CHATHAM — It was a lead that could not be overcome as Mitchell’s Courtney Tolton was able to cruise to win the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Junior girls’ championship, July 18, here at Maple City Country Club.
Tolton entered the final round with a seven-shot lead and was never in jeopardy as she carded a one-over (73) to earn the title by eight shots.
The 18-year-old Tolton, who plays for the Longwood University golf team, had an up and down start to her round with a birdie on the first hole, but a double bogey on the second. After another bogey on six, she would birdie the eighth to finish the front nine one-over.
One more birdie on the 12th followed by a bogey on 15 had her finishing the round one-over (73) and four-under for the tournament.
“I think I definitely did a good job keeping my shots in play,” said Tolton after the win. “I made sure to hit fairways, greens and made my two putts to get out of there and onto the next hole.”
Tolton is a former member of the GAO’s Team Ontario and had to hold off the current members (Alyssa Getty, Grace St-Germain, Monet Chun and Annika Haynes).
Because Getty, St-Germain and Chun all tied for second, they needed a playoff to determine which two would join Tolton in representing Ontario for the Inter-Provincial competition at the Canadian Junior girls’ championship, July 29-Aug. 1 at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club.
In the playoff, Getty’s second shot sailed wide of the green and she would have to settle for bogey. St-Germain and Chun each two-putted for par earning the spots.
Tolton summed up her week after the win. “I feel really happy about the win, especially since this is my last Junior year. I started off strong and finished out well, I can’t say I would have wanted it any other way.”
As a former member of the team, Tolton said she expected this year’s Team Ontario to play well and challenge her during the tournament. “I was happy for them all, I expected that was how it was going to be, with them right in the hunt.”
Playing with the lead, Tolton knew she had to play the same game she had in the other three rounds to close out the win. “I really didn’t change my thought process. I just wanted to keep it in play and come out even or one-over, it really didn’t matter to me as long as I kept the lead.”
In the end, that is just what she did earning the 2014 title.