Nasty Black Bull gores Alta. juniors

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

It was the last stop before the Last Chance Saloon.

And it wasn't easy.

With time running out on their chance to qualify for the final "major championship"of the season, 95 young hopefuls came face to face with one of the province's most challenging layouts yesterday.

It was them versus the Black Bull Golf Resort for the right to compete in the McLennan Ross-Sun Junior Golf Tour championship Aug. 28 at Wolf Creek.

And while Black Bull, a nasty bit of business at Ma-Me-O Beach, claimed its share of victims, the kids got a few licks in, too.

"It's a hard golf course, only four or five kids broke 80," said Tour director Dunc Mills. "I told the kids all summer this would be one of the toughest courses they played on the tour and it turned out that way.

"A few of them got into some trouble; there's a lot of bush out there."

And a few of them, like Mike Bosch in the 19 and under category, negotiated their way around without much difficulty. Bosch, of Bearspaw Country Club in Calgary, won the day with a three-over par 76, edging Tilden Rain of Ironhead by two strokes.

Bosch's win qualifies him for Wolf Creek later this month while Rain's 78 earned him one of two wild-card spots (Joel Bevington of Forestburg, who also shot 78, gets the other).

"Bosch has already had a pretty busy summer," said Mills.

"He finished fourth in the Alberta Junior and was 19th at the Canadian junior a couple of weeks ago. He's a good player. We'll have a good field at Wolf Creek; there are some good ones."

In the category for boys 15 and 16 years old, Jacob Bearhead of Ironhead and Kane Gellert of Red Deer tied for first with matching 80s, but Bearhead won the berth at Wolf Creek in a one-hole playoff.

In the 14 and under division, Wetaskiwin's Joel Johnson's 79 was tops by three strokes.

"All the kids who won their flights today were not previously qualified," said Mills. "So they earned their way in with some good rounds on a hard course."

While the tournament wasn't restricted, it must have seemed that way; there were 93 boys and two girls.

Attracting young females to the game has long been a problem in junior golf, and while it's getting better, there is still a ways to go.

"We had 16 girls for the tour stop in Calgary on Monday," said Mills. "There's more girls in southern Alberta by a long ways. I was a little disappointed (with) 93 boys and two girls, but it was still a great day and it ran like clockwork."

If there were some sweaty grips at Black Bull, it's only going to get worse next Thursday in Nanton, the last of the Tour's 26 stops and the final chance to qualify for the Tour Championship. The field at Wolf Creek will be between 125 and 130.


Videos

Photos