Two first-time winners at Grand Niagara
By Bill Potrecz - BP Sports Niagara
Matthew Martel earned brotherly bragging rights, edging younger sibling Michael Martel to capture the boys U19 division at a Niagara District Junior Golf Tour stop Wednesday at Grand Niagara.
The defending champion, who golfs out of Lookout Point, fired a two-under par 70 to defeat Michael by five strokes. Nathan Freure of Sawmill made a late charge to finish second with a 74.
Matthew Martel, who also won earlier on the tour this year at Rockway Vineyards, was aware Michael was in his rear view mirror.
“I had kind of heard from a buddy he (Michael) was a couple over (par) so I was happy for him,” Matthew said. “At that point, it was a four or five stroke gap so I just didn’t want to do anything stupid. I didn’t think anyone was going to be able to catch me so (it was) just play smart.”
Matthew said there is a mutual respect between himself and his brother, who is three years his junior.
“I think most of the time we’re helping each other,” he said. “If it got down the stretch of an event that was very close, it might be a little bit of a different story — there might a little bit of a rivalry — but for the most part it’s just trying to help each other.”
Matthew, a 17-year-old graduate of Notre Dame, said it isn’t uncommon for the two brothers to hit a bucket of balls together.
“I have buddies I golf with a lot but just the convenience of just going pretty well every night, just having someone there to take a swing video or something, it’s really helpful.”
Michael won the first tour stop at Brock last month.