Lo­cal teen golfer wins gold

A great swing earned Brendan Smith, seen here, gold and bronze medals at Les Jeux de Que­bec.

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

It­might have been the golf course that he grew up play­ing on, the beau­ti­ful course at Dufferin Heights, or that he started play­ing golf on that course when he was a mere four years old, but what­ever it was, Brendan Smith has proven that he plays a

good game of golf. At the Que­bec Sum­mer Games, held in the City of Longueuil ear­lier in the sum­mer, Brendan came home with both a gold medal and a bronze.

“When I was three, I had plas­tic golf clubs all over the house; I liked golf right off. I started play­ing at Dufferin Heights with my fa­ther when I was four, he worked as the direc­tor there, and I used spe­cial lit­tle clubs,” said Brendan in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal from his home in Ayer’s Cliff. The in­ter­view had to take place early in the day; the Milby Golf Course awaited him that morn­ing.

“I played golf ev­ery year since then, learn­ing from my Dad who was a good golfer, and now I go to golf school at La Ruche. It’s a sports con­cen­tra­tion pro­gram and I’m coached by Pierre Lal­lier,” he con­tin­ued. “I’m head­ing into my last year of high school. We play golf five days a week, go­ing to the Univer­sity of Sher­brooke in the win­ter. We also go to North Carolina for a spe­cial week in March. All the golf schools in Que­bec go at the same time, and we take a lux­u­ri­ous bus and stay in a nice ho­tel.”

Brendan went to the Que­bec Sum­mer Games as part of the Estrie team along with three play­ers from the La Ruche golf pro­gram and one stu­dent of Bishop’s Col­lege School. “I knew all the guys on the team and the course, Le Par­cours de Cerf, was beau­ti­ful, just per­fect,” said the young golfer. He won his bronze medal on his first day in the ‘Two man best ball’ game along with his part­ner, Jef­frey Lebeau. “We shot a sixty-six.” On day two it was the ‘Two man Scram­ble’ which he played with Tris­tan Gen­dreau. “There were thir­ty­four teams and it was a shot­gun start. The course was packed!” he said en­thu­si­as­ti­cally.

Brendan won his gold medal on the third day in the in­di­vid­ual cat­e­gory, fin­ish­ing the re­ally close game with a sixty-nine, one point ahead of his two clos­est ri­vals. His par­ents, Liane Courte­manche and Terry Smith, were in Longueuil for that match. “It was nerve-wrack­ing to watch that game and we were just ex­hausted af­ter fol­low­ing him around the course!” com­mented Mr. Smith. “It was a re­ally good feel­ing to win the gold medal. I had gone to the Que­bec Games two years be­fore, in Shaw­ini­gan, where I got a sil­ver medal in the ‘in­di­vid­ual game’ and a bronze in the ‘Two man best ball’,” ex­plained Brendan.

As se­ri­ous about golf as he is good at it, Brendan hopes to pur­sue a ca­reer in his favourite sport. “I’d like to go to school in the United States on a golf schol­ar­ship. They have lots of golf­ing pro­grams in uni­ver­si­ties down there – that’s how the golf sys­tem works in the States.”

Brendan was quite clear about where his strength lay in the game of golf, an­swer­ing quickly: “My men­tal abil­ity. The game of golf is eighty-five per­cent men­tal. If you have a bad hole, you have to know that you can come back. Many play­ers have a bad hole and then they just go down, but I keep striv­ing to get her back. I’ve had a fairly good year so far!”

When asked what he likes most about the game, Brendan, who would be play­ing his six­teenth golf tour­na­ment of the sum­mer at Chateau Bromont over the week­end, an­swered: “The beauty of play­ing on the cour­ses, un­der the sun. And the chal­lenge of play­ing your best game all the time.”

Pho­tos cour­tesy

Brendan Smith on the podium af­ter the ‘in­di­vid­ual’ con­test at the Que­bec Games.

Brendan Smith poses proudly with his medals from the Que­bec Games.

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