Spencer is golden at Ontario Summer Games

After three days of competition at Cedar Brae Golf and Country Club, the girls’ golf championship of the Ontario Summer Games was easily taken by Georgetown’s Samantha Spencer.

Spencer ran away with the competition, earning the gold medal by a full seven strokes. The 16-year-old Club at North Halton member carded the girls’ tournament low score of 72 on Thursday, adding to her opening round 78 and Friday’s (Aug. 17) 75 for a total score of 225, nine-over par.

Despite her strong lead down the stretch, Spencer kept focused on her way back to the clubhouse on Friday afternoon.

“I knew in the last five holes it was pretty tight still, but I tried not to worry about it that much and focus on my own game and it worked out for me,” she explained. “The course was very nice and in great condition, the greens were really fast, which I like.”

Spencer noted that Thursday evening’s Ontario Summer Games opening ceremonies were a particular highlight, as the more than 2,500 athletes from 28 different sporting events marched into the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium in front of a packed house.

“It was awesome. This was almost like the Olympics for us, the top golfers in Ontario were here and I was lucky this week to be one of the top. That made the difference from a regular golf tournament to this tournament.”

Picking up the silver medal was Palgrave resident Claire Hernandez, a member at The Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto. The 15-year-old delivered a total score of 232 (77-74-81) to finish at +16 for the tournament. Hernandez is a former Ontario Bantam Girls’ champion (2010) and also played in the 2010 Ontario Summer Games, where golf was first introduced as a sport.

Finishing in third place in the girls’ division was Madison Easterbrook of Burlington, a member of the Golf Association of Ontario’s Under 17 Team Ontario program. Easterbrook, 16, closed out the event with a total score of 234 (79-80-75), +18 to earn a spot on the podium with the bronze medal.

In a tie for eighth was Oakville’s Annika Haynes. The Wyldewood G&CC member put together rounds of 78, 82, and 81 for a 241 count, 25-over par. Finishing 20th was Oakville’s Jennifer (Hye Bin) Yoon. The Station Creek GC member had rounds of 83, 93, and 88 for 264.

In the boys’ division, Bryce Evon of Windsor put together three solid rounds including the tournament-low score of 68 on Thursday to earn the gold medal. The 16-year old closed out the championship at two-under par with a total score of 211(71-68-72), enough to top the leader board by a five stroke margin.

Picking up the silver medal was Bath, Ontario resident Austin James who finished at three-over par with a total score of 216 (71-71-74). The 16-year-old will now prepare to enter his final year of high school before a planned enrollment at Charleston Southern University where he’ll join the men’s golf team. Rounding out the top three with the bronze medal was local favourite Gordon Gibson of Toronto.

Scores for Golden Horseshoe players included Hanish Nagrani of Welland. The Lookout Point CC member finished seventh with rounds of 74, 71, and 75 for a 220 total, seven over. In 16th place was Tyler Gruza of Ancaster and Flamborough Hills GC. He shot 78, 75, and 77 for a 230. Ancaster’s Zac Moore was 21st after the Northridge Public GC member carded 91, 72, and 77 for a 240 final.

The Ontario Summer Games are held every two years. The golf championship featured 54 of Ontario’s best male and female golfers who gained entry into the competition through a qualification process or order of merit rankings.