Some local junior golfers have been putting Smithers on the map south of Highway 16 recently. From July 5 to 8, two local golfers competed in the BC Junior Boys Championship, held at the Rossland-Trail Country Club.
Nathan Cachia, who played on the Smithers Secondary School golf team this past year, shot a first day 75 and then a second day 82, missing the cut by only two strokes. Nathan was very excited about his first round and had big hopes of making the cut, but things just didn’t work for him on the second day.
Grant Maskiewich, a former player for the Smithers Secondary team, played quite well. He ended up with a first day 74, second day 76, third day 76 and shot one over part on the final day with a 73, for a total 299, 11 over par. He ended up tied for 30th place.
Meanwhile, south of the border, Kaleb Gorbahn had a very good tournament in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Antigua Milt Coggins Arizona Junior Stroke Play tournament, held at the Maryval Golf Course. Gorbahn played in the 13-14 year old division over the three day tournament, held July 6 to 8.
Gorbahn arrived the day before the tournament was to begin, after a four day drive, and went straight to the closest golf course to see what it was like to play in 43°C heat. The tournament was the first of an anticipated string of events to play while in Arizona, and was also a qualifier for two prestigious events later in July. The top eight players would be invited to 2011 PING Match Play Championship, on July 19 and 20, and the top five would qualify for the PING Arizona Junior Masters on July 21 and 22.
Gorbahn’s first day went well, although he had difficulties figuring out the green speeds at a course he’d never seen aside from looking it up online. He made five three-putts but was still able to shoot a two over par 75 and found himself tied for eighth place. He felt good but was feeling the effects of the heat and sun. The temperature was already in the 30°C range at his early morning tee times.
The second day was a break through day for Gorbahn. He was able to post his first competitive round at one under par, posting a 71. It was also the low round for the day, and he ended the day in a tie for third place.
Gorbahn was in the final group and was two strokes off the lead. The final day was again a great round. With good solid play in extreme heat, he finished the final round at 71, with a three day total of 217, only one over par. He finished in second, only one stroke off first place, and qualified for both of the tournaments later in July.