One came from behind, one simply held on to win at BC Bantam Championships held in Chilliwack

Tiffany Kong hits her second shot off the fairway at the 18th hole at Meadowlands Golf & Country Club Thursday during round-one action at the 2014 BC Bantam Championships. - Ken Goudswaard/TIMES
Tiffany Kong hits her second shot off the fairway at the 18th hole at Meadowlands Golf & Country Club Thursday during round-one action at the 2014 BC Bantam Championships.
— image credit: Ken Goudswaard/TIMES

Euna Han came from behind to win the 2014 BC Girls’ Bantam Championship at Meadowlands Golf Club last Friday, while Andrew Spalti held on to win the 2014 BC Boys’ Bantam Championship after leading both days of competition.

Han shot a two-under 68 on the second day of competition to overtake the lead from her position in third place after the first round, finishing with a two-day total of 138 (-2) as the only female competitor under par. The 12-year-old Meadow Gardens golfer bogeyed only a single hole during her final round on the way to claiming the title, and boasted a bogey-free back nine for the duration of the Championship, defeating several players her senior for the title, playing with composure beyond her age.

“It felt obviously great, I just tried to play my best the whole round. I didn’t know how [the others] were playing until the last couple of holes. I feel really great about it,” she said of her unexpected victory.

“My putting was working well today, I missed a short putt on 16 but just continued on and forgot about it and I was a bit lucky today, I hit a tree and came back to the fairway, so I was lucky.”

Though it didn’t hurt having a few good bounces on her side, luck likely had very little to do with her round, Han finished eighth in last year’s Bantam Championship at only 11 years old, showing she is a great player even at a young age, and certainly one to watch.

Shirin Anjarwalla 14, led after the first round of the Championship but dropped back to finish in second place shooting 73 (+3) on day two. The Nanaimo golfer started the day with a double bogey and unfortunately wasn’t able to make up the ground to reclaim the lead but still finished strong at one-over par (141) for the tournament.

Spalti, 14, led through two rounds of competition to claim the title shooting 69 both days finishing 2-under par (138), his second round (-1) was highlighted by five birdies, helping him to hold on to the lead.

This was Spalti’s first year playing in the BC Bantam Championship and his final year of eligibility.

“It feels good. Early in the front nine I though I lost [the lead] and all my group members started making birdies and were coming in strong to the back but I managed to fight back. I bogeyed the last one but luckily I still locked in the lead,” Spalti said relieved.

“It didn’t help with all the people watching but I tried my best not to notice them and I guess it worked.”

Spalti explained that his putting was one of the strongest points of his game and definitely was the biggest contributor to helping him secure the win.

Khan Lee played a bogey-free second round making a strong push for the title finishing -2 on Friday. Lee, 14, finished second with 139 (-1).

The Novice division was added to the Bantam in 2014 for competitors with less experience in provincial competition. Natasha Kozlowski of Prince George finished in first with 91 points, followed by Sienna Kraus with 81 points and Claire Lovan of Surrey with 78 points in third.

On the boy’s side, Tyler Casper won the Novice Championship with 87 points, closely followed by Stephen Pon with 83 and in third, Jerry Li with 76 points.

w Morgan Gibbens is the communications co-ordinator for British Columbia Golf.

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