Two clutch shots and lots of steady play helped Victoria’s Matthew Broughton come from three strokes back to claim the 2012 B.C. Junior Boys championship at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club (SCG&CC) last Friday afternoon.
Heading into the final round, the 18 year old sat three strokes behind third round leader Kevin Kwon from Pitt Meadows.
That lead was up to four strokes after the opening hole after Kwon opened with a birdie, but Kwon got into trouble on the second hole.
Broughton got his score to one under with a birdie on the tough 212-yard par three and that seemed to set the stage for the rest of the day.
“I made a really good putt on three to get my round under par and then another one on the fifth got me to two under, so it was a good start,” Broughton said. “I basically just plodded along from there making the par putts when I needed to and birdies when they came.”
With Broughton sitting -2 on his day through the eighth hole, he would make bogey on the difficult par 3, 196-yard ninth. He would make another birdie on the par-5 11th hole, only to give it back on the par 4, 378-yard 13th hole.
Hitting it into the greenside bunker on his second shot on the par-4 14th hole, Broughton felt his round was starting to slip until he managed the unthinkable coming out of the trap onto the delicate greens, holing out for a birdie 3.
“It’s a little surreal right now. Going into the week I really didn’t know what to expect, but to come out on top is something pretty special,” he said. “I hung in there and made a few birdies, but the putt on 11 was huge and holing that bunker shot on the 14th was probably my shot of the tournament. It was by far the biggest shot I’ve ever made.”
Broughton would stay on track, closing his round with four consecutive pars to post a -5 total (72-72-69-70-283).
Kwon uncharacteristically struggled, making eight bogeys on his day, dropping him into a tie for third place with a closing round 77, -1 overall (70-69-71-77-287).
With the top two spots set in stone, a sudden-death playoff was needed to decide third place and the one remaining spot on Team B.C. for the national championship.
After firing the day’s best score at four-under-par 68 (76-72-71-68-287), Chris Crisologo, 16, of Richmond, booked his ticket to what would be a short battle with Kwon. After making birdie on holes 16 and 17 during regulation to get it to -1 overall, Crisologo set himself in close to the pin on the first playoff hole, the par 4 18th. With Kwon 40 feet away from the hole and missing his lengthy birdie effort, the stage was set for Crisologo to make a slippery sidehill 12-footer for birdie and claim the Team B.C. position. Kwon was awarded a quota for nationals as he finished with the top 15 of this championship.
Team B.C., consisting of Broughton, Ko and Crisologo, will now travel to Osprey Ridge Golf Club in Bridgewater, N.S. July 31 to Aug. 3 to test their game against Canada’s other junior golfers.
This is Broughton’s first championship of any significant value and it was an important moment for the young golfer.
“I’d like to thank everyone — all the volunteers and everyone who made the course what it was because it was in great shape all week,” he said during the trophy presentations. “I’d like to thank the zone five boys for keeping it light last night and thanks to my dad. After all of those lessons and practice, it finally came together, so thanks, Dad.”
SCG&CC head pro said Broughton was very deserving of the title.
“I followed him among the leaders for the final round and he was spot on. He putted very well and made some big shots,” said Pringle. “The shot of 14 was pretty special.”
Pringle said the week was fantastic with great weather and some top-notch golf.
“We had a super group of kids, the course was in fantastic shape. What else can you say? It was a just a great tournament,” Pringle added.
Host committee chair Paul Charron also praised the golfers for a wonderful week.
“Throughout the week, I heard from all the members and the volunteers how much poise and a professional attitude that you brought to the game this week,” Charron said. “I wish you all well in your future endeavours. You do us proud as ambassadors of golf.”
— With files from B.C. Golf