Sam McNulty Prevails at Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championship
Renfrew, ON – Sixteen year old Port Perry resident Sam McNulty birdied his way to the top of the leaderboard on Thursday, earning the Ontario Juvenile (U17) Boys’ Championship title by a two-stroke margin at Renfrew Golf Club.
The Team Ontario member prevailed over a highly competitive field of the best juniors under the age of 17, posting a final round 69 (-2) to finish with a total score of 211 (70-72-69,-2) to pick up the gold medal and the Mike Weir trophy.
“It means a lot,” said McNulty of the win. “Hopefully will help me with scholarships in the future and it gives me a little more confidence heading into next year.”
McNulty, who plays out of Granite Golf Club, teed up his final round tied at the top of the leaderboard alongside Peterborough’s Sam Meek and Toronto’s Charlie Watson. The trio shared a narrow single stroke advantage over the field, with nine players close at their heels within three strokes off the lead.
The tight race at the top of the leaderboard didn’t dissuade McNulty, who played a clean back nine after going bogey-bogey on holes 5 and 6 before the turn.
“I knew that if I could put something under par then I had a very good chance,” he said of his strategy in the final round.
“I’ve been near the top quite a bit over the last couple of years so I was quite comfortable with it. I knew some people might crumble if they weren’t used to it, so if I just stayed steady I’d be good. Having that experience really helps.”
His game plan worked – McNulty played a clean back nine, posting birdies on holes 8, 10, 13 and 15 to pull ahead of the field.
“I knew that if I just played my game I had a fairly good chance of winning. I hit a lot of greens, my putter was a little off on the second day but it worked out.”
“It’s been a good end to the season.”
Winning has become a family affair for the McNultys – older brother Jake is the reigning 2013 Investors Group Ontario Junior Boys’ champion, making the brothers the dominant competitors on the junior golf scene in the province. Jake also won the Investors Group Junior Spring Classic title in May, while Sam is coming off a win at the Williamson Cup matches last week in New York State.
“We’ve both got some bragging rights now,” laughed McNulty. “It feels good because we can feed off each other, we know we can play against each other and we practice together all the time.”
“We’re constantly competing, we always battle for the front seat.”
Father Derek McNulty was on hand at Renfrew to support his younger son, and acknowledges things can get hectic with two highly competitive golfers at home.
“It’s crazy. I guess they’ve just achieved their goals,” he said, adding that nothing but hard work has been the secret to the brothers’ success.
Finishing tied for second place is McNulty’s Team Ontario teammate Conner Watt of Mississauga. The 16-year-old put together three solid rounds of 71, 72 and 70 to share runner-up honours and pick up a silver medal after posting four birdies, a bogey and a double on Thursday to close out the tournament with a total score of 213, even-par.
Also earning a silver medal is Toronto’s Charlie Watson, who carded 69, 73 and 71 to share second place with a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys on Thursday to finish at even-par both on the day and overall in the 54-hole competition.
Two golfers tied for fourth place, Austin Kirkwood (69-74-71) of Sault Ste. Marie and Tyler Douse (70-74-70) of Waterloo. Both golfers closed out the tournament at 214, one-over par. Team Ontario’s Chad Watts Denyes of Hamilton closed out the competition tied for sixth place alongside Waterloo’s Trevor Ranton at 215, two-over par.
Nicholas Brisebois of Kanata finished as the top local competitor, carding rounds of 72, 74, and 75 to finish in 17th place overall.
The Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championship is a 54-hole competition contested biennially opposite the Ontario Summer Games that features the province’s best junior golfers under the age of 17 competing for the Mike Weir trophy. 2013 marks the first time that Renfrew has hosted the event, and it is the first of a number of major provincial championships planned for the Ottawa Valley region over the next several years.
The Golf Association of Ontario would like to thank the members, volunteers and staff from Renfrew Golf Club for the use of the course and their outstanding hospitality throughout the week.