Team Ontario leads Junior Inter-Provincial Team Championship by one-shot
North Bay, Ont. – Aydan Downer finds himself atop the leaderboard at 4-under following the opening round of the 2023 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, presented by BDO.
Downer, of Keswick, Ont. shot a 68, in a round that was highlighted with an eagle on 17 to take a one-shot lead over a trio of players into Tuesday’s second round at The North Bay Golf and Country Club in North Bay, Ont.
For Downer, staying patient was key to getting off to a good start, “I knew coming into it, my game was really good, really solid, so keep hitting good shots, hitting fairways, hitting greens, I knew some putts were going to drop and they did,” said Downer following his round on Monday evening.
He added that having fun and playing well during his practice rounds helped with his confidence today. Downer holds the lead over Jerry Li, Grady Chuback, and Nathaniel Yoo who all shot opening rounds of 3-under, 69.
Li, of Vancouver got off to a hot start with three straight birdies and an eagle on the front nine. He got into some trouble on 17 and his approach shot on 18 landed in a green side bunker but he was able to make bogey on the closing hole, which played among the toughest for the field on Monday.
“I hit a lot of greens, made a lot of putts on the front nine, up until 17 before I slipped. I was hitting everything pretty good. I just tried to limit the damage, it was pretty good today,” said Li following his morning round.
Chuback, of Headingley, Man. opened with a bogey on the first hole but pulled back into red figures with four birdies to close his round.
“Today I just tried to protect par and minimize the chances of making a bogey. Overall, my tee shots, approach, and putting all worked well together which helped me make birdies, or simple pars. The bogey on one definitely didn’t feel so great, but I knew that there was so much more golf left that it didn’t really matter, so I just kept going,” said Chuback.
Yoo, of North York, Ont. grabbed a share of second finishing with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 during the afternoon flight. Yoo carded seven birdies during his round and said he plans to keep up the aggressive play on Tuesday.
Li and Yoo find themselves as co-leaders in the Juvenile Boys Championship.
Team Ontario leads the Junior Inter-Provincial Team Championship competition by one shot over Team Manitoba. Team Ontario shot an opening round of 1-under and consists of Isaiah Ellis (Smithville, Ont.), Isaiah Ibit (Ottawa) and Matthew Javier (North York, Ont.). The two best individual scores from each team of three count towards the team score for the day. The Junior Inter-Provincial Team Championship is contested over the first two days of the tournament with ten provinces competing for the Junior Inter-Provincial Championship Trophy.
Players 18-and-under are competing for the Canadian Junior Boys Trophy, also known as the Silver Cup. In addition, players 16-and-under are eligible for the Juvenile Boys Championship and the Jack Bailey Trophy. Since its inception, only ten golfers have won both the Juvenile and Junior titles — Jim Rutledge, Jeff Makahon, Rob McMillan, Jesse Collinson, Dustin Risdon, Gord Scutt, Rafael Lee, Mitch Sutton, Charles-Éric Bélanger and Christopher Vandette.
The Junior and Juvenile championship divisions are played concurrently over four rounds, with the top 70 players plus ties in the Junior division and a minimum of ten players in the Juvenile division advancing to the final 36 holes of the national championship.
The Junior champion of the Canadian Junior Boys Championship earns an exemption into the 2024 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship as well as the 2024 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
GOLF CANADA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Golf Canada annually conducts more than 30 golf competitions and qualifiers nation-wide – including nine National Amateur Championships – which play host to more than 3,000 domestic and international athletes from all corners of the world. In partnership with our host clubs, thousands of volunteers, provincial golf associations and our proud sponsors, Golf Canada is dedicated to supporting player development through world-class competition since our inception in 1895. Officiated by certified Canadian Rules of Golf officials, Golf Canada’s amateur competitions are fully compliant with golf’s international governing bodies and include marquee events such as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships as well as the Canadian Junior Girls and Junior Boys Championships. Golf Canada’s amateur championships are proudly supported by BDO Canada, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), Titleist, FootJoy, Sport Canada, Levelwear and JOURNIE Rewards. For more information and scheduling visit www.golfcanada.ca/championships.