Rossland junior golfer Tyler McKay proved one thing this week, he can definitely play with Canada’s best.
McKay made the cut Wednesday at the Canadian Junior Boys Golf Championship at the par 71 Osprey Ridge Golf Club in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
The Rossland-Trail Country Club golfer was tied for 24th after shooting an opening round 74 and followed that up with a 76 Wednesday good enough for a 30th place tie and a berth through with the top 75 golfers.
“It’s the biggest tournament in Canada so I was pretty happy I made the cut,” said McKay following his third round Thursday.
The 16 year old started great on both days, birdieing the second hole par-5 to set the tone. Unfortunately, in Thursdays third round, the par-5, 550-yard hole bit back. McKay launched his drive down the middle of the fairway, setting up a 100-yard approach to the green when disaster struck.
“I chunked it into the bunker, and then I thinned it through the bunker out of bounds.” McKay took an eight for a triple bogey, to set up a disappointing score of 81 on the day.
“I played terrible today, it was one of my worst games. I just wasn’t on with any part of my game really. It was kind of all bad,” he said.
The debacle on two, led to another three bogies, a double bogey and a birdie on the front nine for a 42. McKay regained his composure and got back on track on the back nine posting a 3-over 39.
“I can still do pretty good. I mean just making it to the final two rounds was a big accomplishment.”
Ryan Borg of Orangeville, Ont. sat atop the leaderboard after carding a second-round score of 4-under par 67. Third round play was delayed in the afternoon and final scores unavailable.
Borg carded a bogey-free round that included four birdies to sit at 2-under par 140 heading into third round play.
“It’s the second time I’ve ever done it,” said Borg, commenting on his bogey-free effort. “I was out on the course, and I was like ‘I haven’t made a bogey,’ and you just can’t let it creep into your head, so I did a really good job blocking that out, and blocking out thoughts like ‘I’m probably leading, I’m 4-under.’ I just tried to keep making birdies, and keep playing my game and I hope to do that tomorrow.”
Borg holds a one-stroke lead over Montreal’s Daniel Knight who is in sole possession of second place. Knight, a sophomore at Dartmouth College, shot 2-under par 69 on the day and is 1-under par 141 for the championship.
Team Canada Development Squad member Adam Svensson of Surrey also shot 2-under par 69 on the day to sit T3 alongside Nick Browning of Midhurst, Ont. at 2-over par 144, four shots off the lead.
Following Thursday’s round, McKay said he was hitting the driving range to work on his iron shots and to salvage a very promising start. Despite the disappointing third round, the results of the first two days indicate that McKay can indeed play with Canada’s best.
“I’ve always doubted that I could play with them, but now I fully think I can, it’s just that today was so bad, it just wasn’t fun,” said McKay.
Anyone who has ever swung a golf club understands completely.
With files from Golf Canada.