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.
“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.
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.