Parksville golfer Gavyn Knight was able to stay cool and composed, despite some soaring temperatures and tough competition, to win the 2021 B.C. Junior Boys Championships Friday at Morningstar Golf Club.
The 17-year-old played a steady and consistent four rounds of golf, shooting a 74-71-71-71 to end up with a 1-under 287 on the course he knows so well.
“It means a little bit more because I grew up playing here,” said Knight. “To have the B.C. junior here and win it is pretty good.”
Knight, who works at and uses Morningstar as his prime training ground, used his knowledge and experience on the course to his advantage.
“It definitely played a role for sure because I could hit shots and I knew where the ball is going,” said Knight.
Finishing in second place, five strokes behind at 292 (73-73-71-75), was Cooper Humphreys of Vernon, who unfortunately suffered an equipment malfunction when his putter broke.
“I think because of the hot weather the epoxy got loose and it just came off,” said Cooper. “I felt it on hole two. The face opened when I hit the ball and of course it missed just low right. Same thing on the next hole.”
The rule does not allow the broken putter to be replaced. Cooper was forced to putt with his wedge for nine holes until his putter was repaired. He said he was disappointed.
“It could have made a big difference with my score,” said Cooper. “But it is what it is.”
Going into the final round, Knight, who had the support of family, friends and fellow workers at Morningstar who followed him on the final day, enjoyed a slight lead. He indicated that he was nervous at the start.
“In the first couple of holes they (nerves) were there but it settled down a little bit throughout the rounds,” said Knight. “I wasn’t really thinking about the lead that much. Just to go out and make birdies.”
To keep his game consistent and steady, Knight said, he took more time on the putting green.
“I haven’t been putting that great this week but today was a different story,” said Knight, who was pleased with the way he kept his numbers consistent and low throughout the tournament.
Winning the B.C. junior crown Knight said will likely increase his stock and put him in a good position when he prepares for university. He will be Grade 12 next school year and is still waiting patiently for offers from universities or colleges.
“They just said ‘have a good summer and keep us posted,’” said Knight. “So this will hopefully help.”
Knight will next be preparing for the 119th B.C. Amateur Championships at Stoney Creek Golf Club in Campbell River from July 12 to July 16.
Austin Armanini of Vernon, Ryan Liang of Vancouver and Charlie Derrheim of Delta all finished at 8-over 296. Armanini won a playoff to decide third spot.
• West Vancouver’s Jennifer Gu took the junior girls B.C. title finishing with a 7-over 295. Tina Jiang of Richmond was second at 299. Jian fired a sizzling 3-under 69 on the final day, but was unable to overcome a first-round 83.
Martina Yu of Coquitlam finished third at plus-12 (300).
Chelsea Truong of Victoria was the top Vancouver Island finisher, ending in fourth spot at plus-14 (302), including a final-round 71.
BC Golf chief executive officer Kris Jonasson was impressed with the calibre of play shown by the youngsters, who he said were given a stern test on the challenging Morningstar layout.
“The golf course is beating up some of the kids but it’s great learning experience for them,” said Jonasson. “It’s wonderful that they can play on a first-class venue and see what it is they need to get to in order to play at the top level.”