As sports return, so too does the drama of sports.
Hosting the first in-person non-simulated competition in Sudbury since mid-March (to our knowledge), the Northeastern Junior Golf Tour witnessed an epic finish in boys U19 division as Oliver Taillefer recorded an eagle three on the 18th and final hole at Timberwolf Golf Club, earning a share of the lead with Benjamin Fowke, both players firing rounds of 74.
Retrogression would favour Taillefer, who lead the way in a run of six Sudbury golfers atop the leaderboard in his age bracket, as he and Fowke were followed by Johnny Svalina (77), Joseph Colasimone (81), Vince Palladino (82) and Ethan Mulligan (84).
The event not only drew a nice grouping of locals as part of the 36-player field, but also entries from North Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Bala, Barrie, in addition to another ten or so golfers from Midland, a crew that included 13 year-old Kylie Ruston.
With much of the Midland brigade arriving in Sudbury a few days early for the Tuesday tournament, Ruston, who was joined by younger sister Ally (11), benefitted from the opportunity to acclimatize herself to a course she had never played before.
"Compared to the courses that we normally play, there was a lot more hazards, so I got into quite a bit of trouble the first few days - but I got it figured out today," noted the young women who finished second only to Lea Lemieux (79) in the U15 girls classification, having taken to the local links for a practice round on Sunday followed by a Midland-based four man scramble, for fun, on Monday.
"I found that I had to lay-up on some of the holes and club down, compared to going right at the greens. I stayed safe and didn't get into much trouble today, so I was pretty consistent."
As for a quick assessment of her game, generally speaking, the 5'6" soon-to-be high-schooler provided a balanced report of her strengths and weaknesses. "I find that I hit the ball really well," she said. "I typically hit it further than most of the girls that I play with. That's a big advantage."
"But my approach shots are still not very consistent. I'm off at the back of the greens too often."
Lemieux and Ruston enjoyed a comfortable gap between them and the chase group of U15 girls - Carlie Irvine (110), Sophia Crawford-Bald (111), Tia Callas (111) - while the top three in the remaining divisions included:U15 Boys - Leaders
Laake O'Neil - 96
Ethan Morris - 102
Clarke Turcotte - 108
U19 Girls - Leaders
Mackenzie Czepla - 89
Bryden Dilley - 92
Mackenzie Selk - 120
U13 Boys & Girls - Leaders
Ryder Coe - 85
Ally Ruston - 102
Jackson Freggi - 107
Hudson Kelahear - 109
Maks Beljo - 110
The teens are back in action next week, tackling Osprey Links Golf Course in Callander, before returning to Sudbury, showcasing their skills at the Idylwylde Golf & Country Club in early July.