WASAGAMING — Austin Dobrescu’s solid season of golf continued at the Tamarack tournament at the Clear Lake Golf Course on Monday.
The 17-year-old Brandonite was one of three players to card a 69 on the day, and became the junior men’s medallist based on count back over three-time defending champion Steve Young of LaSalle and Glenboro’s Zach Wytinck. It’s been quite the summer for Dobrescu, who won a Maple Leaf Junior Tour event and lost another in a playoff, and he puts being a medallist right up there with the other honours.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I’ve been working hard lately and the course is in great shape. There are good competitors here and I tried to make it the best I could.”
Dobrescu, Young and Wytinck had identical ins and outs, scoring 33 on the front nine and 36 on the back, although Wytinck and Young pushed each other as they were in the same group, along with Brandonite Colton Willms, who finished fourth at 73.
Dobrescu, who hit 17 greens but struggled with his putter, was in a group well ahead of the others and went back on the course to watch them during the final few holes to see if they could match his pace.
Wytinck was able to despite almost missing his tee time. The 15-year-old got lost in the park and missed the turnoff to the course. Although he arrived five minutes before he was to tee off, Wytinck didn’t let that extra stress bother him.
“It was pretty funny. My mom and I were laughing,” said Wytinck, who credited his short game for his success yesterday. “We were just about in the woods for the night, but we found our way here. I really had not too many nerves, I just knew I couldn’t expect too much, on the first hole anyways, and just tried to manage the first hole and it went well. I got a par.”
The top four junior men’s players are all good friends with each other and expect a tough fight to the finish. While Young, who is in his last year of eligibility for the age group, has won the last three junior titles, Dobrescu feels this summer could be his time to steal the crown.
“It’s crazy. Everyone’s playing better at the end of the year and both of them are good buddies of mine,” said Dobrescu, who fell to Young in last year’s semifinals. “I knew they’d be playing good with Willms. It’s going to be tight to finish.
“I think I have a better chance this year. I’m hitting the ball a little bit further and a little more consistent than last year.”
The junior men’s quarter-finals start on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Erickson’s Bobbi Uhl shot an 89 to become the junior women’s medallist for the third straight year. Brandon’s Hayley Shanks was second at 102.
The first round of junior women’s match play takes place Wednesday afternoon.
In the senior ranks, Arborg’s Ken Stadnek followed up his 69 on Friday with a 75 on Monday to become the champions men’s medallist with a two-round total of 144. He beat LaSalle’s Brent Young by one stroke. The 16-golfer championship flight starts this afternoon.
Brandon’s Terry English shot an 82 on Monday to become the senior men’s medallist. That division’s match play begins Wednesday.