Oelofse’s bounce-back season continues
Kian Oelofse is doing his best to put his 2021 golf season behind him.
“Last year I just played awful. I couldn’t produce anything and I couldn’t play a decent tournament to save my life. This year, I am having a bit of a bounce-back year and I am playing much better golf,” the Lookout Point member said Monday, after carding a 72 at Rolling Meadows to record a one-shot victory in the under-15 boys division in Niagara District Junior Golf Tour action.
The 2020 overall point champion in the under-13 division now had two victories on the tour this season. He won the first stop of the year at the Brock Golf Club and headed into play Monday in fourth place in the overall points race.
The 14-year-old Fonthill resident credits a swing change for turning his game around.
“My swing just didn’t feel right. We changed it over at the beginning of this season and it is beginning to produce.”
His father, Wouter Oelofse, has helped him reinvent his swing.
“He has been playing a lot with me, he knows what is best for me and he is quite knowledgable about golf.”
His swing looks quite a bit different in 2022.
“I would get on my toes and flick my wrists and I would spray the ball everywhere,” said the St. Alexander graduate, who is heading to Ridley College in the fall for Grade 9. “We were working towards getting more turn in the body and getting away from jumping and flicking the wrists.”
Kian, who started swinging a club when he was three or four years old and had been playing competitive golf for the past three years, works hard on his game and plays and practices five or six times a week.
He never grows tired of the sport.
“I just love it,” he said. “It’s the fact that you can play it for the rest of your life compared to other sports where you might get too old to play. You can go out and play nine holes in the evening and it’s all quiet. And you get to play with your friends which is great.”
So far, the highlight of his career was a hole in one he scored July 14, 2020 on the eighth hole at Lookout Point.
“I hit the ball and it started on-line and as I watched it I said, ‘Damn, this could be good.’ My playing partners got up to the green and started screaming that they didn’t see a ball. They had carts so they got there before me and they looked in the hole and there it was.”
Oelofse played travel hockey for the Pelham Panthers this past season and this fall he is going to try out for the hockey team at Ridley College.
The tour concludes next Monday at Beechwood.
Below are the leaderboards from each division.
Under-19 girls: Sierra Kowalyshyn, Sawmill 78; Casey Kenney, Sawmill 78; Emma Leitch 80; Hazel Templeman 103.
Under-19 boys: Nathan Freure, Sawmill 73; Aidan Lopinski, Lookout Point 76; Noah LeBrassuer, Cherry Hill 76; Hudson Mielko, Players Club Ottawa 79; Morgan Daly, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club 79; Ben Kelly, Sawmill 79; Caleb Shorthouse, Twenty Valley 81; Cole Thompson, Sawmill 82; Cameron Mullins, Pen Lakes 84; Aidan Smith, Players Club Ottawa 84.
Under-15 boys: Kian Oelofse, Lookout Point 72; Matthew Gray, Sawmill 73; Trent Clarke, Sawmill 75; Ben Julie, Sawmill 78; Andrew Burciul 79; Chase Partridge, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club 82; Carson Jubenville, Twenty Valley 90; Carter Fulkerson Players Club Ottawa 90; Dawson Dermatas, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club 90; Pearse Conlon, Players Club Hamilton 94.
Under-13 boys: Brennan Turner, Pen Lakes 78; Vince Belardi, Sawmill 87; Daxx Partridge, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club 91; Landon Friesen, Sawmill 93.