The Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf Championship, which will be held at the Elmhurst and Southwood courses in Winnipeg, is one of the highlights of the year for Glenboro’s Josh Wytinck.
Not only is it one of the biggest and most prestigious events the 22-year-old qualifies for, seemingly on an annual basis, this year’s event may have an extra special meaning for him. Wytinck, who was part of the University of Manitoba team that won the national university championship, is looking at moving into the professional ranks in the spring, which means the Canadian Amateur, which runs from Monday to Aug. 7, may be his last amateur event.
"Next May, if all things go according to plan, I’ll be going to the Canadian tour Q-School to try to get my card for the Canadian tour," he said. "Unless something unforeseen happens, this will probably be my last amateur tournament.
"I put a lot of time into my game to not at least try to make it as a pro. I know my game is right there with those guys. I think it’s a little more raw. I know I need to sharpen up a few areas, but the length and ball strike, I think I’m definitely right there with those guys."
Wytinck knows a lot of his future will depend on the PGA Tour Canada’s qualifying event in May, but he will look at other options, like playing on a mini-tour in the United States or in Australia and Asia, if he doesn’t get his card.
However, his focus right now is on the Canadian Amateur. He qualified through the Elmhurst Invitational earlier in the year, which relieved some pressure at the Manitoba Amateur.
While he feels he’s playing well, Wytinck said his season since then hasn’t gone the way he hoped. Wytinck was knocked out in the first round of the provincial match play championship and finished fifth at the Manitoba amateur.
That’s not lowering his high expectations for the Canadian Amateur though.
"I’d definitely like to finish inside the top 20," said Wytinck, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday the day after the event ends. "For the longest time, I haven’t been able to make the cut; it was just a mental hurdle. Last year I finally made it and played well, but there’s still something left out there.
"This year, I’m playing the best golf I’ve been playing in my life; I just need some putts to fall. I think that’s a realistic goal for me, and if you set the bar high like that then the chances are you’re going to finish well."
Brandonites Travis Fifi and Brad Pardy will play in the Men’s Amateur Qualifier at Elmhurst on Friday.
SENIORS: Brandon’s Rod Klassen was the top Westman golfer at the provincial senior men’s championship at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club. He shot an 80 on Wednesday to place 28th with a three-round total of 240. Winnipeg’s Brent Armstrong shot a 69 to win the 54-hole event with a 214. He was followed by Garth Collings at 216.
Killarney’s Bill Moslenko tied for 30th at 243, while Killarney’s Bob Chapman was 37th at 253 and Onanole’s Keith Fawcett finished two spots behind him at 256.
JUNIORS: Brandon-born Keaton Gudz was 2 under for his round through six holes before the second day of the Canadian junior boys’ championship in Niagara Falls, Ont., was postponed due to a storm. Gudz, who lives in Victoria, was tied for sixth at 3 under for the tournament. Meanwhile, Dauphin’s Connor Shaw didn’t get to tee off on Wednesday. The rest of the round will be played today along with the third round.
CHIP SHOTS: The Desert Classic will take place in Carberry and Neepawa on Friday and Saturday … MacGregor’s Senior Men’s Open starts on Wednesday at 8 a.m. The cost is $30. Call Dan Rintoul at 204-637-2488 … Neepawa’s Senior Women’s Open will take place Aug. 7. Contact the club to register … Deer Ridge hosts a two-person scramble on Aug. 10. Call the clubhouse to register … Killarney’s Senior Men’s Fall Open is set for Aug. 11.