Vernon’s Ryan Vest (left) collects the Hoselton Trophy from former Canadian LPGA star Lorie Kane after coming from six-shots down in the final round to win the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Bantam Division national championship. (Vest family photo)

Vernon’s Ryan Vest (left) collects the Hoselton Trophy from former Canadian LPGA star Lorie Kane after coming from six-shots down in the final round to win the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Bantam Division national championship. (Vest family photo)

Vernon golfer rallies for Canadian title

Ryan Vest comes back from six shots down in final round to win MJT Bantam Division title in Florida

So how did Vernon’s Ryan Vest and his mom Laurie celebrate Ryan’s first-ever national golf championship victory at a course in Kissimmee, Fla., not too far from Orlando?

Dinner out? Tickets to Disney World?

Nope. They caught a flight home to the North Okanagan. Enjoyed airplane food and beverages and let sink in what the 13-year-old Grade 8 Vernon Secondary School student had just accomplished.

READ MORE: Vest moves into world rankings

Vest scored the biggest comeback victory of the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Boston Pizza National Championship presented by TaylorMade and Adidas Golf at The Reunion Resort in Kissimmee. The 2019 MJT Bantam Division Player of the Year fired the lowest single-round score of the tournament in any age group, a final round 7-under-par 65, to win the Canadian Bantam Division title by two strokes after entering the last round six strokes off the pace.

“I got the (Hoselton) trophy and then mom and I headed to the airport to catch our flight home,” said Vest. Canadian golf legend Lorie Kane presented the trophies to the winners in the seven age groups.

After opening with rounds of 79 and 72, Vest’s putter caught fire over the last 18-holes. He finished at 1-over 217.

“Everything was dropping from everywhere,” he said. “I felt that I had won after I had made my 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, and then making a 14-footer on the last hole was the icing on the cake.”

Vest, playing in the final foursome with Vancouver’s Aaron Huang and Saskatoon’s Thomas Danielson and Max Regier, started the last round on the third hole.

READ MORE: Vernon bantam golfers take three of four tour stops

Runner-up Huang, 13, carded an incredibly consistent three rounds of 73 (219, +3) including five birdies and an impressive 41 total pars. Danielson, 14, placed third (79, 79, 78=236).

After he and his mom caught a red-eye flight to Orlando, Vest was able to get in a practice round before the tournament started. Jetlag probably played a factor in his opening-round 7-over 79, but he played better in Round 2. The plan for the final round, he said was to go out and enjoy himself.

“I just wanted to have fun, play my game and take things shot-by-shot,” he said. “To win the national championship by coming from behind feels very good. It was also great to have my mom there. She’s sacrificed a lot so I can play.”

Beside the Hoselton Trophy, Vest also won a pair of TaylorMade wedges. And he was thrilled to have a former pro like Kane present the trophy as he aspires to be a professional golfer.

Now that winter is here, Vest exchanges his clubs for a squash racquet, playing the court sport three-to-four times a week.

Canada’s number-one played Junior Golf Tour, the non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, concluded its 21st season Sunday with the tournament in Florida. A record-setting number of 112 elite junior golfers qualified.

“The field attending shows that junior golf is thriving in Canada,” said Trent Matson, director of national operations for the MJT tour. “We are very proud to continue as the number-one played junior tour in the country and look forward to hosting everyone.”

Guest speakers at the event were legendary pro golf coaches Butch Harmon and Sean Foley.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Twelve new curbside pickup parking spots are now in effect along 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Downtown Vernon curbside pick up parking now in drive

12 locations along 30th Avenue intended to help retail and dining sectors amid COVID-19

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted a groomer operator on the trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue helps stranded groomer at Silver Star

Three members responded to the operator whose groomer experienced a mechanical issue Nov. 29

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Vernon taxpayers can expect a 2.55 per cent increase for 2021. (File photo)
Vernon scales back 2021 tax increase

Pause of infrastructure levy program reduces burden on taxpayers

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

By this time next year, the BC Green Pharmadeuticals cannabis growing facility in Princeton is expected to employ at least 150 people, according to the owner. (File photo)
Princeton cannabis plant thriving despite lawsuit and bad press, says owner

Company expects to hire 30 more employees in the next two months

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read