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Local golfer new Ontario Junior Girls Championby Julie Druker
The GAO's Mary Ann Hayward presents Augusta James of Bath, ON with the Ontario Junior Girls championship trophy
When the final round of the GAO's Investors Group Juvenile and Junior Girls Ontario Championships wound up on July 8 at Rivendell Golf Club in Verona, seventeen-year-old Augusta James of Bath, ON remained true to the words she had spoken two days earlier after round one: “Winning the event would be a realistic goal for me.”
And win she did, becoming the new Ontario Junior Girls Champion.
Her final score after three rounds played in three consecutive days of blazing heat, was even par, four shots ahead of Brittany Marchand of Brampton.
James actually birdied her final hole to bring her score to 1 under par, but the three members of the final groups were assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play.
James and Marchand were battling for first place from the start of the tournament. Marchand carded the best round of the tournament with a two under par 69 on the first day, followed by a three over par 74 on day 2 for a 1 over score going into the final round showdown with James. James had been the picture of consistency, with identical even par 71s on each of the first two rounds, giving her a one shot lead going into round 3.
James extended her lead with a birdie on the par 3 second hole, but then fell one shot behind on the very next hole. She had a double bogie 6 while Marchand made birdie.
By the end of nine holes the girls were tied at two over for the tournament, but then James birdied both 10 and 11 while Marchand went par-bogie over the same stretch, giving James a three shot lead that was never really challenged.
James spoke to the press about winning the Ontario championship so close to home. “It means a lot that the win was close to home but I really wanted this win no matter what and I played out there shot by shot, really trying not to think about that– I'm just really excited to have this win at all, especially knowing that I'm competing against Ontario's best.”
Asked about her shaky first nine on day 3 and how she regrouped mentally, James replied, “I knew I had the shots so I had to just let them show. I wasn't too concerned cause I did the same on the first day as well.”
Her mindset coming into the third day was positive.
“I've been in this position before so I could draw on that and I felt confident. I was 'good nervous' starting out this morning which is something that I am always trying to work on.”
She said she could feel the energy in the crowd at the final hole but, “You have to use that energy in a positive way and not let it make you nervous.”
She said what she was happiest about in
her game was that ”everything was decent-nothing was spectacular
but also nothing fell apart.”
James is playing this week at a CN Canadian Women’s tour event in Gatineau, Quebec and is the first alternate for the US Junior Girls Championship in two weeks
Another local golfer, Rivendell member Sydney Asselstine placed in a tie for 36th, after a final round 89, to go with scores of 84 and 85 in the first two rounds. On the final day she ran into trouble at the bell hole, number 5 where she had a bad shot off the tee and ended up with a 9. Though she admitted that she was “never really in contention”, overall she was pleased with her play. “I just went out and played my game and tried to put a little competition out there and played as well as I could.”
Members of the club who lined the sidelines were treated to some exciting golf over the three-day event. Long-time Rivendell Club member Roger Dixie of Kingston said, “These girls are sensational golfers. I'm really impressed. I knew they'd be good but I didn't know that they'd be this good.”
The club's owner Ken Harper was thrilled to be hosting the event for the first time in the history of the 32-year-old course.” The girls really seem to be enjoying the course and we've been a long time in making Rivendell into the course that it is. I feel that hosting this event is definitely like a seal of approval, and something we've all been working long and hard towards.”
Club officials believe that the tournament has opened the doors to the possibility of hosting similar high calibre events at Rivendell in the future.