FORE!

Ro­ck­land ju­nior gol­fer Ma­this Rol­lin per­fec­ting his golf form be­fore the On­ta­rio Ju­nior Cham­pion­ships this month. The 15-year-old made the top 30 of 150 players last month at an in­ter­na­tio­nal tour­na­ment in Flo­ri­da.

Vision (Canada) - - La Une - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

“I be­lieve in my­self,” Rol­lin said, du­ring a Sun­day in­ter­view, as he re­cal­led his ex­pe­rience at the in­ter­na­tio­nal tour­na­ment last month. “I knew I was able to do it.”

His plane ar­ri­ved hours late, which meant al­most no time for Rol­lin to get even a quick warm-up be­fore he had to tee off for the first day of the eli­mi­na­tion rounds in the 2018 Club Op­ti­mist In­ter­na­tio­nal Ju­nior in West Palm Beach, Flo­ri­da. But Rol­lin was confi­dent he could over­come even this han­di­cap and drive his way through to the end of the tour­na­ment, which ran from Ju­ly 24 to 26.

Rol­lin qua­li­fied for the Op­ti­mist In­ter­na­tio­nal af­ter win­ning the 2018 Op­ti­mist Clas­sic As­sante in mid-Ju­ly at the Glen­ville Golf Club in Mi­ra­bel, Qué­bec. When he ar­ri­ved in West Palm Beach, his goal at the time was to make the cut at the end of the two-day pre­li­mi­na­ry rounds and earn a place on the list of players going on to the fi­nal round on Aug. 26.

The 15-year-old Ro­ck­land ju­nior gol­fer made the cut and played on to fi­nish tied for 29th place out of a field of 150 young gol­fers from around the world. His own com­pa­nions along the course that day in­clu­ded two young Ame­ri­can gol­fers, one from Sin­ga­pore and ano­ther from Chile.

“I was pret­ty hap­py,” he said. “The last day I real­ly fi­ni­shed strong.”

Du­ring the first day of the tour­na­ment, Rol­lin re­cal­led that the main chal­lenge for the course as­si­gned to the com­pe­ti­tion was all the wa­ter traps scat­te­red throu­ghout the land­scape. Al­most eve­ry fair­way had one wai­ting for a ball to land in and sink.

The se­cond day’s as­si­gned course “was ea­sier than the first one, with a nice de­si­gn,” Rol­lin re­mar­ked. The third and fi­nal day’s chal­lenge was kee­ping his drive from going out of bounds along the fair­ways.

“It was pret­ty tight, that course,” he said. “You didn’t have a lot of space to miss.”

Ma­this has been a com­pe­ti­tive gol­fer for the past two years and at­tends Louis Riel High School in Black­burn Ham­let, be­cause it has a golf pro­gram as part of its cur­ri­cu­lum. He car­ries on a fa­mi­ly sports tra­di­tion, as his grand­fa­ther, Gilles, and his fa­ther, Sté­phane, are both avid gol­fers.

“Since the first mo­ment I pi­cked up a club, I’ve en­joyed it,” he said. He hopes to earn a golf scho­lar­ship for his post-se­con­da­ry stu­dies af­ter he gra­duates.

When not prac­ti­cing his own game, Rol­lin works at the Ca­me­lot Golf Club in Cum­ber­land. Since re­tur­ning from Flo­ri­da, he’s conti­nued per­fec­ting his game in an­ti­ci­pa­tion of the ju­nior pro­vin­cials this month.

—pho­to Gregg Chamberlain

Ma­this Rol­lin, gol­feur ju­nior de Ro­ck­land, passe le ven­dre­di ma­tin à pra­ti­quer son jeu pour l’ai­der à amé­lio­rer sa tech­nique de golf avant les Cham­pion­nats ju­niors de l’On­ta­rio ce mois-ci. Le joueur de 15 ans s’est clas­sé par­mi les 30 pre­miers sur 150 joueurs le mois der­nier lors d’un tour­noi in­ter­na­tio­nal en Flo­ride.

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