By the end of the final round, it was a runaway for Chandler McDowell at the Alberta Golf Junior Boys Championships in Sundre.
The Red Deer County golfer tied a tidy bow on the junior title with a scorching six-under-par 66 Friday, to win the junior title by 11 strokes.
He finished the 72-hole tournament at 10-under-par and was the only player in red numbers for the week. On the final day, he had eight birdies and his 66 was the lowest round of the four-day event.
“Pretty excited that I got it done. Pretty good triumph, six under today so that was really good,” said the 18-year-old, who also won the Alberta juvenile title in 2016.
“Feels good to add it onto the resume. Pretty happy about it. I Really wanted this and to get my Canadian Am exemption. And to be an Alberta Junior champ is pretty special.”
The Central Alberta teen was tied for the lead the opening round, then dropped to one back on day 2, but by the end of day 3 had a massive lead. McDowell, who calls Innisfail Golf and Country Club his home course led the tournament by eight strokes heading into Friday. He said he tried not to think about the advantage, but playing steady and consistent golf.
“I knew the lead was pretty big and I felt like if I could shoot around par and play like I did the last two days it would be good enough. But I decided to make a few more putts today than other days,” he said.
He added that it was his ball-striking that was on point all week long and in the final round, it was his putting that allowed him to put up the stellar 66.
“Over the week I wasn’t putting very well, missing a lot of those 10-footers. Today I made a lot more of them and made up for the rest of the week,” McDowell said.
The last month has been a fine one for the teen, who qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship earlier in June. He explained the confidence from this junior title victory should help him in late July at the U.S Junior Am.
“This was nice, gives me some momentum hopefully do something cool there. I have a lot of confidence and I’m excited to see what I can do out there,” he said.
Lacombe’s Brady McKinlay also has a strong showing, finishing the tournament tied for eighth at nine-over-par. He was four-over-par in the final round but said overall it was a good experience.
“Amazing course, couldn’t be in much better shape. I played steady, not my best but I think it was a pretty showing at least,” he said.
“Definitely finished off well (Friday). The start wasn’t what I wanted. Definitely good to finish with two birdies.”
McDowell, along with Ty Steinbring and Korbin Allan will be the Team Alberta representatives at the Canadian Junior Boys Champions in Medicine Hat later this month.