Maple Leaf Junior Tour Staff
They needed a playoff to determine the Maple Leaf Junior Junior Boys title winner Tuesday at Predator Ridge Golf Resort.
Nik Federko, 17, of Kelowna, won his first Tour stop on the second playoff hole over Vernon’s Parker Wadsworth, 17. Both teens finished regular at 159.
“It’s about time,” said Federko said. “Four years later and lots of seconds and thirds – I stayed focused in the moment, I was bound to win one – thanks.”
Kelowna’s Derek Graham, 19, and Marcus Apchin, 17, tied for third at 161.
Austin Bosquet, 19, of Vernon fashioned 74-89-163 to place fifth.
Several players came close to winning a Ford Focus for an ace. There were also a few other first-time division champions. The event was a direct entry qualifier for members into the MJT Boston Pizza National Championship presented by TaylorMade-Adidas at The Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix this November.
Playing in his first MJT event, 12-year-old Max Lockwood of Vernon shot 79-78-157 and won the Pee Wee Boys title by four strokes.
“I played in this event to have fun and meet new friends, and prove to myself that I can be a great golfer,” said Lockwood. “I feel good about myself because I won. I feel awesome.”
Runner-up was Denby Carswell, 12, of Burnaby, with 79-82-161. There was a tie for third at 163 between Ryan Vest, 10, of Vernon, (82-81) and Cooper Humphreys, 11, of Lions Bay (81-82).
In a nail-biting finish, Jackson Jacob, 15, of Fort Langley, held on with a closing round of 71 to claim his first Tour title, winning the MJT Juvenile Boys crown as well as Low Overall from the blue tees with solid scores of 75-71-146.
Jacob held off a hard charge from Ely Overennay, 16, of Castlegar, who had fired a great three-under-par final round 69 to finish one stroke back.
“I feel very happy,” said Jacob. “I was a close second last year and was really looking forward to this year’s event – I clutched up when I needed to.”
Brandon Chai of Vernon, 16, shared fourth at 76-75-151, while 15-year-old Braeden Cooper was eighth at 83-75-158.
Dexter Weiten, 16, went 78-79-167 for 17th place, while Jaden Steinke, 16, was one shot back at shot 84-84-168.
Top spot in the Girls division went to 2014 MJT Girls national champion Sarah Lawrence, 18, of Duvall, Wash., who carded rounds of 76, 74 (150) to take the 15-19 title by four strokes over Natalie Chu, 17, of Vancouver (82-72-154).
“The course was in great condition and very challenging with fast greens so it was rewarding play well,” said Lawrence. “Even after a few hard holes, I was still able to maintain my composure.”
Back-to-back scores of 81 secured the MJT Bantam Boys division title for 13-year-old Jordan Allaire of Coquitlam, his first MJT win by two strokes over both Matthew Beauchamp, 14, also of Coquitlam, (87, 77).
“The course was in great shape but the greens were very fast and tough,” said Allaire. “I went shot by shot and tried to eliminate mistakes, keeping bad holes to bogeys. It feels good.”
George Wilkins of Vernon won the Juvenile boys skills contest. The next Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour stop is at Hazelmere Golf Club in Surrey this weekend.