Monday wasn’t the best day to be on the golf course.
The high winds and the cool weather made for a tough scoring day, but Cara Vanderham of Innisfail made the most of it.
The 16-year-old Grade 11 student shot a solid seven-over par 79 at Alberta Springs Golf Resort to sit in second position following the first day of the 36-hole event. The second round goes today at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club.
Becky Martin of McCoy High School in Medicine Hat shot a 77 to take the lead.
“It was tough out there today, hard to focus because the wind was blowing so hard,” said Vanderham. “At times I would look at my ball on the green and it would be shaking. Other times I’d be swinging and the wind would catch and move the club head. “But it was the same for everyone. It worked out OK for me. I’ll certainly take the 79.”
Vanderham is one of the premier junior competitors in the province and is coming off a solid season that saw her finish 17th at the provincial junior championship and in the top 10 at the McLennan Ross Sun Junior Golf championship.
She also competed for Alberta in the junior Ryder Cup competition and won the Central zone high school title in Camrose with a 78. She also competed in the Alberta Ladies amateur championship, but just missed the cut.
“I’ve had a pretty good season. I didn’t play my best in some tournaments, but still placed fine,” said Vanderham, who is consistently taking strides in the right direction.
“I’m pleased with the way my game is progressing. The mental aspect is the biggest improvement, but really it’s all getting better.”
The one thing Vanderham could use is more competition in Central Alberta.
“There’s lots of competition in the tournaments I play in, but there’s no one to play with in this area,” she said.
Vanderham will write her SATs this year and should receive some interest from universities across the border. But she’s not sure that’s the road she’ll take.
“I haven’t talked with anyone from the States yet, but I may just stay at home in Canada anyway.” she said. “There’s a lot of good programs here and besides I haven’t decided what I’m going to take.”
Today will likely be Vanderham’s last competitive round of the season, but she’ll be busy in the winter as she figure skates.
• Justine Stevens of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir of Okotoks is third with an 80 while Jennifer Gee of Springbank and Erin Wiese of St. Mary High of Westlock came in at 84.
Courtney Vinet of Camrose is tied for 19th at 97 with Ashley Wenig of Camrose tied for 23rd at 98.
Eilish Morrison of Central High in Sedgewick is in a tie for 25th at 99 with Molly Li of Notre Dame tied for 31st at 104. Wane Kruger of Notre Dame and Melissa Koster of Hunting Hills shot a 105 and are tied for 34th with Alyssa Clarkson of Camrose and Jana de Wit of Notre Dame tied for 42nd at 109.