Local golfer at Canada Summer Games
© Submitted photo
The Team Sask golf team includes coach Jeff Chambers, Liam Courtney, Garrett Blair and Moose Jaw native Leighton Bearchell (L-R). The trio are in Sherbrooke, Que. for the Canada Summer Games this week. Submitted photo
Wrapping up his junior career with a gold medal would just be the icing on the cake for Leighton Bearchell.
However, he will have to face off against the top golfers across the country in order for that goal to become reality
Bearchell is currently in Sherbrooke, Que. as part of Team Sask for the Canada Summer Games. The golf trio representing the province is Garrett Blair from Lanigan, Liam Courtney from Saskatoon and Bearchell.
“We are pretty good friends and have known each other for a fairly long time just throughout MJT (Maple Leaf Junior Tour) events and provincials,” stated Bearchell. “We know how each others games well so we can help each other out.”
The golf competition will run from Wednesday to Saturday at the Milby Golf Club in Sherbrooke. This is the second and final week of the Summer Games.
Team Sask athletes arrived in Quebec on Saturday evening. Bearchell and the other golfers went out for a practice round on Sunday and then chipped and putted around the course on Monday to get a good feel for the greens.
“The course is pretty easy if you hit it well off the tee. The greens aren’t that fast, but they are very undulated, so when you get a down-hill putt, they roll out a lot,” he explained. “It is all about playing it smart and not hitting driver on every hole. Just putting yourself in a good position.”
Bearchell, Blair and Courtney were selected to represent the province after a development camp held throughout the winter. The selection was also based on scoring average and team chemistry.
“There is individual and team (scoring) as well. How they work the team event is there are three people on each team and they take the top two scores of the day out of the three,” said Bearchell.
Saskatchewan and Bearchell will be up against some tough competition, as many of the top young Canadian golfers are playing for a medal.
“The guy that won nationals, Kevin Kwon is here. A lot of the guys that are on the national development team are here too,” said Bearchell. “It will be cool to see those guys play and compete with them.”
This will wrap up the summer and junior career for Bearchell. After this event, he will fly back to Moose Jaw and then head directly to Texas for school on a golf scholarship. His goal is to be near the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round on Saturday, but also is looking to enjoy the experience.
“It is fun and my last junior event of my junior career. Just trying to end it with some fun,” he said. “The goal is to be up there, but you can’t just think about that as the goal. The goal is to just play well on the first day and then take it one day at a time.”
This is his first Canada Summer Games as the last time the Games were held, he was 14 and didn’t get a chance to participate.
“It is really cool and almost like an Olympics atmosphere,” he said.
This story will appear in Thursday's Times-Herald paper.
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