Photo by JOSH ALDRICH/Advocate staff -- for Josh's story -- Sylvan Lake's Jaxon Lynn at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort Links Course on Thursday in Ponoka during the Maple Leaf Junior Tour.

Just the beginning for junior golfer

Jaxon Lynn is in the midst of a break out golf season that included a trip to the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in Niagra Falls, Ont., but he believes this is just the beginning. On Thursday, the Sylvan Lake golfer fired an opening round 4-over-76 at the Maple Leaf Junior Tour stop at Wolf Creek Golf Resort’s links course to sit in a tie for third in the division, four shots behind Red Deer’s Grant Numrich, 17. Chandler McLaren, 19, from Ponoka was second with a 75.

Jaxon Lynn is in the midst of a break out golf season that included a trip to the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in Niagra Falls, Ont., but he believes this is just the beginning.

On Thursday, the Sylvan Lake golfer fired an opening round 4-over-76 at the Maple Leaf Junior Tour stop at Wolf Creek Golf Resort’s links course to sit in a tie for third in the division, four shots behind Red Deer’s Grant Numrich, 17. Chandler McLaren, 19, from Ponoka was second with a 75.

Everyone, however, was chasing a pair of 14 year olds, Korbin Allan from Lyalta shot an 18-hole best 70 while Zachary Farkas from Calgary was in at 71.

Lynn, 17, however, says he could have shot better.

“I was hitting my irons well, but I couldn’t putt at all,” said the five-foot-11 lefty. “If you hit the ball well you could score well.”

But this doesn’t take the shine off the year the Sylvan Lake Golf and Country Club golfer is having so far. He has won two tournaments, a qualifying tournament and the MJT tournament in Banff and lost in a playoff at the tour’s stop in Lacombe in May.

But the highlight by far has been the four rounds he played in Niagra Falls, Ont., July 29 to Aug. 1.

He did not look out of place against the best golfers in his age group, finishing in a tie for 41st, but shot three excellent rounds and one he wishes he could have back.

Lynn opened with an even-par-72, but a second round 8-over-80 crushed his chances of a top 10 finish. He did manage to make the cut and rebounded with two strong rounds, a second 72 and a final round of 2-over-74.

“It was a good learning step, it helped take my game to the next level,” said Lynn, adding that practicing every day is going to be key to his continued development. “In Alberta I’m a decent golfer, but when you get to the national level, you realize what you have to do to get to the next step.”

This year is all about learning and putting himself into a good position on the recruiting trail as he enters his Grade 12 year at H.J. Cody High School in Sylvan Lake.

“I’m going to start emailing coaches right away and hopefully I get some replies and I’ll choose from there,” said Lynn, who also plays hockey, basketball and badminton.

A strong finish in today’s second round will go a long way to getting in a recruiter’s good books.

On Thursday the difficult links course proved to be a challenge for most of the 54 golfers, but did reward those who played well.

“I always expect this golf course to produce some high scores, it’s pretty tough,” said Alberta tournament director and national tournament operations manager for the tour Trent Matson. “You get a little bit of wind out there and these kids hit it off into the fescue and it adds for a couple of extra shots here and there.”

Lacombe’s Jeremy Ritz also had a solid round in the junior boy’s division, with a 5-over77, while Red Deer’s Logan Hill and Ponoka’s Kolby Vold both finished at 9-over-81.

Landon Stellingwerff from Calgary led the juvenile boy’s division with a 3-over-75, Justin Berget of Spruce Grove was in at 4-over-76 and Jeff Masse of Lethbridge shot a 5-over-77.

Ronnie Postnikoff was third in the bantam boy’s division with a 7-over-79, trailing Allan by nine strokes. Jordan Cooke from Sylvan Lake was the lone Central Albertan in the division and shot an 86.

Emily Creaser from Edmonton shot an 8-over-80 to lead the girls’ division by one stroke over fellow Edmontonian Rayna Oosterhuis. Ponoka twins Daria and Shaye Leidenius were close behind, both shooting 83s while Red Deer’s Clare McMahon struggled to a 95.

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