It’s been a challenge with declining numbers of junior golfers to keep the John Hicks Memorial Junior Golf Tournament at Mount Brenton Golf Club going, but Pat Irwin is a determined man.
Irwin, a Saltair resident who’s also the Zone 6 chair for junior golf between Port Hardy in the north to Lake Cowichan, welcomed 22 players to the two-day event. He’d always like to see more on the course, but it’s such a great experience for the players and encouraging to see the younger kids – and there were five of them in this event – out there getting into the swing of things in golf.
There were no hometown Mount Brenton players in the tournament and only a couple from the other Cowichan Valley clubs, Cowichan Golf and Country Club and Arbutus Ridge. But there was a good assortment from other clubs around the Island and Myrtle Point in Powell River.
“Victoria people like to come up here,” noted Irwin. “We are really the only zone that has two-day tournaments for them.”
The top two players in low gross were both from the Victoria area.
Chase Basanta of Gorge Vale had what Irwin called two rounds that were “very consistent.” He shot 74 both days for a 148 total.
Just one back was Daniel Bennett from Victoria Golf Club, who’s also the Bantam champion for the zone, with a 74 the first day and 75 during the second round for a 149.
Isaiah Brach of Myrtle Point, who’s in his final year of junior eligibility, shot a 151.
Sarah Phipps of Victoria was the girls’ leader with a 178. Campbell River’s Dana Smith checked in at 192 and Rebecca Kim from Eaglecrest 193.
Irwin said the five little ones entered showed plenty of promise.
Pat Hicks represented the Hicks family at the presentations following the tournament, named after his dad.