Eagle-eyed Easterbrook earns title

Madison Easterbrook had an eagle on every hole she played at the ninth annual Burlington High School Golf Championship.

Well, sort of.

The Grade 12 Aldershot student, who has verbally committed to attend Florida Gulf Coast University on a golf scholarship beginning next September, sported an eagle-shaped head cover on her driver as she walked the Burlington Golf and Country Club’s one-day event Monday (Sept. 23). The knit protector is from the university and it’s in the form of the National Collegiate Athletic Association school’s eagle mascot, Azul.

Easterbrook shot an eight-over par 79 to win the girl’s division title for the third consecutive year. The overall winner was Daniel D’Andrade of Corpus Christi who fired an even-par 71. Thirty-five golfers from nine schools took part. Corpus Christi captured the team championship.

Madison Easterbrook
Madison Easterbrook is Florida-bound next fall. (Photo: Graham Paine)

“I just bought it for school spirit,” 17-year-old Easterbrook said of the club cover. “I went there in June.”

The initial impression Easterbrook has of Fort Myers-based Florida Gulf Coast University is a favourable one.

“Everyone seems happy to be there,” she said. “It’s small, so it’s kind of homey. It seems like everybody would know each other … kind of like Aldershot. That’s what attracted me to it.

“When I went there to visit, I just loved the school, the campus and the coach.”

Other female graduates of the Burlington High School Golf Championship currently playing collegiate golf in the United States are Jenna Hague (Ball State) and Lorelle Weavers (Chicago State).

Easterbrook was one-over par (38) on the front nine and seven-over (41) for the back. Only two other females were in the field Monday.

“I think I got distracted on the back nine,” Easterbrook said. “In the last month my game has been improving quite a bit. Today, I didn’t really show that. But I have been shooting a lot better. I haven’t been getting hooks or slices any more. I’ve eliminated that. Now I can focus on getting birdies and not worry about hitting it into the trees.”

A slow backswing is a part of Easterbrook’s ball-striking routine. “When I was younger,” she said, “I had a really slow swing. Everyone tried to speed it up. I thought it was normal. I think a lot when I go back. So I like to take it slow.”

Later this week, Easterbrook is scheduled to leave for Australia to compete for Canada’s junior team at the Jack Newton International Classic from Oct. 2-5 in New South Wales. She qualified by winning a Boston Pizza Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour Prodigy Series at Burlington’s Hidden Lake last June.

The 2013 overall winner, D’Andrade, finished two shots off the pace during last year’s championship at the BG&CC.

“Last year I was in a similar position,” D’Andrade said. “I was coming in low for the round. Then, at 17 and 18, I kind of threw it away. I made a couple of double bogeys and I ended up shooting 79. So it was nice this year to keep a good round going and come in strong.”

Jack Honda of Corpus Christi and Christian Logue of Nelson tied for second at 75. They were followed by Davis Jewitt of Notre Dame and Jason Fitzgerald of Dr. Hayden, who both came in with 78s. The only other players to break 80 were Harrison Cottam of Assumption and Nick Jackson of Notre Dame (79).

Other members of the first-place Corpus Christi squad were Ben Honda (80) and Marcus Rodrigues (90).

Corpus Christi (226, for their top three scores) defeated Notre Dame (239), Nelson (240), Dr. Hayden (246), Assumption (254), Aldershot (256), M. M. Robinson (262), Burlington Central (280) and Robert Bateman (320).

The Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference golf championship – Halton and the Hamilton Catholic league — will be played Oct. 7 at Beverly Golf and Country Club.

A previous version of this story had the scores of brothers Jack and Ben Honda reversed.