They both knew the taste of defeat, but now junior golfers Travis Fredborg and Dana Todd can call themselves champions.
After being runners-up last year, Fredborg and Todd came out as the top two players at the 2013 Manitoba Men's and Women's Junior Championships, hosted by the Selkirk Golf and Country Club and Elmhurst Golf and Country Club.
"It doesn't feel like I expected. I think I feel more in shock right now than I thought I would feel. I'm really happy though," Todd said shortly after her round at Elmhurst.
'I think I feel more in shock right now than I thought I would feel. I'm really happy though'
Todd completed the three-round tournament with a score of plus-15. She finished the final round with a plus-eight Friday -- a score she wasn't too pleased with, but was happy with the result regardless. Veronica Vetesnik finished two strokes behind at plus-17.
"I don't want to complain because I won, but I did not play well. I think I was nervous and made some mental errors in the front nine, but I came back, and I'm not going to complain about a win," Todd said.
She started the final round with two double-bogeys. She sandwiched a bogey on the fourth hole between pars on the third and fifth holes, but bogeyed six through eight and capped off the front nine with a par.
At that point, she was trailing Vetesnik and needed to catch up on the back nine.
"When I hit the back nine I said to myself, 'OK, I need to turn this around' and I didn't give up," the St. Charles player said. "The biggest thing was adjusting my mindset. It was a completely different game on the back nine compared to the front."
Todd put up par on every hole on the back except for a bogey on the par-three 14th and a birdie on the par-five 13th. She completed the tournament tied for the most birdies among female competitors, with eight.
Selkirk product Fredborg was pleased with his final round and credited the title to a strong mental game.
"I just wanted to go out there and play my game. I know I'm capable of scoring very low, so I didn't worry about the other guys, I just did my own thing," he said.
Fredborg finished the front nine one-under par. He scored birdies on the fifth, sixth and ninth holes to help him get an edge on the competition. He completed the fourth round with a score of 72, one over par, and finished the tournament at five-over par.
Steven Young, who was the leader at the beginning of the round, struggled on the front half but picked up his game on the back nine with three birdies. However, a double-bogey on the 17th hole and a bogey on No. 18 helped Fredborg claim his victory. Young finished three strokes behind Fredborg at eight over.
"This is so surreal. It doesn't feel real, it's like a dream come true. I love it," Fredborg said. "I played really solid today and I didn't make too many mistakes. I just stayed positive and patient."
Wyatt Brooks of the Selkirk Golf and Country Club was the male under-12 winner and Brendan Kesterke of Breezy Bend won the male 13 and 14 age group on a tie that was broken by matching scorecards. Kirk Markowski was the age 15 and 16 winner.
Alexandra Demko of the Whitewater Golf Club was the female 15 and under champion. Reece Carter, at the age of eight, had the lowest net score.