Sports

Yu captures Western championship

Vancouver’s Trevor Yu finished at 5-under par to win the Western Canadian Junior Boys championship at Birchbank Golf Course on Friday. - Jim Bailey
Vancouver’s Trevor Yu finished at 5-under par to win the Western Canadian Junior Boys championship at Birchbank Golf Course on Friday.
— image credit: Jim Bailey

Consistency was key for Vancouver golfer Trevor Yu, who shot a conservative round of 1-under par  71 on Friday to coast to a four-shot victory over Logan Yanick of Courtenay and win the CN Western Canadian Junior Boys Golf championship at the Birchbank Golf Course, while Surrey’s Annie Songeun Lee claimed the junior girls title beating Marie Donnici of Vancouver by two strokes.

The 17-year-old Yu finished with a 5-under par 211 over 54 holes in the three-day event, with rounds of 69, 71, and 71 to claim the Western title and be the top qualifier for the Nationals.

“I’m pretty pleased with how things went,” said Yu following the final round. “I think I hit the ball really well this week. I could have made a few more putts but at the end of the day I had a lot of fun, and it was a great event to play.”

At 4-under par, Yu was leading Rossland’s Tyler McKay by three strokes heading into Friday’s final round.

He dropped to 7-under after birdieing 10 and shooting a 2-under par 34 on the front nine. He played conservatively the rest of the way, bogeying 14 and 17 and laying up on the par-5, 18th hole to close out the back nine with a 37.

“Around hole 14 is when I kind of took the foot off the pedal a little bit and played a little bit safer.”

Yu’s iron-play was outstanding over the week hitting 16 green’s in regulation in the final round.

Yanick, who finished at 1-under par after shooting 69 on Friday, had his best round of the tournament with six birdies to go along with three bogeys after opening with a 76 on Wednesday.

Cole McKinnon of Surrey, playing in the final threesome with Yu and Rossland golfer Tyler McKay, finished third, birdieing the 18th hole to finish one shot ahead of McKay with a round of 72.

McKay was in second place at 1-under going into the final round. After opening the tournament with a torrid round of 66, he cooled off on Thursday firing a 77, and followed that with a respectable 2-over 74, to finish at 1-over for the championship.

“I played well, just couldn’t score,” said McKay. “It was frustrating, I hit it a lot better than I shot, I just didn’t make any putts until 16 and a two-putt birdie on 18.”

McKay played well on his home course throughout the tournament and was in the hunt for a top-three position right up until the final hole.

“I was a little nervous before the tournament to be honest,” said McKay. “I didn’t want to take anything for granted. I know this golf course very well but that being said might be a negative thing because I also know all the bad spots you can get to on this golf course very well.”

Trailing McKinnon by one stroke, McKay sunk a 30-foot putt on the par-3 16th hole to pull even with the Surrey golfer, but a bogie on the 17th would put the 18-year-old back to plus-2. While Yu layed up, both McKinnon and McKay launched their drives over the bunker and would be putting for eagle after sending their iron shots onto the green. However both players would two-putt for birdie on the par-5 18th hole giving McKinnon third spot with McKay salvaging a tie for fourth-place  and a qualifying spot in the CN Canadian Junior championship in Niagara Falls at the end of the month.

. . Obviously starting with the 66 kind of settled the nerves down, and I didn’t play terrible yesterday I just had two hiccups, more of the same today.”

A.J. Armstrong from St. Albert and Khan Lee of Surrey also tied for fourth with McKay to round out the top-six advancing to the nationals.

Songeun Lee led the girls tournament from day one carding a 74, 76, and 80 to win the championship. Donnici meanwhile came from 10-strokes off the lead on day three to make a run for the title, finishing with a even-par 72 on Friday that included a 4-under par 32 on the front nine. Donnici’s father Gabby was raised in Trail before moving to the Lower Mainland to raise his own family.

“I’m from Vancouver but my dad grew up in Trail,” said Donnici, 18, who will be attending the University of Hawaii on a golf scholarship in September. “I was pretty far back yesterday, had a really disappointing week. I really, really struggled on the front nine the first two days, and was just trying to keep it in play today, and made a few putts.”

Rossland’s Braden McKay, 16, had a final round of 5-over 77 that included shooting a 35 on the back nine to finish in 34th spot at 18-over par.  Nelson’s Carson Arcui carded a 7-over 79 to end up 24-over par, and Aidan and Trevor Browell shot plus-25 and -26 respectively. Ethan Paton of Salmo came in at plus-35.

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