Keeping it in the family

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

While the notable names on the Manitoba golf scene littered the leader board after the first round of the Manitoba Men's Amateur Golf Championship yesterday at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club, there's another name -- more specifically the last name -- that will pop out to this province's golf fans.

Twenty one-year-old Brayden Hnatiuk is the nephew of local professional golfer Glen Hnatiuk and is competing in the event. Even though Glen only comes back to Manitoba once a year for his golf tournament in Selkirk, Brayden still grabs a tip or two when he can.

"It's not too bad," Brayden said yesterday after shooting an opening round 83 at the amateur.

"He's helped me out with my golf swing."

But getting those tips can sometimes prove to be difficult. Not that the pro doesn't want to offer advice, it's just that when he comes back home it's to relax.

"Usually when my uncle is around here he doesn't want to talk golf," Brayden said. "He wants to take it easy and relax."

Keeping it in the family, Brayden's dad Jeff, who is the president and CEO of Sport Manitoba, is his caddy this week.

"The first nine was kind of nerve-wrecking having my dad there," he said. "The back nine I settled down and did a little better."

As for the leaderboard, Niakwa's Mike Keast and Southwood's Terry Reilly are tied for the lead after each shooting four-under-par 68 scores.

"I played really solid today, got off to a really good start. I made about a 10-footer (putt) on one and it was off to the races," Reilly said following his round.

"The course is in great condition, greens are rolling real smooth. You can't ask for a better day to play golf. No wind, so the course was there for the taking."

Defending champion Matt Johnston of St. Charles, Pine Ridge's Brad Kirton and Glendale's Andrew Steep are in a three-way tie for third place at three-under-par 69.

After tomorrow's second round, the field will get cut to the low 60 and ties and move to the Minnewasta Golf and Country Club in Morden. Reilly says that could change the dynamics of the tournament.

"This is a course where you hit a lot of drivers and wedges," he said. "Minnewasta is kind of placement, keeping the ball on the fairway and try and limit your mistakes."


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