Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk relaxes with a DQ Blizzard, her reward following a practice round Monday for the Canadian Junior Girls Golf Championships in hot and humid Tsawwassen. (Photo submitted)

Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk relaxes with a DQ Blizzard, her reward following a practice round Monday for the Canadian Junior Girls Golf Championships in hot and humid Tsawwassen. (Photo submitted)

Vernon golfer tees off at national event

Kendra Jones-Munk begins play at Canadian Junior Girls Championship in Tsawwassen

Should things go off-course (no pun intended) during her round of golf, Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk reminds herself of the saying that calms her down:

Your biggest opponent is your mind.

“It’s a little saying that helps me get through my round,” said Jones-Munk, 16, a Grade 11 W.L. Seaton student who will put that saying to use as she competes this week in the Golf Canada Canadian Junior Girls Championship at the Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen.

“It helps me get centred and back to where I need to be.”

Jones-Munk teed off in the opening round Tuesday and hopes to make the 36-hole cut Wednesday. A first-time competitor at the national tournament, Jones-Munk is aiming to break 90 in each round.

A member of the Vernon Golf and Country Club, Jones-Munk began golfing at age five, when she went out with her grandmother, Sharon Alexander. She started golfing competitively at the Hillview Golf Club’s excellent junior program before moving to the Vernon club. Jones-Munk has completed two years at the Vernon School District’s Golf Academy.

Jones-Munk did not compete at the B.C. junior championships. She applied in writing to be part of the field for the nationals.

“I put in my submission with my handicap (6.8) and my home course. They went through the submissions and if you made it, they sent you an e-mail saying you’ve made it. I was quite excited when I got the e-mail,” said Jones-Munk, enjoying a DQ Blizzard with her mom, Melanie, and the air conditioning blasting away in their hotel room Monday following a practice round.

“I kept the ball in the fairway today. The course is beautiful. It’s similar to Vernon in some ways, with trees lining both sides of the fairway, but it’s more flat. I didn’t keep score. Today was more to find out distances and find out how the greens are. The greens are in amazing condition, fairly fast.”

Jones-Munk tuned up for the nationals by placing second overall (first in her flight) in last week’s Ladies Open at the Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club.

A ballet dancer and beach volleyball referee away from the Links, Jones-Munk also took part in a pair of Okanagan Maple Leaf Junior Tour stops this summer. She was fifth at The Bear Course in Kelowna, and second, by three shots, at Predator Ridge.

“I think golf is a challenge,” said Jones-Munk. “You have this big course and the target is a small hole three inches in diameter that you have to get the golf ball into each time. It does present difficulties that are not found in other sports, but it’s also really fun.”

* Vernon’s Jaden Steinke is in the field for the 114th annual Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf Championship which starts Monday in Duncan.