By Lethbridge Herald on June 30, 2015.
Andrew Harrison of Camrose Golf Club is the first-round leader after a hot, overcast day at the Alberta Junior Boys Golf Championship at Henderson Lake Golf Club on Monday.
Harrison leads the junior boys at three-under par after carding a 67. He was followed closely by Alex Smith of Pinebrook Country Club in Calgary. Smith trailed Harrison by two strokes â€” which Harrison picked up thanks to an eagle on No. 10. There were two eagles on that hole, one of the easier on the day.
â€œAndrew Harrison made a bet with me that heâ€™d hit a 64, and he got a 67 today so maybe Iâ€™d better have some money ready,â€ joked CPGA and Henderson golf pro Dean Spriddle. â€œHe had a good round and heâ€™s a good golfer. He had a good gameplan, knew where the pins were and planned for that and it paid off.â€
Â All joking aside, Spriddle said Henderson is a tough course and it didnâ€™t hold back against the 120 young golfers. Spriddle said they can expect the greens to get softer with a bit of rain and more hot, humid temperatures like they saw Monday.
Spriddle said before the event that a par score might win it, but with two below-par scores on the leaderboard, Spriddle said par may not be enough.
â€œItâ€™s a tough course but if those kids can keep at it, thereâ€™s every reason to think theyâ€™ll score under par for the four rounds.â€
The event features boys and girls golf for junior (U19) and juvenile (U17) age groups. Second-place Smith is a juvenile-aged player, as is girlsâ€™ junior leader Katy Rutherford. Rutherford leads the girls field by four strokes after carding a plus-one 72. She bogeyed No. 3 on the front nine and played the back even, recording three birdies and three bogeys.
â€œThe back is easier than the front,â€ said Spriddle, who added that the front nine at Henderson is a grind, but there are still a few trouble spots on the back.
â€œWhen I watched the kids out on the course today, the one thing I thought was that, in general, theyâ€™re too defensive,â€ said the former CPGA teacher of the year and Canadian junior team coach. â€œLot of irons and hybrids off the tee boxes.
â€œI think at Henderson, if you drive off the tee, be a little more aggressive, youâ€™ll find itâ€™s easier than laying off. Itâ€™s a course that rewards you for hitting driver off the tee.â€
Pincher Creekâ€™s Ethan Choi was tied for 12th at three-over with his biggest blemish a double bogey on No. 14. He birdied the par-5 third hole and No. 10 to card a 73. Lethbridgeâ€™s Mason Harder carded a 77 to tie for 37th, 10 shots back. Darin Bertschi of Lethbridge finished with a 79, while Jeff Masse struggled on the front after a terrific back nine and carded an 80. Masse was one-over after the back, including a birdie on 18.
Spriddle said with approximately 50 members volunteering for the event, it has 10 per cent of the membership involved and with all the young golfers coming down early to practise the course on the weekend, itâ€™s been a fun time at the club.
â€œThe members have gotten behind it and thatâ€™s the important thing,â€ said Spriddle. â€œIt makes it fun for them and itâ€™s a great event for the players on a very challenging course. I think the clubâ€™s done a great job, the course is in great shape and weâ€™re going to see some really great golf before the week is finished.â€
The boys event is four rounds, with the girls event taking three.