Two first-time winners at Grand Niagara
Matthew Martel earned brotherly bragging rights, edging younger sibling Michael Martel to capture the boys U19 division at a Niagara District Junior Golf Tour stop Wednesday at Grand Niagara.
The defending champion, who golfs out of Lookout Point, fired a two-under par 70 to defeat Michael by five strokes. Nathan Freure of Sawmill made a late charge to finish second with a 74.
Matthew Martel, who also won earlier on the tour this year at Rockway Vineyards, was aware Michael was in his rear view mirror.
“I had kind of heard from a buddy he (Michael) was a couple over (par) so I was happy for him,” Matthew said. “At that point, it was a four or five stroke gap so I just didn’t want to do anything stupid. I didn’t think anyone was going to be able to catch me so (it was) just play smart.”
Matthew said there is a mutual respect between himself and his brother, who is three years his junior.
“I think most of the time we’re helping each other,” he said. “If it got down the stretch of an event that was very close, it might be a little bit of a different story — there might a little bit of a rivalry — but for the most part it’s just trying to help each other.”
Matthew, a 17-year-old graduate of Notre Dame, said it isn’t uncommon for the two brothers to hit a bucket of balls together.
“I have buddies I golf with a lot but just the convenience of just going pretty well every night, just having someone there to take a swing video or something, it’s really helpful.”
Michael won the first tour stop at Brock last month.
Chase Partridge of the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club came through in the clutch to notch his first win in the boys U13 division.
“My driver and my irons were really good. I found the greens really hard today so I struggled putting,” he said.
The 12-year-old St. Catharines resident finished strong on the final two holes to finish with an 82 and earn the win by one stroke over Matthew Gray of Sawmill.
“I was aware how close it was. I was one back going on to 18 so I had to make par to give me a chance,” he said.
Partridge, who is in his second season on the tour, was confident he could get the job done.
“It made me feel like I have to do this and be confident in myself,” he said.
Partridge’s 10-year-old brother, Daxx, is also a member of the tour and finished seventh with a 95.
The brothers also play AAA hockey where Chase is a defenceman and Daxx a goaltender.
Cole Thompson of Sawmill captured his first tour win, firing an 81 to edge Will Burleigh and Andrew Burciul of Sawmill by one stroke in the boys U15 division.
Thompson, a 14-year-old Beamsville resident, finished strong.
“I struggled a bit on the front nine but then pulled it together on the back nine,” he said. “I had a couple of good holes that kept me in the round and then I found a groove on the last four or five holes.”
Thompson had no idea how tight the scoreboard was until Burleigh mentioned it to him.
“Will was in the group behind us and he told me I was leading by one stroke against him,” Thompson said. “I didn’t know anything about Andrew, but I was assuming he was going to be pretty close.
“I knew there was going to be quite a bit of competition and needed to at least par out to be close to the top.”
Thompson was thrilled to get that first title under his belt.
“I obviously want to win, but I try and focus on doing the best I possibly can and whatever happens in the end happens,” he said. “As long as I tried I best, that’s a good thing.”
Casey Kenney of Sawmill continued her winning ways, carding an 83 to capture her fourth straight tour win in the girls U19 division.
Sierra Kowalyshyn of Sawmill was second, four strokes behind at 87.
Kowalyshyn, a 12-year-old Stoney Creek resident, led for part of the round before struggling at the end.
“I was playing OK and then I had one bad hole and it continued from there,” she said. “I couldn’t recover.”
Kowalyshyn shot an eight on the 400-yard par 5 15th hole.
“I have a little bit of trouble. I was (telling myself) you’re not kind of good enough so it’s hard for me,” she said.
Kowalyshyn, who began playing competitive golf at five, is still looking for her first win on the junior tour but has collected victories on other age-appropriate tournaments.
The tour continues Friday at Willodell; Monday, July 26 at Legends on the Niagara Battlefield; Wednesday, Aug. 4 at Twenty Valley; and Monday, Aug. 23, at Beechwood in Niagara Falls.
1. Chase Partridge, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club +10 82; 2. Matthew Gray, Sawmill Golf Course +11 83; 3. Brennan Turner, Peninsula Lakes Golf Club +14 86; 4. Ben Julie, Sawmill Golf Course +15 87; 5. Trent Clarke,Sawmill Golf Course +16 88; 6. Lucas Sartor, Beechwood Golf & Social House +21 93; 7. Daxx Partridge, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club +23 95; 8. Joseph Zupanic, Sawmill Golf Course +28 100; 9. Ryan Kirkpatrick, Golf Canada ClubHouse – ON +33 105; 10. Carter Fulkerson Players Club – Golf Ontario +35 107.
1. Cole Thompson, Sawmill Golf Course +9 81; T2. Will Burleigh, Sawmill Golf Course +10 82, Andrew Burciul, Sawmill Golf Course +10 82; T4. Elliott Christopher, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club +13 85, Jack Ilskens, Players Club – Hamilton +13 85; 6. Aidan Smith, Players Club – Ottawa +17 89; 7. Blake Furtney, Sawmill Golf Course +19 91; T8. Angelo Butera, Players Club – Ottawa +21 93; T8. Kian Oelofse, Lookout Point Country Club +21 93; 10. Leighton Wurm, Sawmill Golf Course +25 97.
1. Matthew Martel, Lookout Point Country Club -2 70; 2. Nathan Freure, Sawmill Golf Course +2 74; 3. Michael Martel, Lookout Point Country Club, +3 75; 4. Benjamin Hebert, Lookout Point Country Club +6 78; T5. Damien Stehling, Bridgewater Country Club +7 79, Ben Kelly, Sawmill Golf Course +7 79; 7. Morgan Daly, St. Catharines Golf & Country Club +8 80, T8. Noah LeBrasseur, Players Club – Ottawa +10 82, Hudson Mielko, Sawmill Golf Course +10 82, Benjamin Shaver, Sawmill Golf Course +10 82.
1. Casey Kenney, Sawmill Golf Course +11 83; 2. Sierra Kowalyshyn, Sawmill Golf Course +15 87; 3. Anisha Ghosh, Burlington Golf & Country Club +24 96; 4. Marieve Ayres, Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club +26 98.