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Quality Inn - Sudbury
Paul Lefebvre - MP for Sudbury
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
Nykilchyk and Hayes first time golf champions
by Randy Pascal

With others stepping aside, Hannah Nykilchyk and Josh Hayes were more than ready to slide into the spotlight, with both young athletes capturing their respective SDSSAA golf titles Thursday at Lively with memorable rounds.

Turning the corner at three under par 33, Josh Hayes of Lo-Ellen Park Secondary remained solid through the back nine, carding a final score of 70 (one under par), good for a two-shot victory over teammate Oliver Taillefer.

In fact, the Knights would sweep the top three spots as well as a tie for fourth, as Evan McLean (75) and Jake Lacko (76) followed up the front-running tandem, with the latter finishing deadlocked with Lively junior club champion Justin Karcz (CND) and Robbie Geik of St Benedict.

The graduation in recent years of both Gracen Lacko (now with Laurentian University golf team) and Julia Plexman would open the door for Nykilchyk, who responded with the best round of her life (89), running away with the crown.

Dayna Fairwell (98- Macdonald-Cartier), Brianna Whitson (109 - Lasalle), Jamie Hein (110 - Horizon) and Hailey Selk (118 - Notre-Dame) rounded out the top five for the girls, as Nykilchyk looked back on a round to remember.

"I was really connecting on my drives, and all of my irons were working good," said the Lockerby Composite senior. "I started off kind of bad, but in the middle, I was doing pretty good, and then I got three pars in a row."

Also a long-time member of the Sudbury Lady Wolves organization, Nykilchyk admitted to being out on the courses enough this summer to see a payoff come the fall high school showdown. "Me and my dad would go golfing at Timberwolf, throughout the summer, and then I did a couple of tournaments," she said. "I think I really improved a lot."

Competing in what was easily the warmest city final in many, many years, Nykilchyk acknowledged the weather may have provided a little extra edge for the golfers. "The heat dried up everything fast, so you didn't have to worry about pitching in the wet grass in the morning or putting on wet greens, so it kind of helped my game."

The top finishers will now head to Huron Pines in Blind River on Tuesday, with the OFSAA championship set for October 11th and 12th in Kingsville (boys) and North Bay (girls).

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