From British Columbia Golf
Roberts Creek, BC – Victoria’s Matthew Broughton, a member of the Royal Colwood Golf Course, stormed back to claim the 2012 British Columbia Junior Boys’ Championship at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Robert’s Creek on Friday.

Heading into final round play, the eighteen year old from Victoria sat three strokes back of Team Canada member Kevin Kwon who sat a -6 for the Championship. Kwon had played the first three rounds of the Championship in economical fashion but it wouldn’t be his day as Broughton pieced together a closing round two-under-par 70, good enough for the three shot come-from-behind victory.

Broughton credits his win to being able to get his round off to a good start as he got to one under early by making birdie on the 212-yard, par 3.

Broughton Champ_web

“I made a really good putt on three to get my round under par and then another one on the fifth got me to two under so it was a good start,” stated Broughton. “I basically just plodded along from there making the par putts when I needed to and birdies when they came.”

A good start is exactly what it was. With Broughton sitting -2 on his day through the 8th hole, he would make bogey on the difficult par 3, 196-yard ninth. He would make another birdie on the par-5 11th hole, only to give it back on the par 4, 378-yard 13th hole.

Hitting it into the greenside bunker on his second shot on the par-4 14th hole, Broughton felt his round was starting to slip until he managed the unthinkable coming out of the trap onto the delicate greens at Sunshine Coast G&CC, holing out for a birdie 3.

“That bunker shot on 14 was the turning point for me,” smiled Broughton. “Holing that shot really got me back on track because I was starting to lose it a bit.”

Broughton would stay on track, closing his round with four consecutive pars to post a -5 total and win by two strokes.

“I did my best to not look at the signs out there today but I knew the lead was changing back and forth. Kevin Kwon is a very good so I knew he was going to make some birdies and get back into it.”

As Broughton stabilized his round, Kwon uncharacteristically struggled, making eight bogey’s on his day, dropping him into a tie for third place with a closing round 77, -1 overall.

Playing one group infront of Broughton and Kwon and unable to give up on his dream of becoming a Junior Boys’ champion, first round leader Kevin Ko, 16 of Coquitlam, began to get into the red numbers quickly during the final round. The Northview Golf and Country Club member made four birdies on his first 11 holes with only one miscue on par 4, 415-yard 10th hole. After missing his approach to the right of the green, Ko would be unable to get down for par, making a poorly timed bogey.

Ko would however get that shot and another back, making birdie on the 11th and 13th to get his round to -4, -5 overall. Unfortunately for him, he slipped coming in, making two bogeys on 14 and 17, dropping him into solo second overall.

When asking Broughton when he thought he had the title locked up over his competitors, namely Ko, he was deliberate in his response. “When I holed out on 18. You never know what anyone is doing in front of you and Ko played really well so it was when I tapped in on 18 that I knew I had it.”

This is Broughton’s first championship of any significant value and significant it is.

“I have never won anything this big,” said Broughton with a smile on his face. “It has been a lot of hard work and practice but I guess it paid off. This feeling is awesome.”

Broughton gave credit to his father in his speech following his acceptance of the Gordon Bowers Trophy as champion.

“I want to thank all of my competitors and everyone at Sunshine Coast but I really want to thank my dad,” said Broughton while holding back emotion. “After all of those lessons and practice it finally came together so thanks dad.”

With the top two spots set-in-stone, a sudden-death playoff would need to decide third place and the one remaining spot on Team BC for the Canadian Junior Boys’ Championship.

After firing the days best score at four-under-par 68, Chris Crisologo, 16 of Richmond, booked his ticket to what would be a short battle with Kwon. After making birdie on holes 16 and 17 during regulation to get it to -1 overall, Crisologo made a slippery side-hill 12-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole, the par 4 362-yard par 4. Kwon would miss a lengthy birdie effort to miss out on Team BC but get a quota to attend nationals.

Team BC, consisting of champion Broughton, Ko and Crisologo, will now travel to Osprey Ridge Golf Club in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia on July 31-August 3, 2012 to test their game against Canada’s other junior golfers. Twelve others in the field received quota spots to attend the national Championship.

“Nationals are going to be awesome. British Columbia always has a good team and this team will be no different,” said Broughton.

(Photo Courtesy British Columbia Golf)