Tricky stick work earns Grand Falls-Windsor youth spot in nationals
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL-Ryan Small has skill.
STELLARTON – Recently returned from the CN Future Links Atlantic Championship, Evan Callaghan has a better understanding of how to take his game to the next level.
The 14-year-old from Stellarton is in his third year of competitive golf, although he has been playing golf for over six years. The first time he decided to play NSGA bantam provincials was in 2012 at his home course, Abercrombie.
He describes his first provincial championship as “pretty bad.” Last year at Seaview Golf and Country Club he finished in the middle of the pack, tied for 23rd overall. This year he finished second at Paragon Golf and Country Club.
“I think just playing and seeing how the competitions work has helped my play improve,” he said.
Callaghan was 18-over par, one shot ahead of the third-place finisher this season. He said he wanted to be in the top 10 in the bantam division so he could advance past the second and final round of the bantam championship.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said about his bantam championship finish. “I had an all right first day (84), but I had a great second day (78). Coming down the stretch I knew I had to make pars to finish at the top.”
With his strong play through two days he advanced to the third round of the junior and juvenile championship. His goal on that day was to make the top 60 and make the cut. He did that and after four rounds finished tied for 42nd overall among the top bantam, juvenile and junior golfers.
His success at the provincial level earned him a trip to the CN Future Links Atlantic Championship at Humber Valley Resort in Newfoundland. The first time he has played the event, Callaghan learned a lot from the region’s best players.
“Playing a new course, a great course, was a great experience,” he said. “The length of the course was long, which made it tougher to play. It was supposed to play 7,200 yards, but they cut it to 6,800. It was still very long though.”
Comparing that to provincials at Paragon, he said that played 6,300 to 6,400 each day. This season he said he gained more distance with his irons and woods, but still found Atlantics to be tough. Looking ahead to the remainder of the season and next year, he said his short game will need work.
“That’s where I struggled during the final two rounds of provincials,” he said. “I got stronger, so my distance improved, but to do better next year in juvenile I need a stronger short game.”
Next season will be his first year of juvenile (15-16). He said his goal will be to finish in the top 15 to 20 at provincials.
As a member of the Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers during the hockey season he said he will work on his short game for the remainder of the summer, but his focus is starting to shift towards hockey preparations.
Last season in his first year with the team he played 29 games, with a lone goal and assist. He said he’s been working hard in the off-season and is looking forward to another year of major bantam hockey.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris