Girls’ low gross winner Shirin Anjarwalla (79) from Nanaimo

Girls’ low gross winner Shirin Anjarwalla (79) from Nanaimo

Area’s best young golfers shine at Dawn Coe-Jones tournament

Back in town for the summer, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame inductee Dawn-Coe Jones played host to her 25th annual Dawn Coe-Jones Amateur Junior open, Tuesday, July 12.

Back in town for the summer, Canadian Golf Hall of Fame inductee Dawn-Coe Jones played host to her 25th annual Dawn Coe-Jones Amateur Junior open, Tuesday, July 12.

Throughout the day, 45 excitable young golfers from throughout Vancouver Island and some smaller coastal islands filled the golf course, with Coe-Jones dropping in throughout to see how the kids were doing.

Following the day’s golf fun, the Ladies Professional Golf Association icon gave the kids a few words of wisdom.

“When I was your age, and growing up here at March Meadows, I had a dream, and it was to be a school teacher,” she said, adding that things can change at a moment’s notice. It took a while for her to realize that becoming a professional golfer was a realistic possibility.

“I know each and every one of you have a dream… And I encourage you to have a dream, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

After 25 years, Coe-Jones said that she’s happy that her dream of hosting a junior amateur tournament has had such great longevity.

“I hope everyone here had a good time,” she said.

Winners were as follows;

Boys’ low gross

Brayden Eriksen, 73

(Qualicum)

Jimmy Jones, 74

(Cowichan Lake)

Aaron Fitch, 74

(Powell River)

Boys’ low net

Tristian Mandur, 66

(Cobble Hill)

Spencer McDougall, 67

(Comox)

Cole Sansalone, 68

(Powell River)

Girls’ low gross

Shirin Anjarwalla, 79 (Nanaimo)

Emily Adams, 86

(Chemainus)

Girls’ low net

Sarah Nishide, 66

(Qualicum)

Emma Rigsby, 73

(Comox)

The tournament went quite well, March Meadows golf pro Blair Caldwell said, after the tournament had wrapped up.

One unfortunate side to the tournament was a lack of local players, he said, adding that with the exception of Jimmy Jones (a summer resident), all participants were from outside the Cowichan Lake area.

The golf course currently has 10 junior members, many of whom are Victoria residents he only sees on weekends.

They do see some kids during the school year, thanks to a school program, but by the time summer hits, the kids stop coming.

“It just seems like there’s so much to do, with the lake,” he said, of the diminishing numbers of local kids out golfing.

With inexpensive junior rates, cost isn’t much of an issue, he said, adding that it’s less expensive than hockey.

That said, it was nice to see top-class young golfers out for the Dawn Coe-Jones tournament.

Two kids stick out; the low gross boys and girls winners.

Qualicum player Brayden Eriksen is notable for having earned a golf scholarship to Utah Valley University. Coe-Jones and Caldwell saw Eriksen participate at March Meadows over the years, improving his golf skills.

The other notable young up-and-comer is Shirin Anjarwalla, 11, from Nanaimo, who shot 79 on Tuesday.

“At 11, 79 is a pretty amazing score,” Caldwell said.

The local golf pro also commended Coe-Jones for keeping up with the tournament over the past 25 years.

“It’s not just what you do on the course, but off of it,” he said.