Congratulations to Ashton McCulloch, an Alumni
of the St. Lawrence Junior Golf Tour
Thornton, ON (Via Golf Ontario) — An exciting final round of the 97th annual Junior Boys (U19) Championship got underway Friday, July
19 at Tangle Creek G&CC. It was a hot and muggy day, with some heavy competition taking to the field. The 63 players came out in hopes of leaving a champion but after a well fought 18 holes, only one could remain.
After an impressive round,
it was Ashton McCulloch (Cataraqui G&CC) who stole the show with a total score of -7 once it was all said and done.
McCulloch entered the day trailing Team Ontario’s Robbie Latter (Credit Valley G&CC), but
took off hot and was able to steal the lead early. Kicking off his round with two straight birdies on the first two holes, McCulloch never looked back. The 16-year-old notched four birdies on his front nine, and played steady the rest of the way through. The
only time it looked like he was about to lose the lead was when he chipped a shot over the green and then missed the following shot to double bogey 15. To many that would have been a momentum shift, but despite having two veteran Team Ontario members hot on
his heels, McCulloch was able to keep his composure and retake the lead with a few par shots while both Latter and Dylan Henderson (Westmount G&CC) bogeyed the following difficult holes.
The trio entered the final hole sitting one
stroke apart (McCulloch at -5 and the other two at -4).
With a crowd building up to watch the three finish off the tournament, it was McCulloch who yet again stole the show. As he stepped up to the 35 foot uphill putt, he knew if he could
somehow sink it in the championship was his. It felt like time had stopped as he leaned over the ball and tapped it down the green. Slowly the ball rolled and as it neared the cup the eyes of fans began to widen. Slowing just before the hole, the ball had
just enough to drop and at that moment, McCulloch had become a champion.
“I hadn’t even realized I’d won after I made the putt,” said McCulloch. “I was just in shock that it actually went in, nothing else
even mattered in that moment.”
Although it was McCulloch who ended up on top, it was a far from easy path. Henderson and Latter both trailed closely the entire way through, making it a very competitive showing. It wasn’t clear
who was going to win up until that very last shot on 18. The duo placed second and third, with Henderson ending the round with a final score of -5, and Latter with a final score of -4.
“Going up against such tough competition, it’s
definitely a nice feeling knowing I can keep up with those guys,” said McCulloch when asked about facing off along Latter and Henderson. “It makes this win even more special.”
After placing in the top three, the three
players all received exemptions into the 2019 Ontario Open, where they will face off against the best talent in Ontario.
After serving four seasons as associate head coach, Jon Mills (St. Lawrence Junior Golf Tour Alumni) will become the 10th head coach in the golf program’s 86-season
history, following 41 years of leadership by Herb Page, a Markham, Ontario native.
The Golden Flashes have won MAC Championships in all seven seasons that Mills has been affiliated with the program as a player
and a coach.
“Being able to become the next head coach here at Kent State is surreal,” Mills said. “I had amazing experiences while playing golf here at Kent State and now having the opportunity to coach here is
incredible. Coach Page has taught me a lot over the years and I look forward to using that knowledge to continue this already elite program. We will continue to set high goals for this program and work extremely hard to fulfill them.”
Mills remains the only All-America first-team selection in the history of Kent State’s program. As a senior, the Corbyville, Ontario native finished sixth individually at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Mills
played professionally for 14 years, including three on the PGA Tour. In 2003, he was the leading money-winner on the Canadian Tour. Mills was inducted into the Kent State Varsity “K” Hall of Fame in 2007. He became associate head
coach of the men’s golf team in January of 2016.
The men’s golf team returns to action March 11-12 at the General Hackler Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. This season, the Golden Flashes will host the 2019 Mid-American
Conference Championships April 26-28, at Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, looking to win their fourth straight conference crown.
Congratulations to Alumni Josh Whalen a former Junior golfer on the St. Lawrence Junior Golf Tour from the Napanee Golf and Country Club for being selected to the 2019 Mens National Amature Team.