. Chase STRANG                        Woodside                                     87
T6. Nathan FLEWELLING           Innisfail                                        87
1. Olivia LEUNG                              The Winston                                85 *
P2.  Kali YESKE                               Valley Ridge                                85
P2. Aleah SHIELDS-ROPIDE       McCall Lake                                85
T4. Carla Van REMMEN                Pinebrook                                    91
T4. Serin GIRARD                           River Bend                                   91
6. Kristine DIXON                           Lynx RIdge                                  93
* = Won sudden-victory playoff on the first extra hole.
Q = Player qualified for the Tour Championship at Wolf Creek Golf Resort on August 28th
PQ = Player had previously qualified for the Tour Championship.
Location: Olds
Pro: Wade Bearchell
Phone: (403) 556-8008
Website: http://www.oldsgolf.com