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Tuesday, May. 22, 2018
Sudbury Junior Golf Tour kicks off on May 27th
2018-05-05
by Randy Pascal

The Pepsi Junior Golf Tour, which existed locally more than a decade ago, wasn't still around by the time that Espanola native Casey MacNeil was cutting her teeth in preparation of a career that would take her to both Charleston Southern and Chicago State University.

With five years experience now under her belt as a staff member at Timberwolf Academy, MacNeil is hoping to provide a glut of up and coming young local golf talent with options beyond simply heading down south countless times a summer.

The Sudbury Junior Golf Tour is a new five-event competition, running from late May at Timberwolf through to the final tournament on August 12th at the Lively Golf Club, for juniors between the ages of 10 and 18.

"Last year, I did kind of a Junior Ryder Cup sort of thing, with nine hole matches with pretty much any level of golfer," said MacNeil recently. "This year, I'm designing a tour that is 18 holes stroke play tournaments, designed more for competitive golfers in the area."

"There really isn't anything around for juniors right now. They always have to travel." And travel they have. Almost every single weekend, from the beginning of June through until early September, at least one local golfer, and family, will be making the trek somewhere south of Barrie, in search of competition.

MacNeil does not see the new Tour as a replacement for existing tournaments, but rather a complement. "Even if they still want to go down south, it's nice to have some local competitions to sharpen up their game and allow them to play tournament with their friends," she said.

"It's good experience for the kids who want to travel south to bigger events." And while the local golf community has done a great job of making the sport quite affordable for the juniors, the reality is that there is a need, for those with aspirations, to extend their game beyond simply practice rounds with their friends.

"Competition experience is way different than just playing a practice round," suggested MacNeil. "It's about handling how to play well with nerves. There's no mulligans, you're really competing."

The key, as she knows, is creating a snowball of competition locally. "There are some good juniors in the area," said MacNeil. "If we can get some of those kids out, the ones that are shooting in the 70's, low 80's in tournaments, then it will be viewed as being worthwhile by everyone."

"If the junior golfers can find the level they need to compete against, they'll stay here." Cost for the entire tour is $250, or $60 per event. Following is a breakdown of the summer schedule:

Cedar Green - May 27th - 2:00 p.m.

Timberwolf - June 9th - 3:00 p.m.

Monte Vista - June 24th - 2:00 p.m.

Pinegrove - July 30th - 3:00 p.m.

Lively - August 12th - 2:00 p.m.

For further information, contact Casey MacNeil at macneilgolf@gmail.com, or by phone at (705) 919-3638.

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