After a two-month break in B.C.’s competitive junior golf season due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour teed off last weekend in South Surrey.
The popular junior tour held its restart at Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club, and the highlight of the two-round tournament – aside from the fact the competitive circuit was back in the first place – was an overall low score from Langley golfer Danny Im, who shot a two-round score of 145 (71-74) to win the junior boys division by a single stroke.
The 16-year-old Im, who was the Maple Leaf Tour’s national champion in 2020, trailed by one heading into the final round but finished with two birdies over the final three holes in Round 2 to claim the victory over Kelowna’s Kyle Mayner, 18.
“This was the first time I played in the junior division,” said Im in a news release issued by the Maple Leaf Golf Tour this week. “I didn’t have a great front nine on the second day, but I kept it together and held on to a good round.”
In the girls 15-19 year-old division, Sueah Park of Langley shot back-to-back rounds of 77 at the par-72 course to win the division. For Park, consistency was key – she never finished with worse than a bogey on any hole while also capitalizing on her birdie opportunities.
“I feel really good to win on Father’s Day,” said Park, who receives coaching from her dad on a regular basis.
“I had some trouble with my shots, but I kept a positive mind and converted my up-and-down opportunities.”
In the juvenile boys division, Whistler’s Stewart Walker defended his 2020 Hazelmere title with a two-round score of 151 (74-77). The victory was Walker’s second on the tour this year and launched him to the top of the MJT Order of Merit rankings.
Caleb Davies of Langley finished second, two shots back of Walker.
In the bantam boys tournament, only three shots separated the top four finishers, with Coquitlam’s Roy Baek edging the field for a one-shot victory over Eric Joo, who was second.
“I just had to believe in myself that I could do it, and I did,” said Baek, who carded rounds of 71 and 76.
In the girls U15 division, Langley’s Amy Lee, 13, picked up her second consecutive tourney win after recording a two-round score of 153 (73-80). For Lee, the highlight of the weekend came on the back nine of Saturday’s first round, which saw her fire a two-under par 34, making four birdies in the span of seven holes.
“In the first round, my irons put me close to the hole,” Lee stated. “The course was outstanding, and I feel proud to win.”
In the peewee boys division, Vancouver’s Jim Zhu, 12, won with a total score of 148 (75-73) and finished with a division-high seven birdies – five of which came in a nine-hole span in the second round.
As well as division winners, the tour also recognized a handful of golfers for “the best improvement in score from round one to two.” The winners of the Booster Juice BounceBack Awards were Claudia Zhang, Nicole Zhang, Aidan Narayan, Aidan Lu, Nemo Rong and Andrew Biggar.