Martel, Kenny capture top spots
By Bill Potrecz - July 12, 2021
Ben Julie of Sawmill shot 73 to place first in the Boys U13 division Monday at Rockway Vineyards on the Niagara District Junior Golf Tour. Photo by: BILL POTRECZ.
Matthew Martel picked up right where he left off last season.
The defending U19 boys champion carded a one-under par 71 to capture first place at the second stop on the Niagara District Junior Golf Tour at Rockway Vineyards Monday.
“It felt pretty good,” said Martel, who golfs out of Lookout Point. “The course wasn’t playing too, too long so it gave me a chance to hit a lot of irons off tees and keep it in play and then have mid irons or wedges going in.”
The 17-year-old Notre Dame graduate edged out Nathan Freure of Sawmill and Noah LeBrasseur of Players Club (Ottawa) by four strokes for the win.
“Obviously the end goal is to win but I also go there and focus on my game and try to refine anything for more events, whether it be J tour or provincial stuff,” Martel said when asked for his mindset heading into the day.
Martel, who missed last week’s opener on the tour won by his younger brother Michael, enjoys the junior circuit.
“It’s a competitive atmosphere so there are still nerves associated with it but it’s not quite the same thing as being on the first tee at a provincial championship or nationals,” he said. “It’s that good middle bridge of good, competitive native and there are nerves, but it’s a lighter atmosphere.”
Martel played at the Golf Association of Ontario Junior Spring Classic last week.
“I definitely didn’t play my best. I was able to scramble the first two days and shoot decent rounds but the third day got away from me,” he said.
Still, he was able to take something from the experience.
“You just keep grinding,” he said. “You’re going to have opportunities so if you make a couple of bogeys you can get it back. From the last day (I learned) there are going to be chances to get back into the round and you just have to take advantage, whether it be a shorter hole or a five-footer for birdie to get everything back on track. It’s really important to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Martel isn’t quite sure what is on the horizon this summer.
“Everything is kind of up in the air because of COVID,” he said. “I’d like to just to go play well at the provincial juniors and I’d like to qualify for the nationals which I would have done last year but it wasn’t played. I’d like to qualify for the Canadian Men’s Am as well.”
Martel has been accepted at McMaster University in the biomedical engineering program, but may take a year off.
“I’m thinking about deferring for a year and maybe working or job shadowing and maybe pursuing golf depending on how this summer goes.”