STONY Mountain's Ryan Sholdice is hoping the poluar idiom, third time's the charm, will have an affect on him in this year's Golf Manitoba Men's Junior Championship.
After competing in the tournament the past two years -- he finished fourth in 2011 and 14th in 2010 -- the 18-year-old finds himself in second place after day one, shooting an impressive four-under 68.
"I felt I played pretty good today. The best part of my game was probably off the tee," said Sholdice, a Bel Acres member, in an interview just moments after finishing his day at the 18th hole. "I kept the ball in play, I was hitting greens and I didn't three-putt once today, which was good."
After the first round of play at John Blumberg Golf Course, Sholdice trails a surprise leader in 16-year old Zach Sackett from the Elmhurst club.
"My putting was just on fire today," said Sackett, who tallied seven birdies in an overall round of five-under 67. "I've probably never made that many 15- to 20-foot putts in my life. I was shooting for around even par and it just worked out well today."
Trailing by just one shot, Sholdice is happy to take a 68 into today's second round.
In a round that saw the 6-foot-2 righty score three birdies and an eagle (on the 9th hole), it was two pars that stood out the most.
"I was happy I did well on two tough holes, the 13th and 14th," said Sholdice, who was inspired to play golf five years ago from his grandfather, who at the time was the course superintendent for the Pinawa Golf Club. "The fairways were tight and I was glad to shoot even on them."
But even with a good position on the leaderboard, Sholdice knows his biggest hurdle lies ahead.
After another round today at John Blumberg, the final two rounds will be played on the unforgiving fairways and fast greens of St. Charles Country Club, a course that Sholdice has yet to play.
"I don't know what to expect just yet," said Sholdice, who hopes to get some putting practice in at the course later tonight. "I just hope to make fairways, hit greens and hopefully make as many pars as I can. I'll have to try not to shoot too many high numbers on holes. I want to go in with a low score and try to grind out between 70 and 75, seeing that I've never seen the course there. It will be fun."
But for now the game plan remains much the same from day one.
"Shoot under-par again and go from there."
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1. Zach Sackett -- Elmhurst G & CC-5 (67)
2. Ryan Sholdice -- Bel Acres G & CC-4 (68)
T3. Darren Kelpin -- Bel Acres G & CC-1 (71)
T3. Mike Peters -- St. Charles CC-1 (71)
5. David Nelson -- Southwood G & CCE (72)
6. Noel Ngo -- Selkirk G & CC+1 (73)
T7. Erik Christianson -- Breezy Bend CC+2 (74)
T7. PJ McIvor -- Niakwa CC+2 (74)
T7. Josh Neufeld -- Carman G & CC+2 (74)
-- Cuts will be made after round two, with the top 60 and ties moving on.
-- Players range from ages 11-18.
-- Round Two: Today at John Blumberg Golf Course
-- Round Three: Thursday at St. Charles Country Club
-- Final Round: Friday St. Charles Country Club
* The first tee time today is at 8 a.m.
The women's first round of a three-round championship kicks off today, scheduled to begin immediately following the last men's group.