Ponoka Composite High School’s (PCHS) senior boys golf team drove, chipped and putted their way to bronze at provincials.
Provincials were held in Fort McMurray and the team consisted of Davis Labrie, Kolby Vold, Chandler McClaren and Jared Nicolls.
“We thought we were going to win because it takes four guys to win,” said Nicolls. With a full team he knew they had a better chance than some of the other teams.
“We’re more consistent,” added McClaren.
Although they didn’t place as well as they’d hoped, coach Ron Labrie is proud of his team.
Ponoka competed with several larger Calgary and Edmonton schools for the prestigious 3A/4A banner “Basically the biggest schools and best golfers,” said Mr. Labrie.
McClaren said teams from small towns have a harder time competing against the larger schools and placing well.
Mr. Labrie said the team has good support from PCHS and each boy has strong mental endurance for the game, which helps him play well.
Two different courses were played at provincials. The boys agreed the first one was simple but the second one was tougher—and the competition didn’t make it any easier.
“One of the best players in Alberta was there. Once we had seen him we knew there’d be stiff competition,” said McClaren.
Although a lot of teams went to provincials there is also competition between individuals. “You just know who the real players are,” said Nicolls.
This year there was also competition in the central Alberta zone, as two teams were able to attend provincials. “Strathmore played really good,” said Mr. Labrie.
Although they played well the team agreed they didn’t play as well as they could have. One the first day the team three was strokes behind the leading team but didn’t play as well the second day.
Ponoka’s boys struggled with the same holes. Mr. Labrie says the key is to spread out the scores.
“They can all have a bad hole,” he said. But if it’s the same hole it hurts the team. At provincials the team score is comprised of the three best individual scores from the team.
Mr. Labrie said the four strong players were able to lean on each other.
“You just have to try to play your best,” added Nicolls.