Clarke keeps his cool
Trent Clarke played it safe and came away with a playoff win Wednesday at Twenty Valley on the Niagara District Junior Golf Tour.
The 14-year-old Vineland resident finished in a tie after 18 with fellow Sawmill golfer Ben Julie, each shooting a 74, before Clarke parred the par five first hole in the playoff to emerge with the win in the boys U-15 division.
“I kind of just stuck to the fundamentals and played some safe golf,” said Clarke, who will enter Grade 9 at West Niagara Secondary School this fall. “Didn’t take any dangerous risks and just played my game.”
Clarke felt it was important to keep his cool as well.
“This is my third playoff. It’s always nerve wracking but I know I just have to play my game and not worry about what the other player is doing.”
Clarke’s calm demeanour has come in handy in the past.
“Winning, I’ve done it a few times now. You can’t let your nerves get to you. Just play your own game and not worry about the next hole or the next shot, just worry about the shot you’re on right now,” Clarke said.
Clark said it also helped he was squaring off against a close friend.
“We joked around on the hole. We acted almost like it was a fun round,” he said.
Clarke, who is in his fourth year on junior tour, loves the competition.
“This is what I play for. It’s fun to play with your friends but winning tournaments is always fun too,” he said.
Clarke’s putter was on point Wednesday.
“My short game was really carrying me today. I was draining puts from all over the green and that really helped.”
LACEY TAKES GIRLS U-19 DIVISION
Some new equipment payed off for Mikalya Lacey.
The 16-year-old Port Colborne resident fired a 76 to capture the U-19 girls division Wednesday and was quick to give credit to a new putter.
“I just made a switch of putters yesterday and I putted really well,” said Lacey, who will enter Grade 12 at Port Colborne High School in September. “My short game was going really well, I chipped really well and that saved me a lot.
“I was hitting good approach shots into the greens and hit a lot of greens.”
Overall, Lacey was more than satisfied.
“It was a pretty good day,” she said.
Lacey also pointed to her consistency.
“I had one bad hole on the front nine. I had a triple (bogey) on the third and bogeyed nine, other than that I made a birdie and bogey on back and all the rest were pars.”
Lacey feels her ability to move on from a bad shot or hole has improved.
“For me, I find if I let it bother me that’s when things tend to get worse,” she said. “I’ve started to work on forgetting about it and worrying about what’s in front of me and just one shot at a time, really thinking about it that way.”
Lacey will miss Monday’s tour stop while she golfs in a tournament in Miami. Her busy summer also included stops at the Golf Ontario Women’s Amateur in Toronto two weeks ago and the U-19 last week championships in Richmond Hill last week where she missed the cut by three strokes.
The next stop on the tournament is Monday at Grand Niagara.
Following are the leaderboards from Tuesday’s tournament:
Under-19 girls: Mikalya Lacey, Port Colborne 76; Casey Kenney, Sawmill 84; Edyn Sobie, Players Club Mississauga West 101.
Under-19 boys: Sam Boich, Players Club Ottawa 72; Cole Thompson, Sawmill 73; Nathan Freure, Sawmill 74; Andrew Burciul, Sawmill 75; Noah LeBrasseur, Cherry Hill 76; Will Burleigh, Sawmill 76; Luke Baranoski,St. Catharines Golf and Country Club 78; Kian Oelofse, Lookout Point 78; Luca Santostefano, Cardinal Lakes 78; Jack Ilskens, Lookout Point 78; Blake Furtney, Sawmill 78.
Under-15 boys: Trent Clarke, Sawmill 74; Ben Julie, Sawmill 74; Dawson Dermatas, St. Catharines Golf and Country Club 76; Matthew Gary, Sawmill 80; Carter Fulkerson, Players Club Ottawa 81; Ryan Kirkpatrick, Sawmill 81; Brennan Turner, Pen Lakes 83; Chase Partridge. St. Catharines Golf and Country Club 83; Joseph Zupanic, Sawmill 85; Cam Strugar, Golf Canada Clubhouse 86; Charlie Smith, Players Club Ottawa 86.
Under-13 boys: Landon Friesen, Sawmill 72; Jack Vitiello, Sawmill 80; Daxx Partridge, St. Catharines Golf and Country Club 86; Joshua Bertrand, Sawmill 88; Alex Shorthouse, Players Club Ottawa 89; Jonah Sobie. Players Club Mississauga West 98.
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