CAMLACHIE — The Ontario Juvenile Boys’ and Girls’ Championships wrapped up on Aug. 17 from Sawmill Creek Golf Resort in Camlachie in rainy conditions. The players faced a two-hour delay early in the round and battled on-again off-again rain throughout the day. Despite the weather, the tournament did finish in full. At the end of the day, Fonthill’s Freddy D’Angelo claimed the boys’ championship, while Markham’s Victoria Zheng captured the girls’ title in a playoff.
D’Angelo, from Lookout Point Country Club, entered the round with a three-shot lead over Ottawa’s Romi Dilawri. He was consistent early in the final round with four straight pars. He knocked in a birdie on the fifth and went to the turn one-under. Three bogey’s on the back nine made things interesting, but he secured the win with a birdie on the 16th and ended the round one-over (72) to finish the tournament at seven-under (66-68-72-206).
“This is a very important win for me,” said D’Angelo. “It is probably the biggest for me so far. Heading into the day, even with the weather, I knew I was playing well. I just tried to do my best and it paid off.”
D’Angelo, who was runner up at the Ontario Junior Boys’ Match Play Championship just a few weeks ago, said that his performance there really helped motivate him for this week. “I have been hitting the ball really well lately and I would say my putting has been a strong point.”
In a bit of a surprise, second place went to Little Britain’s Cody Clark. Clark, from Oliver’s Nest Golf Club, began the day at even par and in the fourth from last group. He went on to shoot the low round of the day, a five-under (66), which included eight birdies and three bogeys. That allowed him to claim the silver with a tournament total of five-under (72-70-66-208).
Dilawri would hang on to take home the bronze. He got out to a great start and was three-under through six. He made the turn two-under but had some struggles on the back nine. He went on to finish the day one-over (72) and ended the tournament four-under (68-69-72-209).
The girls’ championship came right down to the wire. Entering the day, Markham’s Hailey McLaughlin held a slim one-shot lead over Zheng. McLaughlin and Zheng would shoot four-over on the front nine, while their playing partner, North Gower’s Dylann Armstrong, shot a three-over front nine. That resulted in McLaughlin holding a one-stroke lead over the other two as they made the turn.
McLaughlin ran into some trouble early on the back nine, which opened the door for Zheng and Armstrong. The two were tied as they came up the 18th. After overshooting the green on her approach, Armstrong drained a 20-footer to put the pressure on Zheng. Zheng too would make par, forcing a playoff.
In the playoff, Zheng would tap in for par, while Armstrong made bogey resulting in the win for Zheng. She finished the day six-over (77) for a tournament total of six-over (71-71-77-219) and the title.
“It feels good,” said Zheng after the round. “I am so honoured to win this. My competitors were very strong, which made me fight to win. During the playoff, I was just trying to stay calm and not get too nervous and it worked out in the end.”
When it came to pinpointing her strength during the week, Zheng said it was her play from the tees and fairways. “I would say my long game. I hit a lot of greens this week. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a lot of putts but I still made a lot of pars.”
Armstrong took home the silver also at six-over (74-69-76-219). Despite her troubles, McLaughlin still finished on the podium with the bronze medal. She ended the day nine-over (80) to complete the tournament at eight-over (70-71-80-221).
Golf Ontario would like to thank Sawmill Creek Golf Resort and Spa for hosting the Championships. Thanks also to the Golf Ontario volunteers who make these events possible.
For complete tournament information, including the final leaderboards, see the tournament sites at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao17/event/gao177/index.htm for the Boys’ Championship and https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao17/event/gao178/index.htm for the Girls’ Championship.
About the Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championships
The Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championship is a 54-hole competition that features the province’s best junior golfers under the age of 17 competing for the Mike Weir Trophy. Notable past champions include: Josh Whalen, Brandon Ng, Tim McCutcheon, Peter R. Knechtel, Bob Panasiuk and Gary Cowan.
About the Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championships
The Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championship features the province’s best junior golfers under the age of 17 competing for the Sandra Post Trophy. Past champions of the event include: Sandra Post, Jessica Shepley, Alena Sharp, Stephanie Sherlock, and Rebecca Lee-Bentham.