Joel Veenstra watches as his last shot heads for the hole to win the Northern Cup golf tourney. Tom Best photo

Young star walks away with Northern Open championship

Photos of all the winners at this year’s Northern Open in Smithers.

With a number of big wins over the last few seasons already in his pocket, it’s hard to come up with a result that can be better.

Hometown competition. Perfect weather. End of the summer. Playing against many of the players who taught him the game and were his heroes, Joel Veenstra produced three great rounds to win the Northern Open championship recently at the Smithers Golf Club.

Notching up rounds of 68, 73 and 73 for a two under par total of 214, he will have his name on a trophy he’s looked at all his life.

Veenstra is going into his last year of high school here and while he has no definite plans about which school he might attend, he has some ideas and has been approached by several schools about enrolment.

“I think I’d like to go to some place in the Northwest. It wouldn’t be so far away from home,” he said.

Although he is no stranger to being among the leaders and winners on the junior circuit, winning the Northern has been special. He entered the competition as a favorite, one of only a handful with a zero handicap.

In this type of tournament, player scoring is done in two different method. There is the “gross” score in which the total number of shots taken is added for each round. The “net” score is a bit different in that the shots are added together but the golfer’s handicap is then subtracted from each round.

The handicap is a measure of each player’s relative ability based in how they perform compared to par. This is determined by their scoring over a period of time. It is an attempt to match players of different proficiency to play on equal terms.

Don Olson shot 74, 72, and 77, earning overall low net honours with a net 202 score.

“I’ve won other tournaments before but to play and win in front of a big crowd at home was exciting,” he said.

Veenstra thought that while his overall game was strong, he felt that using his irons well made a big difference.

“I didn’t putt really well so my iron game and off the tee shots took a lot of pressure off,” he said.

While playing in a number of other big tournaments, Veenstra has learned to play with some pressure, and the Northern Open was no exception.

Going into the final round, no one had a big lead. His father Tim Veenstra said that playing in front of the home town crowd provided some extra pressure.

“Playing with guys that he has looked up to was something special. When he was a young junior, he would ask to caddy for players in this tournament. And now, at 17 he gets to win the Northern. It’s pretty impressive,” he said.

“It’s probably the biggest tournament in the North. For a local boy who’s been growing up watching these people play since he was five years old, it means a lot to him.”

As he heads back to school, Veenstra will be doing less golf but he won’t be any less busy as he looks toward playing volleyball and hockey.

 

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212

The final round of the Northern Cup championship was played in nearly perfect weather. The course provided it’s usual challenges, especially on the ninth hole. Don Olson receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Net Trophy from Club Professional Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. Phil Kerbrat 226, Ken Dickson 241, Behn Cochrane 257 (Augie Penner), Joe Bruno 266 (Don Malkow), Tim Boyko 278 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Fourth Low Net Winners Joel Veenstra receives 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Overall Low Gross Trophy from Club Pro Lance Barber 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Scott Rigler 217, Steve Kerbrat 232, Malcolm MacMillan 250, Mark Grabowski 255, Jim Collins 276 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open First Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L=R Rory Little 214, Jeff Rasmussen 209, Paul Sampson 211, Joey Mindel 208, Ciril Habjan 204 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Dylan Kerbrat 221, Rick Malkow 237, Tim O’Coffey 252, Bruce Poulin 257, Jim Cameron 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Second Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R Don Mayer 211 CB, Ron Van Driel 214, Mike Smith 223, Dana Atagi 213, Mark Bandstra 206 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Gross Winners L-R Flights A, B, C, D & E. L-R David Venman 223, Rob Kerbrat 240, Tim O’Coffey 252, John Howard 260, Des McKinnon 277 CB 2017 Smithers Mens Northern Open Third Low Net Winners L-R Flights A, C, B, D & E. L-R Paul Kerbrat 211, Roy Cage 224, Dustin Kerbrat 216, Mike Leduc 216, Darren George 212