Ryan Vest enjoyed some home course cooking.
The Boston Pizza-presented Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s BC series headed to Vernon this past week for the MJT’s PLYR Golf-presented tournament at a sweltering hot Predator Ridge Golf Resort. Amazing scores were posted out of a talented field of 83 players from all over western Canada, who had gathered at one of Canada’s finest golf resorts to compete for titles in seven divisions as well spots on Team West at the MJT National Team Challenge presented by Freedom 55 Financial at Royal Niagara Golf Club later this summer.
Vernon’s Vest, 13, after a second place finish at the recent MJT Ford Series at Kelowna’s Okanagan Golf Club, pushed through to win the MJT Bantam Boys Division at his home club. Vest made nine birdies on his way to shooting great rounds of 70 and 69 (139).
“I hit a lot of approach shots close to the hole which allowed me to make those birdies,” said Vest.
Finishing in a tie for second were Langley’s Caleb Davies, 14, and Surrey’s Noah Karlgren, 14, who both shot rounds of 75 and 73 (148).
Three other North Okanagan golfers cracked the top-1o in the division. Andrew Ferworn of Vernon was sixth with back-to-back 77s for a 154 total, two better than Braxton McDonald of Coldstream (76-80). Jaden Snitynsky of Vernon was eighth after rounds of 82 and 80.
Kendra Jones-Munk of the Vernon Golf Club could not hold a six-shot lead and fell by one shot in the MJT Girls 15-18 division to Natasha Kozlowski, 17, of Prince George. Kozlowski started her second round with four birdies on the front nine.
Jones-Munk had rounds of 77-82-159.
Austin Armanini of Vernon was 16th in the Juvenile Boys field, shooting rounds of 80-82 for a 162 total. The division was won by Tony Bin of West Vancouver, who went 70-73 to finish at 1-over 143.
Summerland’s Declan Riddle, who plays out of Predator Ridge, held onto a five-shot lead after the first day to capture the MJT Junior Boys title. The 18-year-old shot rounds of 72 and 69 (141) to acquire his first career MJT tournament victory. John Paul Kahlert, 17, of Maple Ridge finished second with scores of 77 and 69 (146).
The MJT Collegiate Division was won by Penticton, BC-player, Jackson Coates, 19, with two rounds of 75 (150). In both rounds, Coates came back with better back-nine scores after slower starts.
Heading into Vernon, the tour stopped in Kelowna at the Okanagan Golf Club, where it was a birdie fest for hometown golfer Cooper Humphries.
The Zone 2 Order of Merit winner, who placed tied for third at the 117th annual B.C. Men’s Amateur Championships, fired 11 birdies and an eagle over 36 holes to win the Bantam Division with scores of 66-72-138. He was two shots better than Vest, who rolled consecutive 70s for a 140 total.
Ferworn was fourth with rounds of 73-73 for 146. Snitynsky cracked the top-10, shooting 76-78 for 154, good for a tie for ninth place.
Jones-Munk tied for fourth in the 13-18 Girls Division, shooting rounds of 84-81 for a 165 total.
Armanini was 10th in the juvenile boys division with rounds of 81-79 for a 160 total, 16 shots behind the winner, Kyle Mayner of Kelowna, who shot consecutive even-par rounds of 72.