Fortunately for Jaden Steinke, there’s nothing but sunshine in the forecast for Vancouver Island next week.
The 18-year-old recent graduate of Vernon Secondary will tee off Monday in the 114th annual Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf Championship being hosted at Duncan Meadows in Duncan, and Pheasant Glen near Parksville.
“If it’s windy, which it can be on the Island, I’m OK with that because I have low trajectory on my ball flight,” said Steinke, a Vernon Golf and Country Club member who works in the club’s pro shop when not playing three-to-four rounds a week honing his game.
“If it rains, that will suck. I hate the rain.”
Steinke, nearly a scratch golfer with a 0.2 handicap, earned his spot in the prestigious national amateur event by cracking the top-4o at the B.C. Men’s Amateur last month at Rivershore in Kamloops.
The left-hander finished at seven-over 295, good for a tie for 34th. He will play a practise round at each course on the weekend to familiarize himself with the surroundings.
“I don’t have too many expectations,” said Steinke, who plays hockey during golf’s off-season, and who loves boating when not on the links. “I would like to make the cut and finish in the top-70.”
Steinke, who helped the Vernon Panthers qualify for the provincial high school championships in his senior year, describes his current golf game “going pretty good, pretty solid.”
“I’m not a long-ball hitter at all, my strongest asset is my mid-iron play,” he said. “My putting isn’t great. I’m working on that, very much so.”
Steinke was introduced to golf at age eight in Shell Lake, Sask. by his grandparents, Murray and Donna Trapp. He got involved with the renowned junior program at Vernon’s Hillview Golf Course before moving over to the Vernon club.
“What I love about golf is the individuality,” he said. “Everything is up to you. You don’t have to rely on teammates.”
Steinke plans to work for a year and would like to end up with a golf scholarship to a college or university.
* Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk achieved her goal of shooting 90 or better during her rounds at the Canadian Junior Girls Golf Championships at Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawassen.
The 16-year-old Vernon Golf and Country Club member missed the 36-hole cut, but fired rounds of 90 and 84 for a two-day total of 174. The cut mark was 165.
“I was OK with how I played,” said Jones-Munk. “I wish I had done a bit better on Day 1 but I am still happy with my score because the course is a very difficult course for your first time golfing it.
“Day 2 was a bit better but still not as good as I had hoped but there were lots of high scores throughout the tournament both days. I struggled a bit with my putting but I was happy with how everything else went overall. My fairway shots were pretty consistent and off the tee I was doing very well.”
Jones-Munk called competing in the national tournament “a great experience.”
“You’re meeting girls from all across Canada and even girls that you haven’t seen in a long time were competing with you for the same spots so that gave me the drive to do better each time,” she said.
”Missing the cut by a couple strokes gives me encouragement to become better so that the next time I compete I can make the cut. I think I will be practicing more each day to make sure that I qualify for this event and many more of the same calibre.”
* Addison Kasper of Vernon was eighth in the girls 11-12 division at the Boston Pizza Maple Leaf Junior Mini Tour’sUS Kids Golf Australian Open Qualifier supported by Golf Town. Kasper shot a 112.
The tournament for seven to 12 year olds was held at Cultus Lake Golf Club, where players navigated a very tight par 63 in temperatures soaring into the high 30s.
The division was was won by Ye Ji Kwon of Port Coquitlam, who fired a 68 to win by five shots.