LACOMBE — As representatives of the host school and two of the favourites heading into the provincial high school boys’ golf championship, there might have been a little extra pressure on Carson Kallis and Zak Griffiths.
But neither felt the heat on Monday, and in fact the entire field was shivering in the wind during the opening round.
“It was pretty tough out there, (the wind) made it pretty challenging,” said Kallis, who along with his Notre Dame teammate needed 80 strokes to tour the Lacombe Golf Club and entered today’s second and final round at Alberta Springs five shots off the lead.
“I’ve played a lot in the wind, but today was pretty extreme. It was gusting to at least 55 or 60 (km per hour) and it makes it pretty tough to control your ball when it’s blowing that hard. I was pretty disappointed with my score today, but in hindsight it could have been worse.”
Certainly, for any golfer within half a dozen shots of the five co-leaders — Evan Cowen of Lethbridge Catholic Central, Kade-Grant Johansen of Okotoks Foothills, John Mackinnon of Calgary West Island College, Louis Dumas of Edmonton Maurice Lavallee, and Taylor Vozzler of Didsbury all shot a 75 — there’s still time to make a run at the provincial title. Kallis and Griffiths, as well as James Ursulak of Ponoka, who was the low Central Albertan on Day 1 with a 78, are all within that range.
“If I can put a good round together tomorrow and hopefully come in at 5-under or so, I can get those strokes back,” said Griffiths. “Alberta Springs is an easier golf course (than Lacombe) and it’s not supposed to be windy tomorrow.”
But Griffiths won’t forget Monday’s cruel conditions any time soon.
“It was cold as well as windy, so it was hard to judge the distances,” he said.
“You had to take off yardage for the weather and the wind. I just couldn’t get it down out there. I didn’t putt well.”
Holy Trinity was in first place in the 3A/4A school team standings after the opening round with a total score of 222. Ponoka was third at 230, while defending champion Notre Dame and Hunting Hills followed at 243 and 253, respectively.
Didsbury was first in the 1A/2A standing with a 239 total.
West Island College was one stroke back and Trochu Valley was 11th at 280.
Other Central Alberta individual scores from Day 1:
Nolan West, Rocky Mountain House St. Dominic, 79; Mikeal Skaley, Ponoka, 80; Joel Johnson, Hobbema Ermineskin, 82; Junho Kim, Hunting Hills, 85; Jesse Teron, Hunting Hills, 86; Tucker Dougherty, Ponoka, 86; Austin Jacobsen, Ponoka, 87; Dylan Goranson, Notre Dame, 91; Paul Numrich, Hunting Hills, 94; Cameron Ehnes, Notre Dame, 98; Nathan Mah, Hunting Hills, 98; Ryan McNaughton, Stettler, 99.