LACOMBE — Eric de Wit is on a roll and at a perfect time.
The 18-year-old put together an even-par 71 to capture the McLennan Ross Sun Junior Golf Tour stop at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club Wednesday. It was his second 71 in two days. Tuesday he also came in at even-par to finish second in the Alberta junior boys’ golf qualifying event in Westlock and qualify for the four-day provincials, which open Tuesday in Grande Prairie.
It’s the first time de Wit will compete in provincials and Wednesday was his first win on the McLennan Ross tour.
“I’ve been on a roll at a good time,” said de Wit, who plays out of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club.
The Notre Dame grad, who helped his school capture the last two Alberta Schools Athletic Association golf championships, hopes to finish in the Top 20 at provincials.
“I’m hoping to go to the nationals (in Kitchener, Ont.),” he said.
De Wit started playing golf when he was 13, and is still learning the game.
“Compared to a lot of the guys out here I’m still new at this,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of experience, but it’s coming.”
De Wit said his short game is his strength, which was evident Thursday as he chipped in four times on his way to registering four birdies to go with four bogeys.
“Definitely my short game is my strength,” he said. “My putting is usually good and my driving is OK. I need some work with my irons.”
De Wit will get a chance to work on his game this fall as he plans on attending Red Deer College and hopes to play for the golf team under coach Scott Bergdahl.
De Wit not only won the overall title Thursday, but the 17-19 year-old division ahead of Scott Ellen of Lacombe and Jordie Weich of Innisfail, who shot 74s. Lance Weslowski of Chestermere and Tanner Braun of Calgary came in at 75.
There was a five-way tie for first in the 15-16 year-old division, including a pair from Red Deer — Jesse Teron and Dallen Hall.
The pair shot 80 along with Brennan Swanson of Calgary, Cole Niawchuk of Rocky Mountain House and Piter Peskens of Leduc.
John Miller of Red Deer came in with an 82.
Teron was a definite favourite heading into the event with a zero handicap, but the 15-year-old was wore out after returning from the North American Cup in Toronto late Wednesday.
Teron qualified for the Nor-Am Cup in the Canadian Junior Golf Association event in early May. It’s the second time the Red Deer youngster has represented Canada. He competed in Scotland in 2007.
“Getting a chance to play against guys from the United States and Scotland is a great experience,” he said. “You’re facing tough competition all the time and it helps playing under that pressure. There were some excellent crowds in Toronto and having to handle that pressure will only help down the road.”
Teron, who was playing for the 18th straight day Thursday, will also compete in the Alberta junior championships, then head to Calgary for a Future Links event. He hopes to play in the Canadians juniors and plans on playing in a number of McLennan Ross tournaments. He has received an invitation to the Nike Series in Ontario in August or play in the Stephen Ames event.
“So it’s a busy summer,” he admitted.
Teron will enter Grade 10 at Hunting Hills in the fall and looks forward to playing on the golf team.
“My brother (Chace) won the provincial title (in 2006), so I would like to follow in his footsteps,” he said.
Despite his age Teron has a well-rounded game, although he says his driving accuracy needs a little wok.
“I worked out a lot last winter and added length to my drives, but now I need to hit the fairway consistently,” he said with a smile.
Matt Williams of Calgary won the 14-and-under event with a 78, two strokes ahead of Matt Codd of Red Deer. Jake Mytikiuk of Edmonton came in at 82 with A.J. Armstrong of St. Albert at 83 and Theoron Olver of Three Hills at 84.
Megan Paul of Calgary won the girls’ title with an 84 while Marisa Sambo of Calgary had an 86.
The tour makes a stop in Carstairs Tuesday and will be in Ponoka July 20.