By Leah Flannigan, Communications Intern
The AJGA / CJGA Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-71 Greenhills Golf Club. The event featured 54 boys and 22 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states, 4 provinces, and Barbados. The Boys Division played the course at 6,366 yards while the Girls Division played the course at 5,782 yards.
Reappearance in Canada
The AJGA / CJGA Junior Championship was one of three events that the AJGA has hosted in Canada. This was the AJGAs first time returning to the land of maple leaves and hockey in ten years and the second time returning to the Greenhills Golf Club in London, Ontario. The field was composed of a combination of AJGA and CJGA players alike, with a majority of the Canadian side of the field hailing from Ontario.
The tournament was played at Greenhills Golf Course, a tight track with windy and cool conditions, that put extra pressure on players to hit fairways and greens. Emphasis was also placed on the AJGAs Pace of Play policies, including the “walk ahead”, (when players who are the first to putt out walk ahead to the next hole) which was introduced to many new AJGA members.
Player Perspective: Conor Rodrigues
Conor Rodrigues played the AJGA / CJGA Junior Championship on his native Canadian soil. Rodrigues went 72-68-75 for a tournament total of 215, good for a second-place finish. Despite being four hours away from his hometown of Kingston, Ontario, playing at Greenhills Golf Club in London, Ontario “felt comfortable”.
“I play a lot of tournaments in the States and it’s different, not as comfortable,” Rodrigues explains. “Just by playing in Canada it’s a lot nicer, I really like it.”
The recent high school graduate has captured four major wins this summer, including a first-place finish at the AJGA Junior at Tedesco in Massachusetts. He also holds claim to two local wins and numerous top-three finishes throughout the summer.
Playing AJGA for Rodrigues is like “the next level” he explains. “You have kids that come from all over the world to play in AJGA tournaments; it’s the strongest field out there.” He noted that the AJGA / CJGA Junior Championship was a great way for Canadian players to see the other junior players: “People don’t realize the competition out there. This (event) was a good comparison for Canadian kids to see who they’re competing with.”
Not only is Rodrigues a talented golfer, he is also a dedicated student and will be attending a high-performance athletic program in the fall through the Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute. While enrolled, he will be taking business and English classes in addition to daily workout and training regimes. His goal is to raise his GPA above a 3.9, which will help him attend a school in the U.S. where he plans to play golf and pursue a degree in business.
Beyond school, Rodrigues hopes to one day play professionally and eventually settle into a career in finance.
Next week he will be travelling to Grand Blanc, Mich., to play in the Randy Wise Junior Open.