Brady McKinlay nearly had a hold of the Canadian Junior Boys Golf Championships title in Medicine Hat last week.
The 17-year-old from Lacombe lead for the majority of the tournament, but fell to sixth in the third round last Thursday.
In the first, he tied for the lead with four players at three under par. He was the only leader to hold on in the second round, scoring an even par of 71 and giving himself a two-stroke lead on second place.
McKinlay says he started the tournament on the right foot, and put himself in position to succed.
“That course was very demanding right off the tee. I was putting (the ball) in the right spots, I was getting myself in the right spots on the fairway and it was much easier to get into the greens,” he said.
“I was putting well all week, so that helped as well.”
The third round, however, proved to be a little more difficult. He was one over 72, and tied for sixth with two over par, falling short of earning himself the national title.
“I kind of put myself in the wrong spot right off the tee and it made it that much tougher for the rest of the hole,” he said. “I still parred well, but I think if I was better of the tee that day, it would’ve been much lower.
“I was OK with it – I think it’s OK to have just one bad round, really.”
Christopher Vandette of Beaconsfield, Que. won the tournament with a six under par 65, finishing two strokes ahead of Gerry Mei and Oliver Menard.
While McKinlay finished sixth, he was still the top Albertan at the tournament, and the only one to make the top 10. Fellow Central Albertans, Chandler McDowell of Springbrook and Carter Graf of Sylvan Lake were right behind him, tied for 11th at four over par.
Chase Broderson, also of Lacombe finished nine over par in the second round, missing the cut to advance to the third. However, he played in the junior open at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club Aug. 1 and finished in first at one over 72. Jenna Sand won on the ladies side.
The tournament was McKinlay’s last of the season, as he heads to college at York College in Nebraska where he’ll study sports management. There, he plans to play in college-level tournaments starting in September.