After making an early final round charge, Tsawwassen’s Russell Howlett capped a fine season on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour with sixth place finish at the Taylor Made/Adidas National Championship played at Morgan Creek in South Surrey over the Thanksgiving Weekend.
The 18-year-old Beach Grove Junior earned his chance to be part of the qualification event by winning twice this year on the BC swing of the tour including a stop at Mayfair Lakes in Richmond two weeks earlier. The Junior Boys Division featured 25 players with representation from six provinces, playing from the back tees on the 6670-yard par-72 layout.
Howlett put himself in striking distance with a 2-under front nine that included three birdies. A double bogey on the par-4 12th stalled his momentum and another on the 15th took away the chance of a top three finish. He finished seven shots back of Vancouver’s Ilirian Zalli with rounds of 76-76-75. Zalli secured top honours with a tournament best 1-under 71 in the final round that included birdies on 16 and 17 to hold off Calgary’s Nicolas Guy-Landry. Ontario’s Dylan Norrey was third, three shots ahead of Howlett.
Meanwhile, another Beach Grove junior was capping his solid 2020 campaign in the Bantam Boys Division. Charlie Derrheim finished 13th with round of 75-87-78. Toronto’s Luke Smith won the division thanks to a 220 total (74-74-72).
Other division winners included Vancouver’s Anna Huang (U15 Girls), Richmond’s Tina Jiang (15-19 Girls), Port Coquitlam’s Eric Li (Pee Wee Boys) and Langley’s Danny Im.
Richmond’s Alex Zhang, who plays out of Beach Grove and Quilchena, finished third in the Pee Wee Boys Division. The Southpointe Academy student was also named Adidas Player of the Year for his division, based on his play throughout the season.