In the awe-inspiring shadow of St. Andrews – the home of golf – Courtenay’s Logan Yanick was instrumental in helping CJGA Team Canada capture the seventh annual Euro Junior Golf Cup, played July 27-29 in Fife, Scotland. The three-day match play competition was held at the historic Scotscraig, Balbirnie and Drumoig golf courses.
CJGA Team Canada consisted of 14 juniors who qualified for the event through a series of six Euro Junior Golf Cup qualifiers on the CJGA Junior Tour. Prior to arriving in Scotland the team participated in a three-day training camp at Glen Abbey Golf Club, in Oakville, Ont. conducted by CJGA national team coach Sean Casey.
Yanick, who did not drop a match, was one of four members of the Boys 14 & Under squad and the only B.C. golfer on the Canadian team, which competed against Scotland and the United States. He is a long-time Crown Isle junior and a student of the Ratcliffe Golf Elite Junior Academy at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community.
Noting that the event was “absolutely” the highlight of his young golf career, Yanick said, “Being on Team Canada was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to help Team Canada to victory. There was a lot of great competition from both the U.S. team and Scotland, and a lot of my matches came down to the last couple of holes. Fortunately going into the tournament my game was in pretty good shape, and I came away with five out of a possible six points,” Logan said.
“Playing St. Andrews was really special for me – watching my favourite players play the course on TV, and then for me to go out and play the same course was a real treat. Standing on the 18th green, thinking of all the past champions standing in the same spot as me, it was an amazing feeling,” said Yanick.
As reflected on his scorecard, the time change did not affect Yanick’s play and although the courses were quite different from what he is used to, he played like he was right at home. “The courses down there were a lot of fun to play, definitely a big change to what I’m used to here in Canada. The fairways and greens are really firm, which makes it hard to stop the ball on the green. In most cases you had to land the ball short of the green.
“The courses I played were not to long, yardage wise, but because of the wind, it was playing much longer than normally. On the courses I played there weren’t too many water hazards. There was a lot more fescue so although the courses were pretty wide open if you missed the fairway you’d be dealing with longer grass and tougher approach shots.”
Yanick said the galleries were small, consisting mostly of parents, relatives and coaches. “However once the first few groups of the day finished they would go back out on the course and cheer on their teammates,” he said.
Along with his three solid rounds of golf and Canada winning the cup, Yanick said, “My highlight of the trip was hanging out with the team. I knew a couple of them going into the tournament but by the end we were pretty close pals. I’d really like to thank the CJGA for giving me the opportunity to come out to play, and I hope to make it there next year,” he added.
Clear skies and warm temperatures welcomed the golfers on July 27 at the first round of the event at Scotscraig. Canada came out strong, collecting 17 points to lead by three points over the United States. Yanick, 14, claimed victory in both of his matches as the Boys 14 & Under division collected five-and-a-half points out of eight matches.
On July 28, constant rain played havoc at the second round of the cup at Balbirnie Park. Canada continued its strong play and stretched its lead over the United States by six points while Scotland gained two points on the day and trailed in third. Yanick once again claimed victory in both of his matches, giving him three-and-a-half points for the tournament.
On July 29, Canada claimed its second John Clark trophy in three years. It was Canada’s fifth title since the tournament format changed in 2005. Team USA edged out Scotland by one point to finish in second place.
The day started with the Boys 14 & Under division where Yanick finished the tournament undefeated, closing out Ewan Diston of Scotland on hole 16 and finishing his match with American Joe Rueter all squared. During a stretch of three holes Yanick had two birdies and one eagle. “The skills I learned at training camp last week really helped me with my mental and physical approach” said Yanick. “I hope to build on this experience for the remainder of the season.”
“Our team played great and had a lot of fun out there today” said an elated non-playing captain for CJGA Team Canada, Sean Casey. “There were some tight matches out there with a few of our players losing matches despite shooting under par. Fortunately we picked up enough points to win the competition, which capped off an unforgettable week here in Scotland.”