WASAGAMING — Colton Willms and Steve Young are ready for Round 2.
The pair met in last year’s Tamarack golf tournament junior men’s final, and Willms will get his rematch on Saturday after beating fellow Brandonite Austin Dobrescu 5 and 3 in Thursday’s rainy semifinals. Willms and Young have talked to each other all week about potentially meeting playing each other again this week at the Clear Lake Golf Course, and they’re looking forward to it now that it’s a reality.
"It will be fun for sure," Willms said. "We’ve talked about meeting up in the final again and it’s coming true. I’d like a different turnout, I’m sure he wouldn’t, but we’ll see how it goes on Saturday."
Willms, the fourth seed, got off to a strong start in his semifinal and was 4 up through nine holes against Dobrescu, the junior men’s medallist. Willms made sure he didn’t make any crucial mistakes after that to seal the win.
Young, who’s from La Salle, took advantage of some uncharacteristic missed putts by 15-year-old Glenboro native Zach Wytinck to beat him 6 and 5 in the other semifinal.
Young defeated Willms 3 and 2 in last year’s championship match to claim his third straight junior men’s title, but the 18-year-old Brandonite isn’t intimidated by Young’s past success over him and in the age group.
"It’s just another match that I’m going to have to try to play my game and not worry about the other factors that come into play," he said. "Yeah, he’s the three-time champion, but I feel like I can hold my own this year and improve my game from last year. I’m feeling pretty good."
Young will be a tough match in the final. His knowledge of the course is second to none in the age group and he has a solid all-around game, which he’ll showcase as a freshman with the defending national champion University of Manitoba Bisons this fall.
His confidence is also rising after coming back from 2 down after 10 to win his quarter-final in a playoff hole. Young feels the key to his success will be staying confident with his decisions.
"I just need to play my own game, step up to the ball and pull the trigger," Young said. "Don’t take too much time or fret over any little shot, just commit to my decisions and trust that I can put a good swing on it."
Both Willms and Young age out of the junior ranks next year and will try to get a spot in the men’s field. Young would love to extend his record for consecutive titles to four, but Willms is looking forward to getting a title of his own to carry into men’s play.
"It would be nice to go out into the men’s as the junior champion," he said. "At the same time, I can’t get ahead of myself and take it one shot at a time and see where I end up."
The final tees off on Saturday at 12:06 p.m.