Sports

Mandur hits the big time with brilliant golf outings

'Consistency is definitely the most important part of the game,'' says valley golfer Tristan Mandur. 'That's what I try to focus on when I'm practicing.''
— image credit: Don Bodger

Tristan Mandur is just 15, but he’s already on par with some of the best male golfers on the Island.

Mandur just completed Grade 9 at Shawnigan Lake School and has suddenly become a household name for some of the electrifying scores he’s been recording this year.

And he’s done it in such a composed manner that it seems no competition of any magnitude can faze him.

David Hyde-Lay, who’s a coach in the golf program at Shawnigan Lake School, has seen Mandur’s incredible performances so many times that nothing surprises him anymore.

“Him qualifying for the USGA junior amateur is really quite extraordinary,’’ said Hyde-Lay. “That’s an Under 19 event.

“Everything he’s been doing has been unbelievable. There’s no question about it. But that one in particular is extraordinary.’’

It’s not as if Mandur came out of nowhere, however. Last year, he won both the junior and men’s club championships at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club and many people have seen his emergence coming.

What really put Mandur over the top and garnered him all sorts of attention was a 63 in the second round of the men’s amateur earlier this year at Qualicum Beach. He played with Greg Koster both days and, combined with a 68, won by five shots.

“I’ve shot a five-under and a six-under,’’ said Mandur. “I’ve shot a six-under at Arbutus and a five-under at Duncan Meadows.’’

This was a remarkable seven-under on the par 70 Qualicum course that included two eagles, three birdies and 13 pars.

“It took a while to sink in,’’ said Mandur about his performance.

Golf has been part of Mandur’s life as long as he can remember. Dad Tibor was a teaching professional and Tristan picked up the clubs and started playing at age three.

So with 12 years of golf under his belt, he already has considerable experience.

The story’s been the same for Mandur in tournaments this year wherever he’s gone.

He came second to elite Island player Kevin Carrigan of Royal Colwood in the Zone 5 men’s amateur championship. His 36-hole 138 was just three back of the leader, prompting Carrigan to say, “The kid’s got game.’’

“It’s good to play with better people,’’ said Mandur. “You learn from them.

“I remember watching him (Carrigan) on TV last year in the Canadian Open. He said coming in, ‘You were scaring me.’ He said, ‘I’m not going to lose to this kid.’’’

Mandur took his game to another level in the U.S. junior amateur qualifying event at Bremerton, Washington. He played 36 holes in one day and came from behind to grab one of just two available spots out of 70 players.

Mandur shot a two-over 74 on the first 18 but fought back with a three-under 69 while other players ahead of him faltered.

That put Mandur into the 67th U.S. junior amateur in Texas that will be televised on the Golf Channel during the week of July 21.

It’s just a small part of a crazy schedule that will keep him hopping most of the summer.

Mandur left Sunday to get ready for the four-day B.C. junior at Meadow Gardens in Maple Ridge followed by the B.C. men’s amateur at Mount Seymour, the U.S. junior amateur at Carlton Woods in Texas, the Canadian junior at Niagara, the Eddy Hogan Cup in Portland, Oregon with the B.C. select team and the B.C. juveniles during the last week of August to round it out.

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