A couple of outstanding performances at each end of the country and signing with an NCAA school. It’s been an August to remember for Jace Minni.
The 17-year-old Beach Grove Golf Club junior standout will be taking his career to Gonzaga University in the fall of 2020. Minni toured the Spokane, WA campus back in late June and officially accepted his scholarship offer on Aug. 6.
That came after an opening round 69 on the canal course at the Northview Golf and Country Club, on his way to winning the Maple Leaf Junior Tour’s Odlum Brown Open. His performance also included rounds of 67 and 68, with the final 18 holes being played on the ridge course.
The adrenaline was certainly flowing for the rest of the tournament after making the biggest decision of his life.
The Bulldogs are part of the Western Coast Conference. Their schedule for the coming season includes stops in Washington, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Utah and Nevada.
“It’s going to be an awesome experience,” said the Grade 12 South Delta Secondary student. “I toured the school with their coach (Robert Gray) and he showed me all the courses too. I just really liked the feel of the campus and all the things around the school.
“They made the offer on Aug. 1 and had two weeks to make a decision. I couldn’t wait because it was my first choice. It also takes a lot of pressure off my back and it has shown in my last two tournaments.”
Minni didn’t have to look far for advice on taking his career south of the border. His father Scott is a long-time CPGA teaching professional and his sister Amanda is entering her third-year at Oregon State University, also on a scholarship.
“It’s something I started thinking about probably six years ago when Amanda began the whole process,” Minni continued. “It certainly helped with her going through it. From what I have been told, it’s not common for two siblings to be doing this. It’s pretty emotional for our family. My parents can’t believe it, really.”
Minni rode the momentum from his win at Northview and commitment to Gonzaga to the Canadian Junior Boys Golf Championships in Hartland, NB where he finished fourth with a 9-under total thanks to rounds of 70-68-71-70.
The event was won by Quebec’s Chris Vandette, thanks mainly to a blistering opening round 62. It put the rest of the field in catch-up mode, although Minni had pulled within a stroke during one point of the final round.
“I ended up bogeying the par-5 12th and that was probably it for me although I never really knew I was that close, he said. “In the end, I would have had to shoot a 65 to get into the playoff. After my second round I thought I had a chance but when a guy opens with a 62, it’s tough.”
Minni’s summer schedule began with an impressive win at the Zone 4 Men’s Amateur at Quilchena and Delta's King’s Links.
He will wind down his competitive schedule at the upcoming Vancouver Open and a fall series event on Vancouver Island.
He is looking forward to his final season as a junior in 2020 that will include the Canadian Junior Boys Championships in Kamloops.