Junior golf: McKay tops list of junior qualifiers

A three-way battle for top spot came down to the last hole on the B.C. junior men’s golf qualifier on Sunday.

A three-way battle for top spot came down to the last hole on the B.C. junior men’s golf qualifier on Sunday, with Rossland Trail Country Club’s Tyler McKay taking home top honours.

The two-day event doubled as stops on the Zone 1 West junior golf circuit, in Castlegar and Trail, as well as determining qualifiers for the B.C. Junior Men’s Golf Championships. All the juniors played 18 holes Saturday in Castlegar and then 18 holes Sunday at Birchbank. Heading into the last hole of the day at the Birchbank, McKay, Brenan Moroney (RTCC) and Jordan Hoodikoff from Christina Lake were even.

The lead actually changed hands four times throughout the day between Moroney, McKay and Hoodikoff after the being separated by one stroke to start the day at the top of the field of 14 eligible golfers.

But it came down to the 18th hole where Moroney missed a four-foot putt for par, and Hoodikoff missed a 12-foot putt for an eagle that would have sent the young golfers to extra holes.

First place and a two-day total of 149 gave McKay the first of four automatic exempt zone spots for the BC junior men’s golf championships in Gibsons June 10-12, while Moroney and Hoodikoff — who tied for second at 150 — and Braden McKay (163) will be making the trip. Two more Zone 1 spots will still be awarded for the B.C. Junior, on performance based entry (PBE).

Tyler McKayand Moroney both held a share of the lead at the end of the day on Saturday with identical rounds of 74. Braden McKay and Hoodikoff were tied at 78 after day one and Ryan Fullerton was five back of the fourth spot with an 83. Alex Rugg (Champion Lakes) was six shots behind with an 84.

In the race for the fourth spot, Braden McKay, who had started the day with a five-shot lead, struggled early in his final round and both Ryan Fullerton and Rugg made an early run to grab the fourth spot.

After nine holes Braden McKay’s lead had shrunk to two shots, but a birdie on the par-five 10th hole, and then a run of four pars in a row, was enough for him to hold on.

Garrett Underwood of Champion Lakes and Nolan Renwick of Nelson struggled on Saturday in Castlegar but both golfers posted much better results on Sunday. Underwood ended up finishing in a three-way tie for fifth with Fullerton and Rugg, while Renwick finished in eighth.

Notes

• The Browell brothers, Trevor, Aiden and Jesse, from Champion Lakes golf club made their first start.

• James Booth was back playing after taking some time off from shoulder surgery.

• Amber Arnold, Castlegar, posted her best round with a 78 on Saturday.