Newton ties course record, leads Canadian junior boys’ championship by 3 strokes
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KAMLOOPS, B.C. – James Newton had two thoughts when he teed off Sunday at the Canadian Junior Boys’ Golf Championship — stay patient and stay positive.
The simple strategy worked wonders as the 18-year-old who plays out of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Gatineau, Que., carded an opening-round 63 to tie the course record and build a three-stroke lead heading into Monday’s second round at the par 72, 6,970-yard Rivershore Estates and Golf Links.
“I was hitting it well from tee to green today,” said Newton of the opening round played in intense heat. “I gave myself many birdie opportunities with my wedges, but my putter was on fire. Not only was I making birdie putts but also par saves.” Newton’s 9-under-par 63 included an impressive seven birdies and an eagle on the 18th that marked the highlight of the day. He finished the round without a single blemish on this scorecard.
“My thought process tomorrow is going to be the same as it was today,” he added.
A four-way tie for second chased Newton throughout the day, each finishing at 6 under.
Cooper Humphreys of Vernon, B.C., saw a solid, bogey-free round with an eagle on his 13th hole. Humphreys won the Juvenile Boys Division last year during the 2021 Canadian Junior Boys Golf Championship and has recently committed to Oregon State University.
“Today I hit the ball well and did a good job of minimizing my mistakes,” said Humphreys. “I worked on my putting after and I think I found something that should help in the next few days.”
Antoine Jasmin of Blainville, Que., found his groove on the final four holes leading to four consecutive birdies out of his total of eight. The 16-year-old plays out of Club de golf le Blainvillier. Eighteen-year-old Denby Carswell of Burnaby, B.C., who graduated from high school in May, carded seven birdies and one bogey. Matthew Javier of North York, Ont., also made eagle on 18. The 15-year-old plays out of Scarboro Golf and Country Club. In addition to tying for second in the individual competition, Antoine Jasmin and Matthew Javier also share a piece of the lead in the 16-and-under Juvenile division. Each fired a round of 66 Sunday.
Defending champions Team Quebec, consisting of Jean-Philippe Parr, Felix Bouchard and Newton, jumped out to an early lead in the 36-hole interprovincial team competition. The trio combined for a score of 11-under par and a five-stroke lead over Team Ontario.
The junior champion will receive an exemption into the 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C., as well as a spot in 2023 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 7, 2022.